Thousands line up for Winter Jam

Love, songs fill hearts

  • Follow Metro

Love was in the air Thurs­day night at a Christian concert that drew thousands to James Brown Arena.

Back | Next
Winter Jam has been a regular tour around the country for 18 years and has stopped in Augusta the past nine.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Winter Jam has been a regular tour around the country for 18 years and has stopped in Augusta the past nine.

With fans gathered on Valen­tine’s Day at the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular to spread their love of Christ, Clay­ton Phillips popped the question to his girlfriend, Mary Jane Riley, outside the arena two hours before the concert.

The Aiken couple said they have rededicated their lives to God in recent years, and Phillips couldn’t think of a better place to propose than surrounded by other Christians.

“It’s a multilove event,” said Riley, whose fiance asked her son’s permission before the proposal. “God loves us and brought us together as Christians.”

A long line of fans wrapped around the arena waiting to see the lineup of Chris­tian acts. Fifteen minutes after the concert started, people continued to file inside.

“We’re here for the bands, but we’re also here to see people get saved and turn their lives over to Christ,” said Brandy Wilson, who was with a large group from Gibson First Baptist Church. The group drove about an hour from Gibson, Ga., and had been waiting for 1½ hours before the doors opened.

Also near the front of the line was 15-year-old Olivia Nichols, who had attended the event for four straight years.

“I like all of the different bands that come each year,” she said, and headliner TobyMac was her favorite artist from the lineup.

Vendors sold glow sticks, blinking cross necklaces and T-shirts that read, “Label Me a Jesus Freak,” “Made to Love” and “Keep Calm and Jam.”

Among the performers were RED, Matthew West, Sidewalk Prophets and the Oswald Brothers Band.

The band Royal Tailor took the stage first after members of the crowd bowed their heads in prayer.

“Your heart will always be filled if Jesus is in your life,” lead singer Tauren Wells told the crowd between songs.

The tour stops at 44 venues across 24 states, mainly in the South and Midwest. More than 500,000 people attended Winter Jam shows last year. The tour is in its 18th year and has come to Augusta for the past nine.

Hannah Allen, 14, and friends from Sweetwater Bap­tist Church in Thomson were most looking forward to watching TobyMac. Han­nah thought the concert was a great way to spend Valentine’s Day.

“For the older kids, it’s something they can do that’s safe and Christian-like,” she said.

Comments (6) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 02/15/13 - 06:57 am
2
1
Awesome event! I did not see

Awesome event! I did not see a single vacant seat. It was amazing to see approximately 8,500 people together worshiping Christ.

mikeelliott
73
Points
mikeelliott 02/15/13 - 08:49 am
1
1
Only 9 years?

I have a 30 year old who fell asleep at WJ when he was about 8 or 9 years old. 30 - 9 = 21 years, at least. Best concert(s) for $10.00. And it's every year.

bdouglas
5047
Points
bdouglas 02/15/13 - 10:01 am
2
1
Before Winter Jam there was

Before Winter Jam there was Summer Jam, Freedom Jam (I think?) and maybe a couple other Jams that were basically the same thing done by Newsong. I think they just consolidated it down to one name now...or they're getting older and quit the summer stuff! ha

lovingthesouth72
1368
Points
lovingthesouth72 02/15/13 - 10:02 am
0
1
Winter Jam Reject -

You know you live in the Bible belt when a Christian rock concert is sold out! It was quite disappointing to be part of the "Winter Jam Rejects"- as the band outside called us - I hope next year accommodating can be made for more people to get in, or even have a big screen outside for those outside to see the concert inside. They can take donations and get some extra cash out of the event.

bdouglas
5047
Points
bdouglas 02/15/13 - 10:08 am
0
0
@mikeelliott

From the Winter Jam website: "Since its formation by NewSong in 1995, The Winter Jam Tour Spectacular has featured many of the top names in Christian music ..." 18th year they've been doing it. Methinks your math might be a little off!

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 02/15/13 - 10:40 am
1
1
lovingthesouth32, I really

lovingthesouth32, I really don't think being in the south has a whole lot to do with it. I believe it's just people loving Jesus that these concerts are sold out time and time again. I really doubt that all 32 sold out concerts last year were all in the south, but then again us hicks love us some Jesus.

"Earlier this year Winter Jam shattered its own record to become the #1 tour in the world (first quarter) for the second consecutive year, according to Pollstar’s 2012 Worldwide First Quarter Ticket Sales Charts - Top 100 Tours. Headlined by GRAMMY®-nominated alternative rockers Skillet, the 47-city tour saw 32 sold-out concerts and surpassed last year’s record attendance by more than 10,000, playing to a total of nearly 535,000 people. "

http://www.scottradecenter.com/events-tickets/2013/winter-jam.html

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs