Friends Of The Festival Cancels Riverbend 2020

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Friends of the Festival, the nonprofit organization behind Chattanooga’s premier music festival Riverbend, has made the decision to cancel this year’s event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In response, Friends of the Festival is unveiling new plans to continue to deliver music to the city’s riverfront in light of the new realities brought on by the pandemic.

In what would have been its 39th year, Riverbend 2020 was originally scheduled for the last weekend in May but was postponed to the fall due to the coronavirus.  Ultimately, the Friends of the Festival Board of Directors has decided that to produce a Riverbend Festival with an anticipated 40,000+ attendees would not be the responsible approach to take in this environment and has canceled this year’s event. Plans are now underway to bring Chattanooga together for a series of smaller, free music events throughout the summer culminating with a ticketed event in October.

This summer series, Chattanooga Unite: Healing and Uniting on the River, will be a series of six free concerts, and is designed to be Chattanooga’s first celebration of the resurgence of summer, our community, and our local economy after the height of the pandemic.  Chattanooga Unite is scheduled to begin on July 11 and will continue for the following five Saturdays. This schedule is subject to change as the City of Chattanooga and other local officials will be making week-to-week determinations about the permitting of live music events and other large gatherings this summer.  Chattanooga Unite is slated to include live music, a Heroes Recognition Program, local arts, food trucks, nonprofit participation, children’s programs and much more.

“Our top priority has always been the safety and health of our patrons, performers, volunteers and the community at large,” said Mickey McCamish, Friends of the Festival executive director. “As we plan for this summer’s events, we will move forward with guidance from local public health officials and the Tennessee Pledge, implementing protocols like social distancing, hand sanitizer stations, volunteers wearing masks and clean restrooms. Although we are disappointed that Riverbend cannot continue as we know it this year, we are excited to deliver the next chapter in the region’s finest riverfront music legacy.”

More details will be made available as planning progresses. For more information on Riverbend and Chattanooga Unite, visit www.riverbendfestival.com or follow us on social media.

For those who purchased Riverbend Festival 2020 admission, the refund process is underway.  Credit card purchases made within the last 120 days will be automatically refunded and will be noted on credit card statements.  Purchases made more than 120 days ago will be refunded by check and mailed to the address filed with the purchase. Please note that all refunds are expected to be processed by Aug. 31.  For refund inquiries, email info@riverbendfestival.com.


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