QUESTAPALOOZA REIMAGINES ITSELF AND CROSSES OVER TO THE MAINSTREAM FOR ITS 5TH ANNIVERSARY BLOWOUT
For its 5th Year Anniversary, Questapalooza (QPZA), the annual “Party for the City,” will return September 5, 2010 and is making a deliberate effort to expand its draw outside of Contemporary Christian Music with crossover band SWITCHFOOT headlining this year’s festival. Along with SWITCHFOOT, two artists will be making a return to QPZA this year. GROUP 1 CREW, who kicked off the festivities last year is coming back to open this year’s event. NEWSBOYS, with new front man Michael Tait (formerly of TAIT and dc TALK), will fill the middle slot. TAIT was the headliner for the very first QPZA in 2006.
When asked why, Assistant Pastor Justin McCarty says, “The goal of QPZA has always been to let the city of Lexington and surrounding areas know they are loved, not just the Christians, but everyone. So we throw them a party every year. But it has to be a party people want to come to. And SWITCHFOOT is a band that people know.”
Indeed they are. SWITCHFOOT recently released their seventh album Hello Hurricane. Recorded with producer/bassist Mike Elizondo (Dr. Dre, Rilo Kiley, Eminem, and Pink), this is SWITCHFOOT’s first album on Atlantic Records. Numerous songs from the record have been tapped for use in major marketing campaigns (Verizon Wireless’ BlackBerry® Storm, overstock.com, the Samuel Goldwyn Film “To Save A Life”) and television programming (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “One Tree Hill,” Fox Sports’ “NHL Music Nights,” ESPN’s college football coverage and WWE’s “TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs” pay-per-view). Hello Hurricane was a critic’s pick in USA Today’s Fall Music feature and Alternative Press hailed the title track as “an uplifting, hope-giving affirmation of resurgence.” In recent months, SWITCHFOOT has performed on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
As for the other two bands, QPZA is treading some familiar ground. GROUP 1 CREW is back and bringing “their own unique way of doing their music, with a style that mimics that of BLACK EYED PEAS.” NEWSBOYS, typically a headlining band in their own right, with 25 years experience and 13 studio albums in the can, will release a new album appropriately titled Born Again later this summer. The band received a new lease on life when guitarist Jody Davis returned to the band after a 5 year hiatus and Michael Tait (formerly of dc TALK and previous QPZA performer) joined the band as the new front man in March of 2009. “We didn’t think we would get the NEWSBOYS,” admits McCarty. “But we called them on the off chance that it might happen. Turns out, they were pretty excited to do it, but they agreed only on the condition that they be allowed to bring their entire set up and do a full show.”
When asked about the rest of the festival, the rides, the fireworks, the funnel cake, McCarty said, “Everything is up for grabs. We really went back to the drawing board this year and tried re-imagining what QPZA could be like. But I’d be very sad if funnel cake wasn’t there this year.”
For more information about the bands, festivities, and tickets, check out www.qpza.com and look for the QPZA app for the iPhone, available in the iTunes App Store. Tickets go on sale July 4, 2010.
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