Once again ranking among the biggest first quarter tours in the world, the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular brought its blockbuster 2017 Eastern U.S. run to a close earlier this month. Christian music's largest annual tour landed at #4 on Pollstar’s “1Q YTD Worldwide 2017 Ticket Sales Top 100 Tours” chart, it was recently announced, ahead of tours by such artists as Twenty One Pilots, Drake and Guns N' Roses.
Hitting a total of 46 cities from January through April, Winter Jam played to more than 27,000 people at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, marking not only one of the tour’s largest crowds to date, but the last concert ever at the historic venue. In addition, sellouts continued at St. Louis' Scottrade Center; Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis; Verizon Arena in Little Rock, Arkansas; and the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina, among numerous leading arenas.
Showcasing 10 of Christian music’s best and brightest artists, Winter Jam featured multi GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Crowder; Top 40 hit-maker and GRAMMY-nominee Britt Nicole; Dove Award-winning fan favorites Tenth Avenue North; breakout pop/hip-hop recording artist Andy Mineo; Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter and “American Idol” finalist Colton Dixon; best-selling rockers Thousand Foot Krutch; and GRAMMY-nominated Winter Jam creators and tour hosts, NewSong. In addition, the Pre-Jam Party, sponsored by Israel: Land of Creation, showcased OBB, Sarah Reeves and Steven Malcolm. The tour was also highlighted by a special appearance from “Duck Dynasty” television star Sadie Robertson, as well as a message from acclaimed author, speaker and evangelist Tony Nolan.
An array of special guest artists and athletes appeared in various cities during Winter Jam’s first quarter outing, including GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter Matthew West; GMA Artist of the Year Lauren Daigle; “Duck Dynasty’s” Willie & Korie Robertson; “American Idol” alum Danny Gokey; GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Francesca Battistelli; GMA New Artist of the Year Jordan Feliz; GRAMMY-nominated “Chain Breaker” singer/songwriter Zach Williams; Atlanta Braves great Otis Nixon; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley; and Nashville Predators captain Mike Fisher.
“This has been such a special year for Winter Jam,” said Eddie Carswell, tour creator and NewSong founding member. “The fantastic lineup, the packed arenas and the special guests who joined us made it an incredible tour, but the best part—as always—is seeing so many people come to Christ through this ministry each year.”
Presented by Holt International, additional Winter Jam sponsors included Liberty University, Samaritan Ministries, Premier Vacations & Events, Xtreme Conferences, Camp Electric, The Life Book Movement, 64 Audio, Texas TransEastern and Wayne E. Bailey Produce.
Created and hosted by one of Christian music’s most beloved bands, NewSong, Winter Jam exploded from a single show in 1995 to the world’s #1 first quarter tour for four consecutive years, according to Pollstar. Throughout two decades, Winter Jam has helped provide a powerful platform for the Gospel in major arenas nationwide, consistently showcasing Christian music’s top artists.
[Photos: Sterling Graves]