ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

History

The Riverbend Festival, or called Riverbend (named for the bend in the Tennessee River) by locals, was started in June 1982 as a five night festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We are now celebrating over 35 years as Chattanooga’s premier event.  The annual festival now goes on for eight nights and ranks in the top 10% of all American festivals. The International Festivals and Events Association has presented the festival with several awards, including 7 in 2015. Attendance continues to grow for the festival and now some individual nights attract 90,000 people, with 350,000 people attending over the 8 day period. There’s a wide variety of performers covering almost every music genre that perform at the festival.   The 5 stages set along the backdrop of the Tennessee River at Ross’s Landing, also known as the Scenic City’s front porch.

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About one hundred acts perform each year on the multiple stages. Headline performers are featured on the Coca-Cola Stage, a barge which has been converted into a full concert stage. The barge floats just off shore against a large collection of amphitheater seats built into a hillside at the water’s edge. Major companies, such as Chevrolet, Unum, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser and Tennessee Valley Credit Union sponsor the other stages throughout the festival.

 

Riverbend admission is available for a discounted price in local Chattanooga outlets beginning in May until midnight before the festival opens. Once the festival opens, admission can only be purchased at the festival for the gate price. Nightly admission wristbands are available at the gate as well as regular general admission which gains festival access for all eight days. Concessions are purchased using a token system and street vendors offer everything from food and beverages to souvenirs and artisan crafts.

FAQs

When do the entry gates open?

Gates open at 5 PM every night of the festival. No chairs will be allowed on site prior to gates opening.

Where are the gates located?

The Main Gate is located at the corner of Chestnut and Aquarium way. Other gates include: The Hunter Museum Gate located near the Hunter Museum at the top of the stairs leading down to Riverfront Parkway, The Riverside Drive Gate located on Lookout and Aquarium Way, The Walnut Street Bridge Gate located under the South end of the Walnut Street Bridge and the Marina Gate located on Riverfront Parkway West of the Olgiati Bridge.

Are there any shuttles to the festival?

The Riverbend Ride shuttle will be available for $1 per ride from 6PM-12:15AM every night of the festival. Parking is available at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The shuttle will drop off patrons at the Marine entrance of the festival on Riverfront Parkway.

Can I boat to the festival?

Boaters can enter the festival through the Walnut Street Pier Gate, but admission must be purchased in advance.

What is the alcoholic beverage policy?

Age verification wristbands are required for all alcoholic beverage purchases and consumption. Wristbands are available at all token and beer locations. Anyone violating Riverbend regulations, public law or assisting others to do so will be removed from the festival. A valid drivers license verifying 21 years of age or older must be shown when acquiring your wristband. We reserve the right to randomly check identification at anytime. All alcohol sales will cease 15 minutes before the final show is scheduled to end. All other concessions will close when the last show is over.

Can I bring a blanket for seating?

Yes, bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn in front of the Coca Cola Stage for only $10 a person (per night) with your Riverbend admission. Wristbands for blanket seating are available at the Main Gate located at Chestnut and Aquarium Way and at the entrance to the Blanket Seating area.

Is the festival handicapped accessible?

Accessible parking is provided at the parking lot in front of the Tennessee Aquarium adjacent to the Main Gate on Chestnut and Aquarium Way. Viewing areas are reserved at ground level at each stage and restroom facilities for the handicapped are available at each First Aid location.

Where are the ATM locations?

ATMs can be found throughout the festival grounds. ATMs are also located inside the Main Gate and other festival locations.

What are festival tokens?

Festival tokens can be purchased at .$50 cents each and are used for all food and beverage purchases. Token Centers are also located throughout the festival where they are sold at face value. They are good for all days of the festivals and are non-refundable. Tokens can be used for next year’s festival.

Where do I park?

Riverbend is situated along the Tennessee River in scenic downtown Chattanooga. The festival grounds are on the 21st Century Waterfront on Riverfront Parkway.

Our address is 200 Riverfront Parkway, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Plenty of Paid Parking is available throughout downtown Chattanooga.

What do I do if I have lost my child?

The “Lost Parents Tent” is located at the Main Gate at Aquarium Way and Chestnut Street.

Is there a family zone?

Yes, the family zone is a smoke and alcohol free area located on Riverfront Parkway behind the Aquarium.

Are there volunteers for the festival?

Yes, there are more than 1,400 volunteers at Riverbend that will gladly assist you with any questions you should have at the festival. Look for their special EVENT STAFF t-shirts and official ID badges. Refer to the Volunteer tab on the home page if you wish to become a volunteer.

Is there first aid?

First AID services are provided by Hamilton County Emergency Services and located throughout the festival site.

Policies

1. Gates will open at 5:00 pm nightly. For safety reasons, no chairs will be allowed in until 5:00 pm and all bags will be searched.  NO BACKPACKS.

2. Wristbands will be scanned upon entry and exit.  Failure to scan out could prevent your return into the festival.

3. Riverbend has designated smoking areas, please refrain from smoking unless you are in one of the seven areas designated for smokers.

4. Performances are rain or shine.

5. Shirt and shoes are required.

6. Artists and events are subject to change due to circumstances beyond the control of the festival. There are no refunds regardless of cancellation of events.

7. Picnic supplies, coolers, outside food and beverages, refillable containers and glass bottles are prohibited.  NO BACKPACKS.

8. Recording of artists? Performances are prohibited by terms of contracts, therefore, camcorders and audio equipment are not allowed.

9. Cameras are permitted but may be restricted in some areas.

10. Pets, skateboards, scooters, bicycles, rollerblades, and laser pointers are prohibited at Riverbend Festival.  As per Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1311 Prohibited Weapons, as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17-1302(a) and any other pertinent sections, prohibited under State Law shall be forbidden from being carried at events and said laws shall be uniformly enforced.  For questions regarding this directive and/or your status to carry please contact the Chattanooga Police Department at (423)643-5000.

11. All lawn chairs, blankets, tarpaulins, etc. must be removed each night. RIverbend Festival will not be responsible for personal items left on site.

12. Alcoholic Beverage Policies:

Age verification wristbands are required for all alcoholic beverage purchases and consumption.

Wristbands are available at all token and beer locations.

Anyone violating Riverbend regulations, public law or assisting others to do so will be removed from the festival

A valid drivers license verifying 21 years of age or older must be shown when acquiring your wristband.

We reserve the right to randomly check identification at anytime.

All alcohol sales will cease 15 minutes before the final show is scheduled to end. All other concessions will close when the last show is over.

General Admission tickets

General Admission wristbands allow admission to the festival for all nights. Children 10 and under are admitted free with an adult.

Reserved Star Seating

Reserved Star Seating is your ticket to both the 7pm and 9:30pm shows, up close and near the action in a stadium-style seating venue!

Club Riverbend

Celebrate Riverbend as a VIP! Club Riverbend is an exclusive member’s only area located on the Chattanooga City Pier with multiple amenities.