Canyon Music Festival Draws Christian Rockers to Campus

January 10, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

By Michael Ferraresi
GCU News Bureau

The parking lot just won’t cut it anymore.

With more than 50 bands scheduled to play on seven different stages across campus Jan. 19 and 20, it’s hard to imagine an event like GCU’s Canyon Music Festival taking place on the concrete expanse outside a Phoenix amusement park. But that’s where Christian music fans found themselves rocking and jamming out for nearly eight years before the University agreed to host the event.

Nashville-based Jars of Clay headlines the worship-oriented Sunday second day of this month’s Canyon Music Festival.

The new two-day festival includes a hard-rock slate of bands on Saturday, Jan. 19 led by GCU favorite Thousand Foot Krutch. The next day’s headliner, Jars of Clay, makes its campus debut as part of a family-oriented worship lineup on Sunday, Jan. 20. Promoters hope the range of acts will attract more fans, both students and non-GCU visitors.

Also, a Sunday night “after-party” at Thunderground on Jan. 20 will showcase Andy Mineo, Propaganda, and other Christian hip-hop artists. Promoters said the event could have the same underground, freestyle-like vibe of Mineo’s Thunderground show after Lecrae’s “Unashamed” tour performance at GCU Arena in November.

Canyon Music Festival is the new title for what was previously known as the Rage Music Festival. The event took place the past eight years at Castles-n-Coasters amusement park near Metrocenter in Phoenix.

Stages for the new-and-improved Christian music festival include the South Gym, Thunderground and others around the campus quads and malls.

Canyon Music Festival  
The two-day festival Jan. 19 and 20 includes more than 50 bands across seven stages on GCU’s campus. One- and two-day passes are available in packages ranging from $10-$35. GCU students receive discounts. Ticket information is available at A full schedule of bands and other information is available HERE.  

“Now people can bring blankets and chairs, sit on the grass, and watch bands all day,” said Brian Cole, founder of Canyon Music Festival promoter Extreme Faith Productions.

Cole said this year’s lineup of Christian performers will resonate with both students and families with younger children.

“We’re definitely happy with the lineup,” Cole said. “The thought was a little more contemporary (on Saturday), but we also wanted kids in youth groups to still be involved with Sunday.”

Food vendors and ministry booths will be available throughout the festival. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own food, chairs, blankets and coolers.

Bret Ceren of GCU’s faith-based partnerships team said the next festival will take place over New Year’s Eve, with the hope that more tourists in town for football bowl games and other events might find their way to GCU with their families.

“We have the capacity to handle an event like this,” said Ceren, adding that this month’s festival will help GCU promote the New Year’s Eve two-day festival later this year.

Other Canyon Music Festival bands include Celtic-punk-style rockers Flatfoot 56 and Audio Adrenaline, which includes lead man Kevin Max (previously of dc Talk).

Sunday’s slate includes GCU’s own singer-songwriter Moriah Peters and Everfound, a Russian-American band of four brothers from Colorado.

Contact Michael Ferraresi at 639.7030 or [email protected].

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