Here Comes Riverbend

  • Monday, May 22, 2023
  • Robin Derryberry

Chattanooga’s original music festival continues to evolve as the celebration countdown is on to the 40th anniversary of Riverbend. The Riverbend experience has changed over the years and this year is no different; however, festival planners are implementing additions that will make this year’s festival a not-to-be-missed event.

Check out the Craft Garden. Planners learned that some guests enjoy a good glass of wine, craft beer, or a specialty cocktail while they enjoy the festival. The Blood Orange Greyhound, Dragonfruit Vodka Mule, Pineapple Mule and Pink Lemonade are all making their debuts at this year’s festival. In addition, Riverbend Blonde Ale produced by Hutton & Smith will be for sale.

Being a VIP provides privileges throughout the festival’s footprint. The VIP guest experience begins with a dedicated entrance for the festival and continues with amenities located throughout the festival. Riverbend doesn’t allow camp chairs or other types of seats in the festival. Those who’ve attended in the past will remember many people placing seats to reserve spaces throughout the festival. This year, festival planners are not only making raised seating available for VIPs at the Ultra and Coke stages, but shaded seating in portions of the areas. VIPs will have exclusive areas for access to enjoy food offerings, bars and Coca-Cola products throughout the day, making that VIP wristband one to put to good use. VIPs will also receive printed gift bags filled with mementoes from this year’s festival. Last year’s VIP vignettes set up in various areas provided classic to eclectic seating areas to enjoy various food offerings. This year, even more of the vignettes will be available as guests enjoy everything from barbecue to sushi being made fresh on-site.

Valet bike parking. Chattanooga is a bike town and planners want to keep your ride safe as you enjoy the festival.

Handicap Accessibility Has Never Been Easier. This year, the handicap areas will be easier to access with parking in close proximity and ramps and seating areas located throughout the venue. Stop by the visitor tent and pick up a wristband to receive access into these areas.

Cash to Card Makes for a Great (and fast) Check Out Experience. Reverse ATMs will be located throughout the venue to allow guests to put cash in and receive a debit card to make purchases. Faster check-outs will keep the lines flowing. Have cash left at the end of the festival? No worries. The cards can be used as easily as any debit card. Riverbend doesn’t make a penny off of this. It’s done with the guest in mind to enhance a great experience.

New merch. Riverbend has always offered a cool t-shirt, cap or selected items for purchase. This year, the merch area will be offering everything from denim ball caps, trucker caps, stickers, tees and a special 40th anniversary gold pin for collectors of the festival’s rich history.

Come out for the parties. This year, Riverbend will celebrate their 40th anniversary; however, the festival is the youngest Tennessee Valley organization celebrating a significant milestone. TVA turns 90 this year and Unum is turning a remarkable 175. While the years vary for each, Party Central will be at Riverbend throughout the first weekend in June! You might want to check out the specially named ice cream and sundaes being offered by Ben & Jerry’s on Vendor Row. It’s a great way to celebrate!

Special lighting, additional seating areas and of course, fireworks. Guests last year noted the beauty of the venue as the festival moved from day into night. With specialized lighted and additional seating located throughout the festival, guests will easily find a spot to enjoy food offerings, find shade or just sit back and relax to music on the river. As Trombone Shorty ends his performance on Sunday, the end of Riverbend will be marked as it always has been: with fireworks.

Hydration. Located throughout the Riverbend footprint are water stations allowing guests to fill their own water bottles at no charge. Riverbend has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint and last year, saved 15,000 water bottles from going to the landfill. Organizers hope guests will enjoy cool clean water provided at no charge knowing they are also helping us maintain a better experience for our environment as well.

The One that Got Away: The Super VIP Experience. A limited number of these experiences were offered and sold-out in record time. The Super VIP experience begins with lodging at The Edwin Hotel where guests will have welcome gifts waiting on them. As the festival gets started a personal concierge and golf cart will be made available to get our VIPs to dining experiences with the artists and their bands, as well as exclusive access within the festival. And as the festival winds down, our Super VIPs will be given access to some of Chattanooga’s best-known attractions so they can keep the party going.

The countdown to this year’s Riverbend has begun and the team can’t welcome guests to hear great music and experience the music festival that started as five days in Chattanooga. The goal was to provide an economic driver for downtown and an opportunity for people throughout Chattanooga to gather together at our city’s front porch. And while the festival has changed throughout the years, the mission remains the same and will as the team looks at the future for Riverbend.

Cool Things For Southern Californians To Do 38: Christmas And Holidays
  • 9/30/2023

Christmas and Hannakuh may be officially religious holidays, but anyone can enjoy the gift-giving (and receiving), the parties, home decorations, shopping deals, and special events (Kwanzaa is ... more

Brookhaven, Ga., Offers Small Town Charm And Big City Access
Brookhaven, Ga., Offers Small Town Charm And Big City Access
  • 9/15/2023

Located 19 miles northeast of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and just 10 miles from downtown Atlanta, Brookhaven ’s small-town charm and community-focused vibe enchants visitors ... more

Tourism In Hamilton County Generated $1.6 Billion In Travel Spending In 2022
Tourism In Hamilton County Generated $1.6 Billion In Travel Spending In 2022
  • 9/14/2023

The 2022 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee report reveals tourism in Hamilton County generated $1,628,952,100 in domestic visitor spending, an 8 percent increase from 2021. The Tennessee ... more