For years, listeners to 98.5 KTIS and station staff members had wondered why the radio station didn’t hold a local family-oriented music festival. Families comprise a large portion of the popular radio station’s audience, so the idea of holding a festival for all ages seemed like a natural fit.
After years of considering the idea, “We finally decided to do it, because if we don’t do it now, we probably never will,” said Jason Sharp, station manager for KTIS. “We just decided to move forward with Joyful Noise.”
The first event was held in 2008.
Six years later, the summer music festival has become a huge draw for Christian music fans across the metro area and beyond. Last year, 16,000 people attended the two-day event. Top performers in contemporary Christian music perform each year, with Third Day and TobyMac included in the list of past performers.
However, music is not the sole—or most important—reason behind the Joyful Noise Family Fest.
“At the end of every Joyful Noise, families were able to come together and have a great experience under the presence of the KTIS brand, be ministered to, be encouraged; we even have worked in evangelism, because we encourage people to bring friends who may not know Jesus Christ,” Sharp said. “We hope it makes them a better Christian and pumped up to go do something in our community to show God’s love to somebody else.”
Last year, Joyful Noise welcomed Matt Brown, an evangelist who presented the gospel during breaks in the music.
“When we can, we want to give an evangelistic message at our events; and maybe that’s at some events a 30-second video and maybe at Joyful Noise it’s a three- or four-minute piece at 11:20 a.m. on Saturday, and then another two- to three-minute piece at 2:50 p.m.,” Sharp said.
Even though a lot of people at Joyful Noise will be Christians, Sharp hopes every person in the community will experience God’s love.
“We really take the idea of taking our mission seriously, and then our vision here at the station is for every person in our community to experience God’s love through a KTIS listener,” he said. “So we’re really all about working to mobilize the 500,000 plus that God has given us who listen each week to take God’s love and don’t keep it a secret … put that light on a hill and shine it bright and go out and tell somebody about Jesus.”
This summer’s Joyful Noise will take place at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7. Performers include Tenth Avenue North, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Lincoln Brewster, Jason Gray and several others.
The outdoor concert will also feature activities to engage people of all ages.
As the festival has grown each year, Sharp said their biggest challenge—outside of the weather—is making the event better than the year before.
Before the event each year, Sharp said organizers pray about people coming to know Christ.
“If one person accepts Christ, [then it’s a] success,” he said. “After that, if 16,000 people are encouraged to live out their faith every day, we can change this community for Jesus Christ. We can reach the entire community ….”
To learn more, visit www.joyfulnoisefest.com/2014.
What: Joyful Noise Family Fest
When: Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7
Where: National Sports Center in Blaine
Who: Tenth Avenue North, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe, Steve Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Lincoln Brewster and more