Let me begin by saying I love the Riverbend Festival and think the organizers and all the volunteers do a great job. I would like to offer my thoughts after attending the opening night act on the Coca-Cola stage.
1. If the sound system on the Coke Stage is new for this year, they need to return it - the quality may be great, but it doesn't matter if you can't hear what the entertainers are saying/singing. I usually sit in the grassy area north (up-river) of the stage and in years' past have had no problem hearing.
Hopefully, this is a minor problem with the new system and can be fixed quickly.
2. The local police and festival security usually do a tremendous job with crowd control. But, from where I was sitting last night, they were obviously absent. The sidewalk that leads from the Coke stage along the river toward the Market Street Bridge was completely blocked by people - most of whom were under 18 years old. My friends and I decided to leave early because two rowdy young men decided to engage in a shouting and shoving match on the sidewalk while the show was in progress. I have nothing against teenagers (I have two of them myself), but when they get with several hundred of their friends - mayhem is liable to ensue.
3. I know the Riverbend management can't dictate what the entertainers say and do on stage, but I thought that the Festival was supposed to be a "family-friendly" event. The language used by the individual last night (and all the references to drinking) was inappropriate for the setting. It may do some good to have the festival management remind the entertainers that it is a family atmosphere and not everyone revels in beer drinking and cursing.
That being said, I'll continue to enjoy the Riverbend Festival and I hope these comments will be taken in the spirit in which they are intended - to make an already great week, even better for everyone.