August 6, 2015 : By Ted Allen
Liberty University continues to be a hotspot for many influential artists in the Christian music industry. Each year, performers inspire students and guests with powerful performances infused with life-changing lyrics. Events such as Block Party, College For A Weekend (CFAW), and the Winterfest New Year’s extravaganza bring well-known artists and their signature sounds to campus, attracting thousands of prospective students and their families as well as church youth groups and leaders.
Block Party, set for Aug. 29, welcomes returning students and introduces freshmen and transfer students to campus life with a free outdoor carnival, including food, games, rides, fireworks, and a concert. The featured artists this year are JOHNNYSWIM, the Los Angeles-based folk/soul/rock duo of Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, and the Nashville-based Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors.
“The bands we have lined up for Block Party might be new to some people, but we think the students are really going to enjoy them,” said Robert Johns, assistant director of Student Activities. His office schedules concerts and coordinates hundreds of other on-campus recreational activities and entertainment, including the popular student-led Coffeehouse talent shows.
|Andy Mineo will return to Liberty for the third time in two years for a Nov. 6 College For A Weekend show.|
This fall’s CFAW weekends will be headlined by Tenth Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets (Sept. 18 in the Vines Center) and hip-hop artist Andy Mineo (Nov. 6 at Thomas Road Baptist Church). The shows are open to the public, with tickets available online.
“Acts like Tenth Avenue North and Andy Mineo are some of the biggest names in Christian music today, so to have them come to Liberty is a very cool thing for our students,” Johns said.
This year’s Winterfest — also open to the public — promises to ring in the New Year with exciting concerts from Casting Crowns, NEEDTOBREATHE, for King & Country, Matthew West, Rend Collective, Thousand Foot Krutch, Colton Dixon, Burlap To Cashmere and more. Fans will again have the chance to interact with band members at Artist Q & As.
Student Activities also makes great use of Liberty’s LaHaye Event Space for concerts and other performances open to students and the public.
Dustin Kensrue, the frontman of Thrice, will kick off this semester’s lineup at LaHaye on Sept. 8 at 8 p.m., with The Rocketboys scheduled as the opening act. (Tickets for students are $8 in advance or $15 at the door.)
“We’re really excited about the future of the LaHaye Event Space because it allows us to bring in acts for smaller, more intimate shows,” Johns said. “We have a few more artists that we’ll be announcing soon.”
|For King & Country will bring its high-energy performance, complete with a percussion section, back to the Vines Center for this year's Winterfest.|
The space, which replaced the Tilley Student Center stage last fall, is also the site of the Campus Artist Series and Open Mic Nights. Campus Artist Series concerts are free and often open with onsite artist interviews. Performances are set for Sept. 10, Oct. 15, Nov. 5, and Dec. 3 starting at 8 p.m. Any student groups interested in participating may contact Student Activities at (434) 592-3061 or email email@example.com.
Mondays are reserved for Open Mic Nights (at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7, Sept. 21, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Nov. 2, and Nov. 16, and 8 p.m. on Nov. 30). Students are welcome to sign up to perform music, stand-up comedy, dance, and recite poetry.