Christian bands to rock out Rupp Arena

By Amanda Powell

The Winter Jam Christian rock concert is coming to Rupp Arena on Saturday, March 12.

The website promises more artists and more music than any other Winter Jam in history.

“This concert is unique because there are no tickets required. It’s an opportunity to hear a message and make a decision for Christ, Shannon Habas, media relations director at Premiere Productions said. “And if someone can’t afford to come, we don’t turn them away.”

Tickets are $10 at the door.

“The whole goal for this event is to keep the cost of admission as low as possible,” Habas said. “There’s not any other place where you can get 10 bands for $10 for four hours of Billy Graham meets rock show.”

Attendees may also purchase a VIP Platinum Membership. The membership includes access to the Platinum Entrance without lines, exclusive access to any seat, one collectible Winter Jam VIP Platinum 3D pass and one official Winter Jam tour t-shirt.

The cost for the pass is $50 and can be purchased on Winter Jam’s website.

The $10 seats are on a first come, first serve basis.

This unique blend of Christian bands includes Newsboys, the David Crowder Band, Kutless, Francesca Battistelli, NewSong, KJ-52, Red and Tony Nolan as the guest speaker.

“My favorite is Francesca Battistelli. I saw her two years ago and she has an amazing voice,” Teresa Maynard, finance sophomore said.

Maynard has been to Winter Jam twice, both times at Rupp Arena. She decided to attend because it was inexpensive and she knew many of the bands performing.

“Throughout the performances they speak and pray for people. It’s not just a concert. There’s also a minister there and a bunch of stuff you can support like sponsoring a child,” Maynard said.

Because of the numerous artists and speakers at Winter Jam, each band only plays one or two songs.

“When I saw Skillet (a Christian rock band) I wanted them to go on longer, but sometimes it’s new bands and it’s enough to show me who they are so I can look them up later,” Maynard said.

During the 2010 tour, Winter Jam packed an arena of 22,000 people.

“We had to turn about 1,000 people away, setting a record for the largest Christian rock concert ever,” Habas said.

The concerts have been growing every year. In 2009 the Winter Jam at Rupp sold 12,396 tickets, 14,756 tickets in 2010, selling out the arena.

Habas said they are expecting to sell out again this year and anyone wishing to attend should come early to get in line.

Winter Jam is the largest annual Christian concert.

“We like to refer to it as more than a concert, it’s more like an experience,” Habas said.