It’s the holiday season, and for pop music fans, the first thing that comes to mind this time of year is the Jingle Ball. The famous music event, now in its 18th year, is coming back to Florida. The first of two appearances is slated to occur on Wednesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa. The second (and the last stop in a 12-city nationwide tour) will happen on Friday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the BB&T Center in Sunrise. The Jingle Ball is organized by 93.3 FLZ in central Florida and by Y100 in south Florida.
Jingle Ball was started in 1996 as a year-ending pop music highlights show by the radio station Z100 in New York City. Since then, it has grown into a national tour; as mentioned before, the Florida concert dates are the last in a 12-city tour this year. Every Jingle Ball also raises money for charity; for each ticket sold, one dollar is donated to a specified charity. This year the charity is the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, which is a non-profit dedicated to “inspiring today’s youth through entertainment and education-focused initiatives.”
Each year the lineup brings some of the hottest pop music mainstays and the most promising up-and-coming acts. The group coming to Florida for both tour dates boasts singers and bands including Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Enrique Iglesias, Flo Rida, Austin Mahone, Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, and Fifth Harmony. The singers will perform sets of songs that are fan favorites, with each set averaging 15 to 20 minutes.
Of special note on the bill are Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, whose joint performance at the MTV Music Video Awards had people talking for months. Thicke is sure to perform his #1 hit “Blurred Lines” at the Jingle Ball, while Cyrus is sure to incorporate “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” into her set (she will be back in Florida in March on her Bangerz Tour). Enrique Iglesias (who has a new CD out) and Flo Rida, both raised in the Sunshine State, will be returning home to perform for their fans.
In addition to these headliners, Paramore and Travie McCoy will be performing specifically at the Tampa date; Demi Lovato, Armin Van Buuren, Fall Out Boy and Avril Lavigne will join the aforementioned headliners for the Sunrise concert date only. Both Paramore and Avril Lavigne have released new albums this year; I’m sure fans will get to hear some choice singles. Demi Lovato, fresh off her success with the single “Heart Attack,” is also a judge on the reality show The X Factor, and has just released a very candid autobiography.
If you are interested in buying tickets to the Jingle Ball, you can buy tickets right now at ticketmaster.com. Prices range from $41.70 to $200.95 for the Tampa performance, and from $74.50 to $292 for the Sunrise performance. If you’d like a special VIP package, complete with four front-row tickets and the chance to have an intimate meet and greet with a pre-selected singer (Ariana Grande for the Tampa show and Demi Lovato for the Sunrise show), you can pay for this package by going to ifonly.com/celebrity/jingle-ball-2013. It starts at $10,000, but all of the VIP proceeds will go straight to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation.
You can enter to win ticket packages via Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Metro PCS and the International Diamond Center in central Florida; and via LA Looks, Jam Music, Metro PCS and It’sugar in south Florida. To find out how to enter, go to either 933flz.com or y100.com.
Can’t be there in person? No problem, you can still enjoy the music from the stars at the Jingle Ball. Media sponsor The CW will be airing a pre-recorded two-hour Jingle Ball special on Wednesday, December 18 at 8 p.m. (WTOG Ch. 44, Tampa Bay; WKCF Ch. 18, Orlando; WTVX Ch. 34, West Palm Beach; WSFL Ch. 39, Miami/Fort Lauderdale).
National sponsors of the Jingle Ball are Chase, Macy’s, The CW, and Toyota. Central Florida-specific sponsors include Bud Light and the International Diamond Center. South Florida-specific sponsors include Beauty Schools of America, Splat Hair Color, Allstate, It’sugar, Goya, LA Looks, and the South Florida Coalition Alliance.