Winter Jam 2012 LogoThe 2012 Winter Jam line-up was announced tonight at an exclusive VIP event held at Nashville’s Visitor’s Center right outside of Bridgestone Arena. Skillet will headline Christian music’s largest tour in 2012. Additional artists on the bill include Sanctus Real, Peter Furler (his first touring outing in three years and his first since leaving newsboys), Kari Jobe, Building 429, Group 1 Crew and hosts Newsong. The One Verse Pre-Jam Party will feature new Word artists Dara Maclean and For King & Country as well as new hard rock outfit We As Human, currently on tour with Skillet and discovered by front man John Cooper himself.

In addition to a stellar, all-star line-up of some of the hottest acts in Christian music, speaker Nick Hall will bring the gospel message each night, while illusionist Brock Gill will provide additional entertainment.

Skillet

Skillet

Tonight’s launch party included appearances by numerous artists as the line-up was announced as well as special acoustic performances by Newsong (“One True God”), Peter Furler (“Reach”) and Kari Jobe, who sang her brand-new song “We Are” from her forthcoming Sparrow Records debut.

Voted Pollstar’s No. 1 tour in attendance for the first quarter of this year, Winter Jam outpaced mega tours from Bon Jovi and U2. Now in its 17th year, Winter Jam has proven to be the launching grounds for numerous acts through the years, as well as the catalyst that has taken the careers of multiple artists to a whole new level with the exposure and prominence that such a high-profile tour provides.

Dara Maclean

Dara Maclean

Newcomer Dara Maclean is excited about introducing her music to fans each night and more importantly sharing her heart behind the songs found on her debut album. “I am so excited to be on Winter Jam because of the opportunity to reach as many people as possible,” Maclean told The Sound Opinion at tonight’s launch event. “We’re in it for the people. We don’t do what we do apart from getting to reach people, and Winter Jam is a ministry on a nightly basis…to be able to talk with thousands of kids at one time and to get to use what we do as a platform. I’m ready to just dive in and hang out with people I love. It’s a huge platform, and it’s an honor. ”

Winter Jam will kick off January 6, 2012, in Charleston, W.V. and hit 47 cities through the beginning of April. As usual, no tickets are required, and admission is only $10 at the door. For a full list of tour dates, visit www.jamtour.com.

Who are you most excited about seeing on Winter Jam this year?