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Chances are, many of you reading this edition of CCM Magazine, or this particular article, have experienced Winter Jam at some point in your lives. After all, this Tour Spectacular has reached more fans in more cities than any other contemporary Christian music tour in history—now, a whopping twenty-plus-years in the making.

Sure, the tour has adjusted over the years to adapt with ever-changing trends, a noted mark of its staying power, but it’s the stalwart character of Winter Jam’s founders, the members of NewSong, that have both laid the foundation and ensured its ongoing strength.

Continuously honing in on how God would lead them—a trait that was integral from the very first January Jam in 1995—and partnering with some of the most over-the-top talent in music yearly (TobyMac, Newsboys, Lecrae, Skillet, and Third Day to name just a few), has been the band’s recipe for achievement. However, as you’ll read in our exclusive conversation with NewSong, accomplishments aren’t necessarily defined in record-breaking numbers. Family, fellowship, and fun set the bar for success, and the greatest of all—as tour pastor Bobby Joiner once stated—is, “Love.”

Winter Jam can be summed up in just one word: love. And then, joy. One word: love. And joy!”

CCM Magazine: What do you remember about the very first Winter Jam, more than 20 years ago?
Eddie Carswell:
The first Winter Jam was actually called January Jam and it was held in Greenville, South Carolina. I still remember seeing the amazing crowd—more than 6,500—and knowing it was “a God night.”

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  • Aimee Irvin

    The only thing I wish is that they would stop putting the same bands on every year. There are so many others that I would like to see personally. Such bands and artists like Disciple who hasn’t done the East coast, Seventh Day Slumber, Jaci Velasquez, Kevin Max, Mandisa, Manafest, Switchfoot, and it’s been a while since they had KJ-52 on the tour as well.