Riverbend: A Musical Festival Worth Noting
Is rock music your thing? How about country? Bluegrass, maybe?
Whatever musical genre quickens your heartbeat, chances are you’ll find it at Chattanooga’s Riverbend Festival, held on six stages along the downtown waterfront over nine days in June.
“We have world-class entertainment,” says Sallie Beckes, marketing director for Friends of the Festival, a nonprofit group that produces the festival with other sponsors. “We’ve had Hank Williams Jr., Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Temptations … and the list goes on.”
The event dates from 1981. “City leaders realized there wasn’t much to do downtown, so they started a music event called Five Nights in Chattanooga. Riverbend evolved from that event,” Beckes says. “It started with about 1,000 people over five nights, and we now attract more than 600,000 people over nine nights.”
In addition to livability benefits, Riverbend has a $28.3 million beneficial effect on the local economy.
For music lovers, the festival is a bargain. An admission pin good for entry every day of the festival costs as little as $23 per person for groups of 100 or more, and $28 for individual tickets purchased in April or May. “At the gate, the price for all nine days is $35, which is still a bargain with all the musicians you get to see. We’re one of the lowest-cost music festivals in the country.” Children 10 and under are admitted free.
Live music isn’t the only draw at Riverbend. There’s also a children’s village with rides and games, mobile exhibits, the BlueCross Riverbend Run & Walk, and 45 food vendors.
“It’s Chattanooga’s signature event – it shows the best of what we are,” Beckes says. “We sometimes call it Chattanooga’s family reunion because there’s so much fellowship and fun.”
For details, visit www.riverbendfestival.com.