Launchfest brings new music to ’SC

Three different bands performed at noon at Tommy Trojan from Tuesday through Thursday as part of a concert series dubbed Launchfest. The event culminates in a larger mystery concert  Friday.

All artists performed Christian music, as the shows were put together by the United House of Prayer, an underground Christian student organization on campus known for its worship gatherings.

Dignit · The F M L Y B N D performed their version of worship music in front of Tommy Trojan on Thursday as part of the Launchfest concert series, which aims to bring Christian music to colleges. – Christine Yoo | Daily Trojan

Organizers said the purpose of Launchfest is to bring Christianity — and more generally, a love of God — to others through music.

Jackie Son, a junior majoring in communication and a member of UHOP, led the event. She explained that several different student organizations came together to launch the event.

“We just had the idea that music brings people together because music is such a huge part of everybody’s life,” Son said. “We just want to impact the USC community in a good, powerful way with music.”

The team of six young adults, who are unaffiliated with USC, aims to bring different Christian artists to various campuses, with UCLA next on the list.

Nick Brennt, a member of the Launchfest team, explained the religious background of the event is a crucial facet.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to communicate with the music festival … is that when kids would think of God, whether they believe in God or not, is that ‘God loves me, He’s not angry … He’s actually full of love and enjoys having fun and wants everyone to be happy,” Brennt said.

The bands who played at Launchfest were mostly found through friends of friends, according to organizers. The bands’ names were not released until the time of the performance in order to build anticipation.

Though the featured bands had similar missions, they all had different sounds: Tuesday’s Charles Jones showed off his soulful, gospel voice, Wednesday’s J. Thoven provided a more laid back, indie-folk vibe and Thursday’s The F M L Y B N D introduced a newer, more electronic sound.

“We’re all Christian dudes playing to non-Christian people, and trying to win them to Christ just through being human … and I think [college students] are the market that we have to be reaching out to,” said Jake Pappas, a band member of J. Thoven.

Though the Christian mission behind the event was not heavily publicized, the shows garnered wide support on campus. The feedback was mostly positive. More than 1,000 people RSVPed on the Facebook event and the crowd size at Tommy Trojan reached 400 people in midday heat for the individual artists.

“This definitely breaks down the barrier of what people think of when they think about Christian music; you [usually] think of something kind of cheesy, but this is very relevant,” said Megan Mullis, a senior majoring in business administration. Launchfest’s last and largest concert will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. on McCarthy Quad and will feature a performance from a mystery guest. Short clips of previous performances can be found on YouTube.

UHOP intends to set more frequent, smaller showcases similar to Launchfest to continue spreading its message.

5 replies
  1. trojan1
    trojan1 says:

    Hey doubtingtrojan,

    That is a great question! ! I appreciate your response and would like to take a moment to respond to it.

    As I sit here and think about my response to your question (which, I would like to add, is a GREAT thing for ALL Christians to do), three responses come to mind. Admittedly, there are a countless number of alternatives which I have not yet considered, but these three seem particularly poignant.

    As you have walked to campus, perhaps on your way to a morning class, have you ever been stopped and asked to sign a petition? Perhaps it was PETA, urging your abandonment of the relatively incomprehensible practice of store-bought egg consumption? Or maybe you were approached by a representative from MADS, urging you to sign a petition for harsher drunk driving punishments? Though these encroachments of our personal bubble’s can be quite unnerving and even slightly obnoxious (cough cough, Cal-pirg…) it seems wise to ask the question, why have these apologists committed themselves to such endeavor in the first place? Why would they freely and joyfully donate their time, enduring the grievous Los Angeles sun, only to be rejected time and time again? Doubtingtrojan, it is because they believe in it. They believe with a belief that says, “through this experience, my life has been forever changed for the better.” The believe with a belief that surpasses transient knowledge and motivates them to action. They encroach upon our comfortable boundaries because something, or perhaps someone, once encroached upon their personal boundaries, increasing the measure of their joy and conviction infinitely.

    Throughout history, a great many ideas about Christianity have been espoused. From the awestruck “Miracle Crusades” of Benny Hinn to the eloquent writings of C.S. Lewis, ideas of or pertaining to Christianity have spread like wildfire. The problem is that not all of these ideas are strictly accurate. For example, there is a particular group of individuals in Topeka, Kansas who collectively identify themselves as the “Westboro Baptist Church” (though admittedly, I would not consider them a church at all). These individuals are infamous for protesting military funerals and holocaust museums stating, “God hates the Jews!” This is one (of the countless examples) in which a small group of dissenting individuals have led society astray. Evangelical Christians, of whom I include myself, are determined to set the record straight.

    In my last response to your question (things always seem more convincing in groups of three..), I would also like to respond to the second half of your statement —– “Please share it with me and I will respect it. But trying to win me over? Stop right there. Your Lord wants you to live by principle and not peddle religion.” —- In Jesus’s final words before departing from the disciples He most beautifully stated “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” This Great Commission, the final words of my Lord, the very last thing He said before departing to heaven, al final de la exposición!!, states quite plainly that teaching and convincing is precisely the job which Christ has entrusted to his people. I am committed to advocating for truth because He has asked me to do it.

    My last word for you (we will call this 3b), is what I consider to be the greatest evidence for the validity of Christian evangelism. It is the fact that Jesus lived it. Jesus, the man whom I whole-heartedly believe to be God incarnate, came to earth and gave His life by being hung to a cross to save the worst of all sinners,…me. I, completely undeservingly have been forgiven for the incalculable wrong that I have done, and am each day made new because of what Jesus did. This is a truth I will not contain.

  2. doubtingtrojan
    doubtingtrojan says:

    Agreed with Dan above. But my problem still stands: why do Christians feel the need to spread the word of the Lord to everyone? Why do they feel the urge to “win” non-Christians over, as so phrased by Jake Pappas above? If your religion and faith is truly so compelling and powerful, wouldn’t I naturally feel gravitated towards it and want to become a part of it myself without any coaxing or need for convincing?

    This is my issue with many of the Christian groups around trying to send the message of the love and kindness of the Lord. Please share it with me and I will respect it. But trying to win me over? Stop right there. Your Lord wants you live by principle and not peddle religion.

  3. Mona
    Mona says:

    Love This!! Great Work!!

    I love your comment Dan and agree with your opinion on the delivery of the message. This has also been a proven “Fact” that it is more effective to ALL.

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