Area Concert Forecast Heating Up

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

Heller JJ stripesSinger-songwriter JJ Heller is one of the artists performing in West Michigan this summerWinter hung on for so long in West Michigan that it seemed presumptuous even to think about summer. But the weather has moderated and now it feels right to look ahead at the area’s summer concert scene.

Of course, there are a few spring concerts still to come. Southern gospel’s Greater Vision headlines its annual gospel hymn sing tour at 7pm Thurs. May 17 at Fair Haven Church, 2900 Baldwin St. in Hudsonville. This event has been well attended in past years and will be once again. Also on the bill are the Mark Trammell Quartet, Jim Brady Trio and Mylon Hayes Family. Tickets are $20 artist circle, $10 general admission. Available online at or phone 800-965-9324.

Fans of Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman may be interested that Colony House, the pop-rock band featuring his two sons Will and Caleb, is on the stage at Meijer Gardens this summer.

Colony House is opening a June 10 show for Fitz and the Tantrums. Like so many other concerts on the Gardens’ schedule, this one is sold out. But it’s nice to know the Chapman boys are getting to perform at one of West Michigan’s most popular venues.

One of Southern Gospel music’s legendary family ensembles: The Blackwood Brothers – performs at 7pm Sat. June 23 at Hudsonville Reformed Church, 3950 Highland Dr. Hudsonville. The quartet is led by Billy Blackwood, son of original member, the late James Blackwood. (More info to come).

West Michigan’s own Christian rap/hip-hopper Steven Malcolm performs for the home crowd at 7pm Sat. June 30 as part of “The Second City Tour.” The Wyoming Park HS grad – nominated for three Dove Awards last year – has a new album and will debut some of the songs at his home church, The Edge Urban Church, 735 Ritzema Ct. SW. Grand Rapids.


Michigan’s two largest Christian music festivals are gearing up for their annual spectacles, which include kids activities, information displays, prayer opportunities and food/merchandize areas. But music is still center stage. Here are some details:

June 20-23: Big Ticket Festival – Otsego County Fairgrounds, Gaylord.
Headliners: Matthew West and Tenth Avenue North (6/21); Michael W. Smith (6/22); TobyMac (6/23).
Reserved seating from $15 to $100 depending on location and number of days attended. Visit online.

Aug. 8-11: Unity Christian Music Festival, Heritage Landing, downtown Muskegon
Headliners: David Crowder (8/8 – free admission day); MercyMe (8/9); Casting Crowns (8/10); for King & Country (8/11). Tickets range from $35 to $65 depending on number of days attended. Reserved seating sold out. Purchase online.
For info call 231-773-3361.


Some area campgrounds, recreation areas and at least one city park have Christian music events which are open to the public on a donation basis throughout the summer.

One of them - Praise in the Park on Sundays in downtown Rockford - features music teams from area churches with an emphasis on worship tunes.

The rest offer a variety of regional and national inspirational music artists.

All concerts are on a free-will offering basis, no tickets required. For complete schedules and other info, contact information is below. Here’s a sampling:

Christian Reformed Conference Grounds
12253 Lakeshore Drive, Grand Haven
Among highlights: Gary Matthews/Christ Memorial Church Choir -June 30
Tim Zimmerman & King’s Brass – Aug. 4

Maranatha Bible Conference
4759 Lake Harbor Rd. Muskegon
concerts 7 p.m. Saturdays June 23 -Labor Day weekend
Among highlights: Michael Card- June 23

J.J. Heller – July 28

Worship on the Waterfront (WOW)
Waterfront Stadium, Harbor Dr. downtown Grand Haven
concerts 7 p.m. Sundays June 24 - Aug. 26
Among highlights: Jordan Feliz – July 1
Mark Schultz – Aug. 26

Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel
3630 26th St. Dorr
Concerts 6 p.m. Sundays May 27 - Sept. 2
Among highlights:
June 3 – Metropolitan Choir of Praise

July 1 - Greater Vision

Gospel Music Barn
6881 64th Ave. Hudsonville
concerts begin at 6pm Fri. and Sat. May 25 through Sept.8
Among highlights: July 20 The Helmsman Quartet

July 28 the Foresters

“Praise in the Park”
Garden Club Park just off W. Bridge St. along the river in downtown Rockford
Concerts with area church ensembles: 6 p.m. Sundays June 3 - Aug. 26
Free admission, donations are welcome.



City Fest West Michigan, the evangelistic outreach which culminates Sept. 8-9 at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids, is bringing in some prominent Christian music artists in addition to headline speakers Luis and Andrew Palau.
Mainstream breakthrough rap/hip-hop artist LeCrae and singer-songwriter Danny Gokey perform on Saturday, and Mandisa, former Third Day lead singer Mac Powell, and TobyMac take the stage on Sunday.
For more information on City Fest and its events schedule visit:

Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Author: Terry DeBoer
Terry is a journalist/feature writer for newspapers, magazines and websites, with a background in radio broadcasting. His usual beat is arts and entertainment, specializing in Christian/gospel music. A married father of two, he is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan Contributing Writer: West Michigan Christian News August 2011 – Present Feature writer: (website and various newspapers) 1988– 2016 -Spotlight New Christian Music Magazine 1997-2008 -Church News Editor, Church Herald Magazine 2004-2009

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