For Christmas this past year, we got my parents tickets to Joyful Noise Family Fest, a concert put on every year by our local Christian Radio station! The concert begins Friday night and then goes all day Saturday.
What is Joyful Noise?
Presented by KTIS, this is a festival focused on family, faith, and lots of fun! It takes place at the National Sports Center in Blaine, MN, on the main field. The multiple artists all perform on the main stage at center field, and the audience fills the entire field with chairs, blankets, and umbrellas. The bleachers also fill up with additional guests taking it all in!
In addition, they host a giant field full of free inflatables for most of the day Saturday! I’m sure this is a big reason that families can stay happy and entertained the entire time. Food trucks and other vendor stands are available throughout the complex as well. Inside, there is a gym full of merch and presenting sponsors like Feed My Starving Children, Union Gospel Mission, and lots more.
The Osegard’s favorites
This was only our second year in attendance, and we will definitely be back again. Here are a few of our top picks from this year:
Best food: Nachos from El Burrito Mercado
We ended up getting these nachos both Friday and Saturday, because they just hit the spot! Piled high with toppings, and with just the right amount of heat. Plus, the service was incredibly fast and we didn’t wait more than 2 minutes for our food, even when lines were long everywhere!
Runner up: Kettlecorn. Another one we had to get both days – so good! Both this and the nachos were also priced well. We feel like we got the best bang for our buck.
Best performance: I Am They
Due to some serious medical issues, they are down one of their 3 vocalists, and they were still incredible. The passion and talent they have for writing and performing is so cool to see, and their set was a great hour of true worship. You may be surprised to know a few of their songs if you listen to contemporary christian music, even if you don’t recognize their name!
Runner up: Plumb. We’ve seen her a few times live and she NEVER disappoints!
Best surprise favorite: Land of Color
Prior to Joyful Noise, neither of us had heard of Land of Color. However, we were so happy to see their performance, and will be keeping up with their music! They have a really casual, basement performance feel, while still being incredibly talented performers. Their guitar work was impressive (one was a lefty guitar too!), and their vocal harmonies are super tight. Highly recommend a listen for some good deep worship!
Our Joyful Noise Tips
We think Joyful Noise is a great festival and definitely worth the trip and time! If you decide to join us next year, here are a few things to plan for:
This year, we really lucked out! It was looking like a stormy, rainy weekend, even throughout the weekend. But as the rain and storms would approach, they managed to fizzle out or move away and we didn’t get even a sprinkle! The sun did get a little toasty (and we burned a bit on Saturday morning), so don’t forget sunscreen. Umbrellas are also great for both rain and intense sun! Just be sure to measure beforehand, as they only allow non-pointy tipped umbrellas that are less than 36 inches in diameter. And yes, they do have hula-hoops they use to measure them at the gates!
We didn’t have many issues with bugs this year, in part because the whole field is now astro-turf. We had some bug spray with, but didn’t end up using it! It wouldn’t hurt to bring it with, and if you spend time over at the inflatables, it may be more of an issue since that field is all grass.
Crowds at Joyful Noise
This is a music festival, so you can expect there will be lots of people. The main times you will notice it though are: entry gates at the beginning, bathrooms, and meal times. If you want to stake a claim on a good spot, we would recommend getting there early, as it does start to fill up on the field pretty quick. You may have to stand in line at the gates for a while, but you’ll have plenty of time to relax, grab a coffee, or play a game once you get inside! For bathrooms and meals, we tried to aim for non-peak times to avoid lines. Bathrooms tend to be less busy during a performance, so take a short break in the middle of a set that you aren’t as invested in. You’ll be able to hear the performance from anywhere you walk, so you won’t even miss out on much!
Food and drinks
They do allow empty water bottles to be brought in (less than 32 ounces), and had great filling stations available! However, you can’t bring in coolers or any food, so be prepared to buy at least a few meals for around $7-$13 or so. Another option is to bring food that can be left in the car, and walk out for a break and a meal. We had some munchy snacks in a cooler (grapes, granola bars, pretzels and hummus), and our parking space was pretty close to the main gates. It felt good to stretch our legs a bit, and it saved a few bucks (you know we LOVE to save some money!)!
We would definitely recommend Joyful Noise, and we will be back again for sure! It’s a great experience, and they always bring in some truly talented musicians. Plus, they’ve been around for a while and the festival is very organized and professional. Buy your tickets early too, and you can see 10+ performances for less than the cost of a ticket to a single concert!