April 26, 2008 / 3:00 AM / 9 years ago

Christian rock tour targets mainstream fans

NASHVILLE (Billboard) - Christian music quartet Third Day will headline a traveling festival it hopes will attract music fans of all religious persuasions.

The 23-city Music Builds tour, also featuring Switchfoot, Jars of Clay and Robert Randolph & the Family Band, kicks off August 21 in Detroit and concludes October 12 in Denver.

The amphitheater trek will also include a side stage featuring up-and-coming acts. MySpace will be the exclusive online media partner.

"Hopefully the church and people who listen to Christian music are going to be big supporters of the tour," says Third Day frontman Mac Powell.

"But I think because of the lineup, it's going to be a little bit more friendly to people outside of the church as well. It's not going to be a normal Christian music festival."

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity affiliates in tour cities. Artists on the tour will collectively donate $1 to charity from every ticket sold. Money will also be raised from ticket auctions, event packages and special merchandise items. Plans even call for band members to grab tools and help build some Habitat houses along the way.

"More than just playing music, this is something that's going to reach a community and change the communities that we go and play for," Powell says. "That's what really gives us a huge reason to go do it, (in addition to) just making great music together."

In the meantime, Third Day is gearing up for the July 29 release of its first studio album in three years, "Revelation."

Reuters/Billboard

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