CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Some big changes are expected for next year’s Riverbend Festival.
The decades old festival, will be shorted next year, to only 4 nights.
No official statement has been made by Friends of the Festival, but multiple sources confirm these changes.
News 12’s Ashley Henderson has more in tonight’s investigation.
The 36 year old festival started with only 5 nights, and grew to 8, featuring over one hundred acts on 5 stages, and attracting as many as 80,000 people in one night.
Now, our sources tell us they’re reducing the festival to only 4 nights, and increasing the cost of the armbands. This will allow them to attract newer acts, that they couldn’t fit into the budget before.
Noah Long admits he’s never been to Riverbend.
“That would make it more interesting, to tell you the truth, I mean a lot of the bands they show, I’m an old guy and I don’t know from Adam about who they are or what they sing, but if you had some more name stars that might be more attractive to me.”
A source says the success of last year’s Blue Moon Festival in Coolidge Park had an effect on the decision.
Some restaurants near the festival complain that it hurts their business, but the general manager of Mellow Mushroom says it gives their company a boost.
“Riverbend has always been a great impact on our business, for the good, a lot of people in town, a lot of exposure for our restaurant and business.”
But what about the shortened schedule next year?
Anthony Haney says “The good news is we have a pretty good thing going on here and maybe it’ll give a chance for the locals to continue to enjoy downtown and not be scared of coming out to the frantic traffic that is Riverbend.”
And the increased admission price doesn’t seem to deter those we spoke with, as long as popular acts are on stage.
Krista Hill works at The Mellow Mushroom.
“Maybe it would be a great idea, get better people down here, maybe, like different artists that I would like to see.”
Harney adds “I think if the bill was filled with great acts, and it was only a week of festival, it might work out in everyone’s favor, not drawing it out as long as they’ve done in it in the past.”
In Chattanooga, Ashley Henderson, News 12 Now.