Jars of Clay from last year's Night of Joy

Past Christian music “Artists of the Year” Third Day, mercyme and Chris Tomlin and 2010 “Artist of the Year” nominees Casting Crowns and Francesca Battistelli head a star-powered 15-act lineup set for Disney’s Night of Joy 2010 Sept. 10-11 when the long-running Christian music event makes its return to Magic Kingdom.

Also part of the two-night event (when specific acts play one evening each): David Crowder*Band, Family Force 5, Red, BarlowGirl, Group 1 Crew, Day of Fire, Smokie Norful, Lecrae, 10th Avenue North and Sidewalk Prophets.

From 7 p.m. until 12:30 a.m. each night – after regular Magic Kingdom hours – the special-ticket event will feature live performances on several stages throughout the park. In addition, guests can experience some of the park’s most popular attractions during Night of Joy hours.

Musically, the acts add up to a lineup that runs the spectrum from Rock, Hip Hop and R&B … to Pop, Adult Contemporary and Gospel – continuing a tradition that has been a hallmark of Night of Joy since 1983 when the event began.

It’s also a lineup laden with accolades. Ten of the artists have amassed a combined 81 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards and six The Recording Academy Grammy Awards. Twelve of the artists are nominated for a total of 33 Dove Awards this year. Winners will be announced April 21 at Nashville’s famed Grand Ole Opry House.

Five artists are new to Night of Joy, bringing the event’s all-time talent list to 144 Christian music acts. The newbies:

  • 10th Avenue North, the 2009 New Artist of the Year
  • Group 1 Crew, which has carried home Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year honors the past two years
  • Day of Fire, which earned the Rock Album of the Year accolade in 2005
  • Sidewalk Prophets, a pop/rock group nominated for two Doves in 2010, including New Artist of the Year
  • Lecrae, a Hip Hop/R&B artist who has garnered nominations in previous years.

Night of Joy tickets go on sale May 1. For more information about the event, visit www.nightofjoy.com.