Why Did Friends Of The Festival Book CeeLo?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

We've all heard the news concerning the issue with CeeLo and Riverbend..he drank alcohol on stage.  He cursed....a lot.  He was extremely late taking the stage.  All of which does point to an artist lacking respect, professionalism, and frankly isn't anyone I care to see at Riverbend.   

But let's look at the bigger picture here... why would Friends of the Festival book an artist for Riverbend with a reputation like CeeLo has?  Sure, he's famous, and he's popular, but he is also known for his flamboyance, and his over the top performances, which include a lot of drinking on stage, and swearing on stage.  His hit song that put him on the map is entitled F(ill in the blank) You.  So I'm left to ask the question why did they ever book him in the first place?

Friends of the Festival seems to be confused on which direction they want to take Riverbend.  They want it to be a family friendly atmosphere, yet they also want to sell ridiculous amounts of alcohol, which doesn't take a genius to figure out why selling coke products in a family friendly atmosphere isn't what draws the crowds and they money.  The booze and popular artists are what draw the crowds and money.   

Riverbend isn't a family friendly music festival.  It's a music festival/ drunkfest down by the river that includes one night of no alcohol sales, and that night is the "family friendly night."  And that's perfectly fine.  Not every event held in this city needs to cater to families, there is already more than enough for families to do in Chattanooga without throwing Riverbend into the mix.  

There is no reason to forgive CeeLo Green... he did nothing wrong.  He's not an artist I would pay to see, but he did exactly what he's known for.  Friends of the Festival is ridiculous for the way they are treating CeeLo Green at their "family friendly" festival.  Riverbend is about the worst place to bring your family other than faith and family night.  It is crawling with alcohol, people who don't know when to say when.  It's big and loud, and on the verge of being out of control... and most of us adults like it that way. 

However it's not just Friends of the Festival that need to be taken to task here, it's also parents.  What kind of parent would take their child, small child at that, to see CeeLo Green?  I sure wouldn't.  And for that matter, what kind of parent takes small children to Riverbend?  Riverbend is not the place for small children, especially at anytime past 9:30 p.m.  That's when the party really starts.  It is the parents responsibility to research the acts that are booked for Riverbend, and if you find that there are acts inappropriate for your children, leave the kids at home with a babysitter, or suck it up as a parent and don't go.   For the older kids, again, parents responsibility to do what's best for them, not Friends of the Festival's responsibility.

I'm not a fan of CeeLo Green, but after the way he's been treated I'm not much of a fan of Riverbend anymore.   I think I'll pass on Riverbend in the future until they get their issues straightened out.

Jan Carlson

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