More changes for the Riverbend Festival

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The long running Riverbend Festival continues to evolve.

Last year, the Festival underwent a major overhaul.

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Now a new team with Friends of the Festival is coping with the backlash from the changes.

“Come out and be supportive. Very few opportunities to come out and see some of these top name artists that we bring in here at a very reasonable price. And that’s what we intend to bring back to Riverbend this year,”says Mickey McCamish, Executive Director of Friends of the Festivals.

On Monday, they announced a remaking of the festival grounds.

The biggest change is no more Coca-Cola barge.

“A Brand New Stage a very large stage. It will have what we call an ego ramp where the artist can really can go out and really touch the crowd, “says McCamish.

Instead, the Coca-Cola stage is moving under the Olgiati Bridge with a 60 foot super structure.  The new location promises shade on the stage and better acoustics.

Performers have often complained that the barge cut them off from the audience.

Now they will have a ramp that lets them reach their fans.  The audience will be facing down-river at the new stage.

But that’s not the only stage change.

The Bud Light stage moves closer to the Chestnut Street entrance and face The Green.

The Chevy Stage moves to near the old Coke barge location. It will look like a Chevy showroom.

The Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union Stage will remain on the East side of the festival.. more details to come on that.

The layout emphasizes two big changes.

  1. There is no “main stage” anymore with a headliner.  The Coke and Bud stages will alternate the top acts.
  2. Riverbend will begin marketing it as a “festival between the bridges.”

For the first time, you will be able to get a VIP package for all four stages.

The wristbands will return, that allow work to check you in to the festival and also make purchases.

The festival will offer cash bars in two locations for fans that prefer to use cash.

They hope to announce the acts for next summer in about a month.

Songbirds President Johnny Smith says, “It’s all about the music.” He adds that the festival will be so cool; fans will not want to miss anything.

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