RezFest concert-goers celebrate Easter early (Video)
April 5, 2012 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2012 at 11:06 p.m.
MercyMe, Brandon Heath and Natalie Grant performed at RezFest Thursday at the Brackenridge Event Center in Edna.
Interstate Battery, Klean Corp Inc., Sonics of Victoria and Port Lavaca and Warrior Supply.
EDNA - Aspiring musician Benjamin Biles got a glimpse Thursday that his dream to be a musician could come true.
Benjamin, 12, of Victoria, attended the RezFest at the Brackenridge Main Event Center with little brother and his parents Thursday night.
He had listened to the featured band, Newsboys, many times with his brother, Grant Biles, 8, and his parents, Stephen and Jamie Biles.
They said their favorite Newsboys song is "God's Not Dead."
Before the show, the Newsboys had a private question and answer session for fans who bought VIP passes.
The band members performed a song during their private session, got pictures with fans and signed their posters, T-shirts and other memorabilia.
As the lead singer in his band of five, Benjamin said he found it inspiring to meet a band that is doing what he would like to do when he grows up.
"It is really cool to get to meet them. It kind of tells me that I can do this too one day," Benjamin said.
Benjamin has written one song for his band, "Praise Storm."
"It's a great opportunity - especially in such a small town - to have such a personal experience with the band and that positive influence in my son's life," his mother said. "It is great to see people who are not afraid to get out and speak about knowing and loving God."
Another band fan, Desiree Rabino, 16, of Victoria, said Newsboys are a family favorite. She listens to the band on the radio with her mother in the mornings.
"To actually meet the people I hear singing on the radio is pretty amazing," Desiree said.
She bought a poster to have the band members sign.
Katie Box, 12, and her 13-year-old sister, Emily, have been anticipating the RezFest and meeting the Newsboys since December.
Their parents, Brian and Trisha Box, bought VIP tickets to the concert for their daughters as a Christmas present. The Spring Branch family planned an entire camping trip to Edna for the Easter weekend to make their experience complete.
In addition to the performance by Newsboys, RezFest attendees heard other bands and a speaker.
Food and concert keepsakes were available for sale.
Glen Dry, founder of Man to Man Ministries, who hosted the event, said he was surprised at the concert turnout.
Because of the enthusiasm from sponsors, Man to Man Ministries gave away more than 1,000 tickets to local high school students.
"The primary reason we do RezFest is to celebrate the resurrection of Christ," Dry said. "I looked out into the Christian music world to find the best fit for RezFest that we could hire to come here, and the Newsboys are a good fit for us."
Lauren Garrett, 12, McKenna Simpson, 15, and Ryan Pozzi, 16, heard about the RezFest through their youth group at Northside Baptist Church in Victoria.
The teenagers occasionally hear the Newsboys on KSBJ radio station, which they listen to regularly.
"It's a cool experience," McKenna said. "When they sing, they sound the same way they do on the actual record. That's not something you get to see every day."
It is that very excitement that makes the members of The Newsboys band excited about traveling to smaller towns like Edna to perform.
"Traveling never gets old," said Newsboys band member Michael Tait. He especially enjoys all the antique furniture stores and other unique flavors of small towns.
They also enjoy the appreciation shown by the people of the smaller towns, said Duncan Phillips, who also sings in The Newsboys.
"It's the people in the smaller towns that are more appreciative, because they don't get the bigger concerts rolling through all the time," Phillips said.
At the end of the day, it's all about the people, Tait said.