Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.

Fill the Stadium fills one-fourth of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during event with Chance the Rapper


Stage during the Fill the Stadium concert on April 29.

Fill the Stadium, a student-led event with the goal to fill the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium at OU, took place Saturday and filled about one-fourth of the stadium. 

Fill the Stadium featured artists Kari Jobe, Chandler Moore and Chance the Rapper along with evangelist Nick Hall from Pulse ministries. Backed by Pulse, Josh Robinson, an entrepreneurship senior, and Nathan Wong, a marketing senior, founded and acted as co-directors of Fill the Stadium.

Fill the Stadium told OU Daily that the event had room for 60,000 attendees roughly, though the stadium holds over 84,000 people. Robinson and Wong said in a press conference tickets were sold out within a few days of the group announcing the headliners for the event. On Saturday, the event appeared to have roughly 20,000 to 30,000 people in attendance.

Hall, who founded Pulse, said Fill the Stadium and Saturday’s event were created by students, and Pulse helped the organization. 

“Pulse has been providing the behind the scenes infrastructure to help make this happen,” Hall said. “ ... Our teams work together, and honestly we've learned a ton from them. We have literally gone back to school. Some of the classes we fail. And it's been awesome.”


Attendees during the Fill the Stadium concert on April 29.

Wong told OU Daily Saturday he couldn’t divulge how much Fill the Stadium paid to rent the location from OU Athletics or how much the organization raised to cover the cost of the rent, payment of artists, lighting and other necessities. 

Wong said as of 5 p.m. Saturday, Fill the Stadium only raised roughly 80 percent of its end goal, and the organization hopes to raise the rest of the goal by the end of the night. 

“With large fundraising goals, we're really expectant on miracles — miracles and faithful people — to come alongside us,” Wong said. “We're not currently to our goal … I'm really trusting that the Lord is going to fulfill that and finish that off by the end of the night.”

McKenzie Brown, a second year clinical mental health counseling graduate student, volunteered for the event, and explained that the organization encouraged volunteers and members to write letters to family, friends and churches to donate to the organization as well as donate themselves. 

“They encouraged us as well to have a financial stake in this process,” Brown said. “Personal family and people, writing letters to them. We had moments in our meetings where we would write letters and ask for financial help from the people that are close to us that we know would support us or support this cause.”

Robinson said the idea for Fill the Stadium came to him in a “whisper from God.” Robinson and Wong held their first meeting for the organization in early September and started meeting with OU Athletics and stadium officials on Sept. 30. 

On Feb. 8, OU Athletics gave the organization a verbal agreement to let the group rent the stadium, the same day the “Asbury Revival” started at Asbury University in Kentucky. The “revival” or “outpouring” started when students stayed later after a chapel service and refused to leave. It lasted two weeks until the university announced no more outpouring events would be scheduled through the university. 

Hall said revivals are like housecleaning and people shouldn’t criticize them. 

“Revival is for the people of God … I told my friends that don't know God and don't like Christians, they should be very happy when they're talking about revival,” Hall said. “Because revival is, hopefully, where Christians become nice. Revival is where Christians repent for being judgmental, or Christians repent for being too political or too into the power, too into money.” 

Fill the Stadium didn’t officially sign contracts with the stadium until early March, Robinson said in the press conference. OU Daily requested records of those contracts and communications between Fill the Stadium, Pulse and the OU Athletics Events Department. The request has not been fulfilled as of April 29.


Attendees during the Fill the Stadium concert on April 29.

Several members of the OU and Norman community decried Fill the Stadium because it was scheduled for the same night as the final day of Norman Music Festival, an annual three-day event featuring local and national bands and musicians. 

Robinson and Wong told OU Daily earlier this month they were unaware Norman Music Festival was the same weekend as the date they booked with the stadium. Robinson said Norman Music Festival and Fill the Stadium are similar in bringing people together, and he originally hoped to reach out and collaborate with the group. 

Robinson did not clarify if he did reach out to the group, and Norman Music Festival continued with its three-day event, expecting to see 100,000 people in attendance despite the Fill the Stadium concert featuring Kari Jobe, Chandler Moore and Chance the Rapper. 

Hall also said people losing touch with their faith was common, saying controversial actor Shia LaBeouf spoke of losing his way with God before finding him again. LaBeouf has a history of controversial behavior, and recently a lawsuit was filed against him by his former girlfriend for alleged sexual battery, assault and emotional abuse. 

 Hall encouraged people in attendance from other universities to reach out to Fill the Stadium officials, like Robinson and Wong, to start a similar event on their campuses. 

Wong and Robinson said after college, the duo hopes to continue Fill the Stadium on other campuses and help students host events to spread Christianity. 

OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. attended the beginning part of the event, and he said he was amazed two students pulled off an event of this caliber. He said the stadium hasn’t seen a concert of this magnitude in over a decade. 

In 2013, Toby Keith hosted a benefit concert for victims of the 2013 Moore tornado at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. U2 and the Black Eyed Peas played a concert at the stadium in October 2009. The Rolling Stones headlined a concert at the stadium in October 1997.

The event concluded with a sermon from Hall before Chance the Rapper performed a roughly 45-minute set. 

Hall said in response to criticism of Fill the Stadium and “revivals” like the one in Asbury that the devil wants him and Christians like him to be angry, but instead, he sees that God accepts everybody. 

Hall told a story during his sermon about a Muslim friend, saying he tells him that Jesus loves him and prays for him, and he responds that he will also pray for Hall. Hall said sooner or later, one of them will convert. 

In his sermon, Hall said God loves people of all religions, saying he loves them until they “give up” and accept Jesus. 

This story was edited by Alexia Aston and Jazz Wolfe. 

asst. news managing editor

Karoline Leonard is a journalism junior and asst. news managing editor at the OU Daily. She previously served as summer news managing editor and news reporter. She is originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Support independent journalism serving OU

Do you appreciate the work we do as the only independent media outlet dedicated to serving OU students, faculty, staff and alumni on campus and around the world for more than 100 years?

Then consider helping fund our endeavors. Around the world, communities are grappling with what journalism is worth and how to fund the civic good that robust news organizations can generate. We believe The OU Daily and Crimson Quarterly magazine provide real value to this community both now by covering OU, and tomorrow by helping launch the careers of media professionals.

If you’re able, please SUPPORT US TODAY FOR AS LITTLE AS $1. You can make a one-time donation or a recurring pledge.

Load comments