5 Ways to Prepare Your Group for Youth Group Concerts like Winter Jam & Rock the Universe

It’s post-Christmas winter, and youth group leaders know what that means — Christian Concert Season. Yep, we don’t really know why the world collectively agreed that January-March is the best time for things like Rock the Universe or Winter Jam shows, but here we are. 

Celebrity gif. Dolly parton looks at us and gives a big shrug, lifting her shoulders all the way up to her ears.

Going to these events can be a thrilling and spiritually uplifting adventure for your youth group. However, these events can sometimes be more stressful than conferences like Passion or even church camps like Fuge or Young Life. We’re here to help group leaders prep for upcoming shows while also giving them the mental headspace to rock out to some of their favorite worship artists!

Research the Lineup

Kickstart the excitement by researching the artists headed to your nearest Winter Jam or Universal’s Rock the Universe shows. Go beyond sharing info with your group and their families; set up a Spotify playlist of the artists’ greatest hits! This is a great way for newer members of your youth group to get familiar with the music. Not all kids listen to Christian music on the regular, so giving them a heads up about the artists and what they sound like creates more anticipation!

Set Expectations

Youth group concerts are more than just musical events; they are opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship. Before attending, set clear expectations with your group about behavior, dress code, and the overall purpose of the event. Remind everyone to be respectful and courteous. They’re there to have a good time but so is everyone else who paid the price of admission! Also remind them to be open to the uplifting atmosphere these concerts aim to create. They don’t have to be stone-faced the whole time. (And no one is too cool to get down to Lecrae…)

Get Your Transportation and Travel on Lock

For large-scale events like Rock the Universe or Winter Jam, logistics are key

Calculating Zach Galifianakis GIF by filmeditor

Know your transportation arrangements in advance. For Universal, for example, have an idea of if your resort does bussing to and from the parks. Consider travel time, parking costs, distance, and ease of use in those logistics, too. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of seeing your favorite show — even as a group leader — that you forget to think about how you’ll get there. 

Additionally, if the concerts span multiple days, plan out how you’ll spend time before the shows on various days. (Universal makes that pretty easy by being a theme park where your kids can hang out before show time, but activities are something to consider if you’re traveling out of state or somewhere new for one-night shows like Winter Jam!)

Encourage Meaningful Conversations

As great as the music is, the reason these artists do what they do is the same reason you do what you do — to inspire deeper connections with the Lord. 

Hands Singing GIF by NAMB Social

The concert experience should function as a platform for meaningful discussions within your youth group. Give time to decompress and allow your kids to share what they experienced at the shows! Share personal stories or testimonies related to the music, and encourage open conversations about faith and spirituality. 

Bring Essentials

Alright, here comes one of our favorite parts: packing! Give your students a grab bag of essentials that are venue-approved and kid-helpful. 

If you’re headed to Universal, consider packing unopened snacks and empty water bottles. Universal doesn’t always allow you to bring in outside beverages, so an easy hack we love is to give your kids empty sports water bottles with your group logo on it as a treat. They can fill it up once they get through security and don’t have to throw away unopened water bottles. Group leaders & volunteers, have portable chargers on hand. This keeps your group connected to you while at the venue. If you are headed to a stadium, keep in mind that not all venues allow for bags, so peep the venue info before you go and send it to your kids’ families as well. 

Finally, commemorate the event by coming up with custom shirts for your group! (“Ah, yep, there it is…” – You) We know, we know, group shirts don’t actually solve all the headaches you’ll have planning this. But trust us when we say that a unique shirt in a bright color can help you keep track of your youth group while they’re sprawled across a venue or theme park. PLUS it reduces their desire to buy insanely overpriced merchandise because you’re giving them something special for the event! 

Attending youth group concerts like Rock the Universe or Winter Jam can be an incredibly enriching experience for your group. Get ready to rock, worship, and make memories that will last a lifetime! And if you’re looking for a partner when it comes to group water bottles, hats, and shirts to celebrate concerts like these or other youth group events, Uth Stuph is your team! We’ve got over 25 years of experience helping group leaders create items that capture memories. Get your FREE quote here