42. 20. 50. Those numbers have significance when it comes to Riverbend in 2014. What do they represent? 42 is the record number of sold out performances at Red Rocks Amphitheater by one band. 20 is the record number of sell-outs for the giant Phillips Arena in Atlanta for one band. The top 50 grossing acts in the world, according to Billboard magazine each year, represent the number 50.
The band that fits these numbers is Widespread Panic, one of the most successful touring bands in music history. They WILL be at Riverbend on Saturday, June 7 on the Coca-Cola Stage at 9:00 p.m. Why 9:00 p.m. instead of the traditional 9:30 p.m.? Because this band comes to play and they need all the time they can get. I would look for 3 full hours from Widespread Panic at Riverbend.
Formed in 1986 in Athens, Georgia, Widespread Panic is one of the most sought after bands in the world. The cool part is that they did it their way. Sure, they sold a few million records. Yes, they have sold out 20,000 seat venues in minutes. But, along the way, they played by their own rules. Record companies don’t tell Widespread Panic what time to eat dinner and with whom they must have their picture made. They decide.
Widespread Panic has some Chattanooga connections, too. The late Michael Houser, one of the founding members was from Chattanooga, graduating from Hixson High School. Drummer Todd Nance grew up in Chattanooga, as well, and has relatives here now.
Over the years, the band has also been committed to food drives to help feed the hungry. When I say committed, we are talking about feeding tens of thousands of people with tons of food. Riverbend will be no exception, as the Chattanooga Food Bank will be a part of this event. Watch for details later in the season.
Admission to the Widespread Panic show are available online now at www.riverbendfestival.com or can be purchased at are Kangaroo Stores after March 1. A wristband costs just $35, significantly less than their typical show price, and includes admission to the entire 8 days of Riverbend. Special Star seating is also available online at www.riverbendfestival.com. Look in the top right area and click on “Get Tickets” link.
Usually, Riverbend announces two or three acts at one time. This one stands alone. More announcements will be forthcoming. Previously announced acts are Gary Allan, Justin Moore, Dan + Shay, Clare Dunn, Allen Stone, the New Orleans Suspects with Paul Berrere & Fred Tackett from Little Feat, Bombadil, and 7 Handle Circus.
For more local music info, try www.chattanoogaentertainers.com. You will find great local music info and schedules. For local info on Country music, try Jim Boles’ site www.chattacountry.ning.com.
Email Bob Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org or catch him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davrik2000.