The Elevate 2016 Christian Music Festival is in full swing at the Prescott Valley Events Center this weekend. Fifteen ‘A-list’ artists and groups will be performing on the stage in the evenings. But that’s not all. Much more is going on outside starting at 11 this morning.
Dave Schreiber, the Morning Show host for Arizona Shine, 103.9 FM (Facebook | website) offered a quick review of the first day Elevate and a preview of the rest of the weekend in a Saturday morning interview. "The Elevate Festival has been absolutely incredible. We of course completed Day 1 yesterday and just had an absolutely phenomenal crowd. Especially for the first day, because you know, normally on Friday, getting off work you don't expect a lot of them to be able to make it out. But just a great crowd at Prescott Valley Event Center. The lineup, of course, of the bands was amazing. The Newsboys headlining, and they never disappoint when they hit the stage.”
Schreiber also said that he was touched to be there during a very special tribute. "Just being out there, we had an opportunity with Arizona Shine, before the show even started, we were able to do a tribute, as we approached the 3rd anniversary of the lost Granite Mountain 19, to honor them and to honor all of our emergency personnel and responders who get out and rush in when others are rushing out. Just had a wonderful time doing that.”
That led Schreiber to speak of another effort which is important to the local commnity, called Feeding Northern Arizona Kids. Although food can be dropped off throughout the summer at various locations, Arizona Shine is accepting donations during Elevate.
Schreiber explained, "A lot of people were responding and joining us with Arizona Shine as we are doing a big food drive. Feeding Northern Arizona Kids, trying to help out kids who are food insecure. During the school year, they are able to do reduced meals or free lunches, but during the summer time it's really tough. Being able to use Elevate, where people are already coming out to a three-day concert, and being able to pull the people of the community together, and see the response that they had. Overwhelming, we just had to keep emptying box after box into the van. Now today, we're going to have to load that into another vehicle because of the response we're expecting today and tomorrow from people coming out. That's one thing that I love about being here in Arizona. Being here in the Prescott area and Flagstaff, when you ask for people to come together and help out the community, response is overwhelming."
More information about the Feeding Northern Arizona Kids project here.
Schrieber continued, "Tonight, another great day. The show starts a little bit earlier because they have a lot more bands. Everyone can start to come out about 11 o'clock, the outside, there's a tent area where they have musicians, comedians performing throughout the day. Vendors are out there, there is food, and all of that is free for the public. From 11-4, all that is going on. Then at 4 o'clock today, the doors open, and then at 5 o'clock, the shows start.
"Some of the artists performing today, 7eventh Time Down, Building 429, the headliner is For King and Country,” Schreiber said. "So, it's going to be just another incredible day.”
"As we go into tomorrow, and get into the third day of the festival, we expect no less of a crowd. On the last day, you might think, 'Oh, it's a Sunday, not that many people will be coming out.’ No, they pack it all three days,” Schrieber said with a laugh.
It doesn’t end there, though. There’s a Sunday morning church service outside of the Events Center in the tent. Schrieber said it’s usually packed, so it might be a good idea to come early. The outside festival hours tomorrow are from noon to 4.
Sunday night bands start at 5 PM although the doors open at 4 o’clock. On Sunday the show starts earlier so that people who travel from Phoenix and Flagstaff don't have a late night getting back.
Schreiber spoke about the Sunday bands. "We have Justin Unger, who is out of Phoenix, a lot of people, just a great artist. We've been supporting him and playing his music as long as I've been at the station, which is about 10 years.” Unger, who used to be the music director at The Heights, has been very involved in the Prescott community. Here is one of the songs he wrote while living here:
"Kutless, Phil Wickham and the headliner tomorrow evening is Tenth Avenue North,” Schrieber said.
Schrieber spoke about the overall event, "The lines of people coming out, even braving the heat, people coming up from Phoenix, 'Hey, it's 15º cooler, so it's almost like jacket weather.' Everybody's been well taken care of, it's well-staffed. Everyone's having an absolutely wonderful time, and when we're out there with Arizona Shine, there's no lack of people coming by the tents when we're outside saying hello, and then when we get inside, they're just piling by the table. It's one of those events, it's the 4th year that's gone on, and it's one of those events that just seem to get bigger and bigger every year as the word gets out.”
For a music festival in a smaller northern Arizona community, it might be surprising to realize it always pulls in 'A' list artists. According to Schrieber, some of the top Christian artists in the industry show up and perform at this festival every year. It's the largest Christian music festival in Arizona history.
Schrieber explained, "These would be the A-list artists. They're the ones that are the top artists in the Christian music industry. They're not settling for what you would have at the b-level or even c-level as far as touring is concerned. They always pull in the top artists that are touring from all around the world. They come out here from the Festival, and they love having the opportunity to be able to come out and be a part of it. And the response every year has been phenomenal. the first year they did the festival, even on the first day, they had to announce that they had so many people asking if it was going to happen again the next year, that they had to say they were going to go ahead and do it.”
Evening Music Lineups:
If you go:
What: Elevate Christian Music Festival
When: Saturday and Sunday
Time: Saturday, outdoor festival starts at 11; Sunday, outdoor festival starts at noon. Both days, the Prescott Valley Event Center opens the doors at 4, with the bands starting at 5 PM.
Cost: Outdoor festival is free (expect charges for purchases from vendors)
Concert ticket prices: Saturday & Sunday combo tickets start at $62.50, Single day tickets start at $30. Click here for further ticket information: Prescott Valley Event Center tickets.
The tent is available to go into if people get too hot, plenty of food outside. Stay hydrated! Single day tickets are available for today and tomorrow.