Let's look at the summer's arena-sized tour: Hillsong UNITED, with special guests Amanda Cook (from Bethel Music) and Mack Brock (formerly with Elevation Worship) lead a worship-based evening at 7pm Tues. June 25 in Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids. Hillsong has just released a new album ("People"). Tickets begin at around $25. Available via Ticketmaster, Here's a video preview
The Big Ticket Festival (June 26-29 in Gaylord, MI) features top name headliners, including Chris Tomlin, For King & Country and Danny Gokey: 60 artists over four days. And there are extras such as "experience tents," comedy, films and a strength team. For tickets online. Visit www.bigticketfestival.com
The Unity Christian Music Festival (Aug. 7-10 in Muskegon) has a powerhouse line-up: Skillet, Switchfoot, Matthew West and Tenth Avenue North, the latter which performs at the opening free admission day on Wed. Aug. 7. Ticket prices depend on number of days attended. Day of event tickets higher. Visit www.unitymusicfestival.com.
*The fun and faith-inspired ska-pop music of Five Iron Frenzy (remember their late 1990s heyday?) come together for a reunion tour: 7pm June 15 at The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids. Tickets $25, but could be higher nearer event date. Contact online.
* Sanctus Real performs a free, pre-fireworks concert as part of the 4th of July celebration at Kollen Park, at the west end of 8th St. along Lake Macatawa in Holland. For more info online.
* "The Screwtape Letters" – The stage adaptation of the C.S. Lewis allegorical novel depicting the battle of good versus evil is performed at 4pm Sat. June 15 at DeVos Performance Hall on Monroe Ave. NW in downtown Grand Rapids. Featured is actor Brent Harris in the title role. The play is suitable for ages 13 and up. Tickets begin at $39 and are available via Ticketmaster outlets, or online. Group rates for 10 or more by calling 888-294-1733.
There are several spots throughout West Michigan where you can take in a summer inspirational concert on a free-will offering basis in a relaxing setting – even outdoors.
*Christian Reformed Conference Grounds, 12253 Lakeshore Dr. south of Grand Haven
Concerts: begins summer schedule at 7pm Sat. June 8 and continues June 22 through the season
Highlights: The Browns, July 20; Greater Vision Aug. 24
Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel, 3630 26th St (south of 142nd Ave.) in Dorr
Concerts: 6pm Sundays beginning May 26
Highlights: Karen Peck & New River July 14; Selah Aug. 11
Maranatha Bible Conference, 4759 Lake Harbor Rd. Norton Shores
Concerts: 7pm Saturdays beginning June 22
Highlights: Josh Wilson July 20; David Phelps Aug. 3
Worship on the Waterfront (WOW) in Lynne Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, downtown Grand Haven
Concerts: 7pm Sundays beginning June 23 through August
Highlights: Building 429 July 28; Mark Schultz Aug. 25
("Skip the Line" passes are no longer available)
Gospel Music Barn, 6881 64th Ave. Hudsonville
Concerts: 6pm Saturdays beginning May 25, plus special events throughout the summer
Highlights: Northwood Brothers, June 29: Stephen Forester Aug. 3
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FALL
It seems a bit early to mention, but there are two fall concerts for which tickets are already on sale. So if you'd like, get the dates on your calendars...
*For King & Country returns to West Michigan, 7pm Oct. 3 at L.C. Walker Arena in downtown Muskegon
Tickets begin at $20 and are available online.
*Danny Gokey and the "Hope Encounter" tour, 7pm Oct. 24 at FairHaven Church on Baldwin St. Hudsonville. Tickets begin at $15 and are available online.