Winter Jam Tour 2012 Has Biggest Opening Weekend to Date

Winter Jam 2012 opened to its biggest audience of all time, with over 32,000 people showing up last weekend.

Winter Jam is Christian music's largest annual tour featuring some of the best artists in that genre. This year’s tour is headlined by rock band Skillet, and it also features Sanctus Real, Peter Furler, Kari Jobe, Building 429, Group 1 Crew, Illusionist Brock Gil, Speaker Nick Hall, and a special appearance by Veggietales' Bob and Larry.

NewSong, a contemporary group, and hosts of the show, created the tour 17 years ago. The festival kicked off Jan. 6 at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston.

The tour will make many major city stops before it wraps April 1, including: Philips Arena in Atlanta, Dallas’ American Airlines Center, the FedEx Forum in Memphis, the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena, the Verizon Arena in Little Rock, and the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

General admission is a set to $10 at the door, and no ticket is required.

Eddie Carswell, NewSong member and Winter Jam creator, said the tour has “one of the most powerful line-ups of Christian music’s top artists in Winter Jam history.”

"It was our best launch weekend of any Winter Jam to date," said NewSong's Eddie Carswell. "Attendance has been amazing so far and God's doing a great work on this tour. It continues to be a thrill to do this each year and we appreciate the incredible artists who help make the tour an unforgettable experience of great music and powerful ministry in every city. We're excited to see what's going to happen over the next 44 nights."

"The first week was unbelievable-incredible fans and an incredible ministry," said Skillet's John Cooper. "There's nowhere I'd rather be right now than on Winter Jam."

The Jam Nation Fan program will also make an appearance this year. The program offers fans a chance to get free and early concert admission, as well as a limited edition Jam Nation shirt, collectible Jam Nation Platinum Access Pass, and a possible question-and-answer session with certain artists.

Winter Jam has consistently been the highest attended tour throughout the world for the first-quarter since 1995, according to Pollstar.

Christian acts that have previously performed for the festival include: Toby Mac, Newsboys, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Third Day.