Mark Hall, lead singer of the group Casting Crowns, shares a unique perspective. As a youth pastor for a church in Daytona, Mark treasures his memories of how Rock the Universe not only impacted his kids but his own faith. He couldn’t have imagined that one day it would be his lyrics hanging in the Florida sky as an intimate connection with Jesus is created in the middle of a standing room only crowd.
It’s not just the audience that is looking forward to some favorite artists. The artists themselves look forward to this rare opportunity to hang out with artists and their families. Rumor has it that there is quite a bit of good natured ribbing about just how shrill the screams are. When it comes to the concerts, Rock the Universe also gives the artists a chance to enjoy some of their favorite songs. Mark jokes that if they are late getting on stage, look for them in the audience at Switchfoot.
It’s not just the music that keeps Mark and hundreds of youth groups, singles Bible studies and families coming back year after year. Event veterans have it all mapped out to maximize the ratio between music and rides. You’ll recognize them as the leader clutches a pamphlet and marshals the troops to their next concert.
After hours in a bus with a bunch of kids, many take advantage of the Rock Your Weekend ticket to insure no thrill is left unexperienced and no song missed. This is a weekend when relationships are forged, commitments strengthened and fun had.
The full experience
Mark tells the story of riding the Spiderman ride with members of his current youth group. He describes a kid that you might be familiar with as well. You know the one with the scowl on his face, difficult to impress. With everyone else shrieking and laughing at the extraordinary effects, this guy sat slumped in the ride car, silent.
As everyone poured out of the ride excitedly sharing favorite moments, the one kid just shook his head repeatedly. “I don’t get it. What’s the big deal?” It didn’t take long to figure out why the guy hadn’t been impressed. On his way in, he failed to pick up the 3-D glasses. All the time that everyone else was reveling in the 3-D, his experience was nothing like everyone else. Mark is quick to draw the spiritual parallel about life lived with the spirit.
Mark likens the experience of Rock the Universe to a loud version of church camp. Like camps, Rock the Universe provides youth groups and families the chance to get out of familiar surroundings, share a lot of fun and laughter and to be connected afresh to the lyrics that lift your spirits.
The complete line-up of artists and ticket prices is available at bit.ly/rtu-gn.
Enter to win tickets!
This year the Good News in partnership with Universal Orlando Resorts is giving away one ten pairs of tickets to Rock the Universe and one grand prize package that includes an overnight stay in a Universal Orlando onsite hotel with four tickets to the event. For contest rules and to enter, visit GoodNewsFL.org/RTU2015.
Anitra Parmele is a writer for Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale and an on-air host for ReachFM. To contact her, call 954-675-0768 or SharedJoy@yahoo.com.