Who says big-name, multi-band music festivals have to be filthy, debauched affairs whose main hallmarks are exorbitantly priced bottled water and a dearth of toilets? Who says they can't be fun and uplifting events suitable for the whole family? Who says music with a positive message can't be entertaining? Certainly not New Song, the hugely popular Christian rock group responsible for starting the Winter Jam Tour 13 years ago, and the hosts of this year's Winter Jam 2008 Tour Spectacular.
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This year's festival features many of the biggest names in the Christian music world. MercyMe serves up its blend of powerful worship anthems, deeply personal lyrics, and contemporary adult song structures with punches of tried and true rock and roll. The CCM alt-rockers of Skillet appeal to a younger, hipper Christian audience, offering songs that would fit well on any modern rock radio station, playing right alongside the critical indie and pop-punk darlings of the day. The three sisters of BarlowGirl put a more wholesome, morally centered spin on the girl-power concept. Other highlights include former American Idol contestant Mandisa, the Real Encounter's extreme BMX/skate team, and a pre-Jam party featuring the family-friendly hip-hop stylings of Group 1 Crew and tween sensation PureNRG.