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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Christian music news: Spirit fest brings the rock – and the message

Latest christian music: For music fans, summer is a time for big concert festivals like Coachella, Street Scene and Spirit West Coast.
OK, so maybe not as many people know about Spirit West Coast, but the Christian music festival does attract about 10,000 fans and a packed schedule of performers and speakers.
This weekend, teens, tots and parents will converge at the sixth annual concert at the Del Mar Fairground for three days of camping, music and messages of faith.
“A mainstream festival is primarily just a celebration of music; there isn't usually a message attached to it,” said festival organizer Jon Robberson. “Our festival message promotes Christianity. It's nondenomenational, it's a celebration of all Christian faith.”
With so many eager ears in attendance, the festival boasts a roster of big-name Christian musicians, including newsboys, tobyMac and Relient K. And with former dcTalk member Michael Tait taking over as newsboys' new lead singer, Robberson said, adding that this year's lineup is especially buzz-worthy.
“Our biggest headliner is tobyMac, who was the driving force behind dcTalk,” Robberson said. “With Michael joining the newsboys and people having a chance to see two of the three dcTalk members perform, it's a big deal.”
Along with alternative, rock and hip-hop music, this year Spirit West Coast is introducing a Latin music stage. The Espiritu del Festival Celebration hosts two days of such Spanish-language musicians as Julissa, Ericson Alexander Molano and Raul Haro.
“We're excited to embrace the Latino community more solidly,” Robberson said. “I look forward to expanding with more acts in the future.”
Of course, a Christian music festival usually includes a collection of speakers. There are worship services scheduled throughout the weekend. And there'll also be lectures about keeping kids safe from the Internet and overcoming adversity.
One of the festival speakers is 26-year-old Nick Vujicic, a man who was born with no arms and no legs who now spreads a message of positive thinking.
If it sounds like there's a lot to do and see this weekend, it's because there is. From morning until night, there will be bands on six stages, speakers and even a kids' Veggieland area complete with petting zoo and bounce house.
To experience everything, the fairgrounds will host hundreds of campers who can set up tents and sleeping bags on the premises. There will also be spaces for campers along with plenty of food vendors.
But along with all the entertainment, Robberson said the idea behind Spirit West Coast is to encourage people to become Christian.
“The real purpose of a church like Skyline or The Rock isn't to be a social club; it's designed to encourage people to become Christian,” he said. “A lot of people don't know where they are in life and we try to help them on that journey.”


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