Riverbend Festival, VW see disruptions from coronavirus concerns

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Chattanooga’s largest public event announced Thursday that it will reschedule amid coronavirus concerns.

“Whenever we do reschedule Riverbend it will be an opportunity for Chattanooga to unite, through, through music,” Friends of the Festival Executive Director Mickey McCamish said.

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The riverfront festival was supposed to go on in May, but now joins others like Bonnaroo in pushing back the dates.

Friends of the Festival is working with artist agents to hash out new dates.

The original lineup included performers like Darius Rucker.



“We’ll try to retain as many of the artists that we had scheduled for May the 27th through the 30th, but that might be impossible, because they have their tour schedules that they have already made. Commitments that they have already made in advance,” McCamish said.

The coronavirus outbreak is disrupting not just the music business, but also the auto industry.

Volkswagen is one of the automakers suspending operations in the U.S.

The facility will shut down for about a week starting Saturday.

“This action is being taken to help ensure the health and safety of our team members as we conduct additional sanitation and cleaning procedures throughout the factory. We will also use this time to assess future production plans and market developments,” Tom du Plessis said in a statement.

Though some employees will work at home, all of them will get paid.

Other industries are still in operation.

GE Appliances announced the Roper Corporation in Lafayette would go to 1 line per shift starting Friday.

McKee Foods based in Collegedale is “seeking to remain open to keep the flow of food to store shelves moving” a McKee Foods spokesperson said.

Spokespeople for both McKee Foods and the MARS M&M’s facility in Cleveland said they are following the guidance of various agencies, and doing things like allowing some employees to work at home if they can and restricting travel and visitors.

“We want to make sure we’re doing our part to keep our Associates safe, and to prevent the spread of the virus. We are prepared to take further action as necessary, with guidance from leading health authorities and local governments,” a MARS company spokesperson said.