Rock, Ride and Rejoice at Florida’s Biggest Christian Music Festival

 

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Click the link to register!
This year the Good News in partnership with Universal Orlando Resorts is giving away 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.

 

Rock the UniverseThere is nothing better than joining thousands of other believers from around the state to sing the lyrics that mean so much to you along with your favorite artist. Unless, that is, it is the rush of wind past your face as your stomach plummets in time to the beat on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit!

For years, Rock the Universe at Universal Studios in Orlando has softened the blow of back to school by presenting two nights of the biggest Christian artists in mid-September. It is being held on September 11 and 12 this year. The phrase “fun for the whole family” gains a whole new depth of meaning as you glance next to you to see a father raising his hands along with his teenage son to Crowder’s latest. Those moms singing along to Switchfoot convince you that they’re not just here to chaperone the middle school students, but they are having a blast themselves. Glance around at the audience for Kari Jobe and you’ll see for yourself the unity and glory of a shared faith — a unity that transcends ages, culture, generation and even whether you are a Gators, Noles or Hurricane fan.

Music has the ability to not just cross generations but to unite them. With artists like Building 429, Kutless and South Florida’s own Tenth Avenue North, you look out over the audience and realize that some things are shared no matter how long you’ve been a believer or whether you were even alive when Switchfoot got started. And Family Force 5? There are no words. If you haven’t had a chance to see them in concert, you haven’t, well, really experienced how guys named Crouton, Hollywood and Chap Stique can have you reevaluating how you share your faith.

 

An artist’s view

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.

 

Group bonding

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.

 

 

 

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