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- credit Chris Hupe, WHATZUP FEATURE WRITER

One of the biggest Christian events of its kind, Winter Jam has always had as a goal to bring together great music while sharing the message of the Gospel. Its low admission price — just $15 at the door — allows families and youth groups to enjoy a night of top-notch entertainment that serves a greater purpose, without breaking the bank.


Some have called it the Lollapalooza of Christian music.

Winter Jam returns to Fort Wayne’s Allen County War Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 20 with a brand new lineup featuring Crowder, Hillsong Young & Free, Andy Mineo, Building 429, RED, Austin French, and speaker Greg Stier. In addition to the main show artists, the preshow jam includes up-and-coming acts Riley Cleommons, Ballenger, and Zauntee.

Tremendous growth
The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular started from a single show in 1995 to explode into the genre’s benchmark tour in just a few short years.
At first, NewSong member and founder Eddie Carswell recalled a press release about the event saying that the popularity of worship music is considered a fad.
But that’s not the case anymore. This tour has helped Christian music solidfy its place in the industry as a bonafide genre capable of making waves. Throughout the two plus decades since its inception, the travelling road show has regularly ranked among Pollstar’s top outings.

Although not motivated by profit, “The money still works out fine,” Carswell said. Performers get paid and no debt is incurred. To help, during the show, buckets are passed around the audience to allow for a free will offering, but no one is obligated to give if they don’t feel like it or if they can’t afford more than what they paid for their admission.
“Some people give a dollar or just the change in their pocket,” Carswell added. “Others give $20 or more. Giving is a real Christian-hearted thing and people want to be involved in it. The lineup is amazing and the desire to see Jesus change lives remains our top priority.”

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