Riverfront Nights will kick off Saturday, Aug. 4, and run weekly through mid-September, taking off one night (Aug. 25) when they turn the dance floor over to the Southern Brewers Festival. Seven straight nights of fun and action on the city's front porch.
Riverfront Nights focuses on local people and institutions who promote healthy lifestyles, sustainable development/business practices and a love of outdoor recreation.
Once again, anchored by Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Tennessee, the free Saturday night shows bring a lineup of performers to the dance floor, just a step upstream from the public pier on the 21st Century Waterfront.
New stage sponsor, Zaxby’s, comes on board due to owner Shannon Brown's love of music and a personal desire to bring more exciting, new, or classic-but-coming-back, acts to town.
New partners, Comcast, are sponsoring the weekly activities on the green, a rotating array of sports, hobbies and pass times organized by Outdoor Chattanooga, keeping everything hopping but family-friendly. Calling it "entertainment with a purpose", Comcast will also be dedicating a new On Demand channel exclusively to "R.F.N." Both the music and the non-profit organizations will be manning their information posts each night, from dinnertime till well past dark. Last year's addition of the Dog Pound, on the grassy triangle behind the information kiosk at Riverfront and Chestnut was an unqualified success and co-sponsors, Do Good Chattanooga and Good Dog vending will be back along with Tennessee-American Water Company, creating the only festival anywhere featuring an exclusive "VIP" area for four-legged friends.
green|spaces will continue its mission of providing space for environmentally friendly charities who couldn't otherwise be able to afford the marketing opportunity.
Virtually all of the exhibitors and local, health conscious concessionaires and vendors are back too, offering an array of food and drink options for the family picnic, co-workers' hangout or just dancing on the grass.
All shows are child and pet friendly, although coolers are not allowed. Doors open and beer sales begin at 6:30 p.m. Local opening bands start around 7 p.m. and headliners kick into high gear promptly at 8 p.m. and play till 10-ish.
Riverfront Nights 2012 - Artist lineup and review for featured nightly guests:
Aug. 4 - Papa Grows Funk
New Orleans funk and soul. One of the world's most respected Hammond B-3 masters, played to 10,000 during his hometown's recent Jazz & Heritage Festival. Papa's pulled the Bessie Smith Strut crowd to their feet in years past and his new album, Needle in the Groove is a stunner.
Opener: The Kymera Project
Hyper-energetic, horn based, genre-bending "funk stars" won last year's Battle of the Bands...and they've only gotten better.
Activity on the Green (Sponsored by Outdoor Chattanooga): Disc Sports Night (ultimate, disc golf)
Eco-Active Business spotlight at green|spaces tent: Habitat for Humanity:Restore
The Pup Tent at the Dog Poun' - Pet Placement Center
Aug. 11 - Grant Farm
2009 world flat-picking champ, Tyler Grant, has spent years jamming with his friends in the Rockies. String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth and more. Kick starting his first solo project, Grant's brand new, self-titled CD wows critics but pales to their powerful live performances.
Opener: Spoonful James
With the soul of a blues band but the energy of rock stars, these young road veterans have waited a long time to finally showcase their funky chops for a major Scenic City audience.
On the Green: C.F.C. (Chattanooga Futbol Club - soccer) / Rugby
Eco-Active Business spotlight at green/spaces: Gear Clost
Pup Tent- For the Love of Dogs
Aug. 18 - Yellow Dubmarine
Sometimes faithful, sometimes soaring and psychedelic Beatles covers done in an upbeat reggae/ska musical style. If you're unfamiliar, your first step should be a good, live youtube of the classic Abbey Road rocker I Want You and become an instant convert.
Local band that's the equal of any of the indie-rock darlings on the charts today. A sonic powerhouse that's ready to stop being Chattanooga's best kept musical secret.
On the Green: Tennessee-American's Water Conservation Night
Eco-Biz: Gaining Ground
Pup Tent - Wally's Friends
Aug. 25 – Southern Brewers Fest
Sept. 1- Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds
Directions for use: Proceed immediately to their website and hit play on their original video...Make it Rain. After picking yourself up off the floor, pick the Top 10 music festivals they'll be headlining next year.
Opener: Rick Bowers Band
One of the most polished and ready-for-primetime regional bands around. Imagine The Band on the same stage as Springsteen's E-Street Band then throw in a slide, accordion, etc...and let simmer.
On the Green: Paddling Sports Night
Eco-Biz: Tennessee Wild
Pup Tent - Humane Educational Society
Sept. 8 - Fishbone
An unbelievable catch. The classic, original godfathers of Black Punk/Ska Funk, whose sound helped invent the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Perfect soundtrack to Welcome Home area's college students.
Opener: Opposite Box
These guys harness the power of the blaxaphone and 'bone combo to put the smack down on all comers. This is the show that might bear the warning label: this know goes to 11.
On the Green: Bike Night
Eco-Biz: Land Trust for Tennessee
Pup Tent - East Tennessee Alliance for Animals
Sept. 15 - Joe Robinson
Don't be fooled by slow, soft, jazzy beginnings to his songs or boyband good looks. Give Joe and his band 30 seconds to warm up and watch 'em shred. Next Jason Mraz? John Mayer? Number one, here he comes.
Opener: Strung Like a Horse
Winner of this year's "Road to Nightfall" competition, they don't care if you call them Americana, Jamgrass, or never by their name at all. But watch them play once and you'll be chomping at the bit to ride again.
On the Green: Goin' to the Dogs Night
Eco-Biz: Glass House Collective
Pup Tent - McKamey Animal Center
Look for these active and involved local businesses to take the lead around the party grounds, doing what needs to be done to make this concert series more unique:
Green Global Lighting will add l.e.d. lights to both the stage and the surrounding venue.
Rock Creek Outfitters sponsor the "VIP Seating" area this year...right next to the sound mix booth in the musical "sweet spot" and given away in advance and night of so everyone gets a chance.
Ruby Falls (America's only solar cave) will join up with the Adventure Guild...signing folks up for climbs on the Walnut Street wall (maybe that very night) and trips up and down the mountain on their new zip line.
Skype to friends thanks to Comcast, directly from the front lines of the concert or surrounding activities.