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Journey to celebrate 50th anniversary as Stadium of Fire headliner

By Genelle Pugmire - | Mar 16, 2023

Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald file photo

Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda sings during the Stadium of Fire concert at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo on July 4, 2015. He is joined by keyboardist Jonathan Cain, left, and bassist Ross Valory, right.

In a year of nostalgia, it only seems fitting the main stage entertainment for Stadium of Fire is no stranger to the stage.

On Thursday, America’s Freedom Festival at Provo announced that the iconic Bay Area rock band Journey would headline the 2023 Stadium of Fire, just as they first did in 2015.

The band, which formed in 1973, has one of the most prolific catalogs in rock — including 19 Top 40 hits and a string of six straight Top 10 albums between 1980 and 1996.

Journey returns to mark five decades of chart-smashing hits on July 1 at LaVell Edwards Stadium, presented by America’s Freedom Festival at Provo.

The nation’s largest stadium fireworks spectacle will conclude Journey’s performance and an evening of patriotic celebrations — including a flyover by F-35 jets from Utah’s Hill Air Force Base.

Sammy Jo Hester, Daily Herald file photo

Journey lead guitarist Neal Schon performs the National Anthem during the Stadium of Fire concert at Lavell Edwards Stadium in Provo on July 4, 2015.

Stadium of Fire will also be televised to more than one million members of the U.S. military stationed in more than 100 countries via the American Forces Network.

“When Journey headlined Stadium of Fire in 2015, we had never seen guests in the stadium so excited,” said Jim Evans, Executive Director of America’s Freedom Festival. “People young and old danced and sang along to every word to every song. Journey’s hits are so ingrained in our national culture. We are so eager to have them back, and we wish them a huge congratulations on 50 years of incredible music!”

Journey transformed America’s rock and roll scene when they first performed in 1973. Since then, the band has achieved 25 gold and platinum albums which include a litany of iconic hits from “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms” to power ballads like “Faithfully.”

With more than 48 million albums sold in the U.S. alone, they are in the top 25 best-selling bands in American history, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. Current members include guitarist and vocalist Neal Schon, keyboardist and vocalist Jonathan Cain, lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, drummer and vocalist Deen Castronovo, keyboardist and vocalist Jason Derlatka, and bassist Todd Jensen.

Combined with the Grand Parade and Freedom Days vendor market in downtown Provo on July 4, the Balloon Fest, Patriotic prayer Services, Freedom Awards Gala and the Colonial Festival — joining other patriotic events at the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem — almost 500,000 people attend Freedom Festival events each year in Utah Valley.

Andy Kropa, Invision via AP

This April 7, 2017 file photo shows members of Journey, Steve Smith, from left, Ross Valory, Aynsley Dunbar, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York.

Tickets will be available at http://stadiumoffire.com beginning March 24. Freedom Festival subscribers can purchase tickets at 10 a.m.; tickets become available to the general public at noon.


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