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ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

History

The Riverbend Festival, or  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 has evolved into four nights and ranks in the top 10% of all American festivals. The International Festivals and Events Association has presented the festival with many awards, including several in 2018. Attendance continues to grow for the festival and some individual nights have attracted thousands of people, with 350,000 people attending over the 8 day period in past years. There’s a wide variety of performers covering almost every music genre that perform at the festival.   The 4 are 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 30 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, Coca-Cola, 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 April 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 4 days. Street vendors offer everything from food and beverages to souvenirs and artisan crafts.

Festival Map

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 $20 a person (each night) with your Riverbend admission. Wristbands area available at the blanket seating entrance.

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.

How will i make purchases?

Your admission wristband double as your source to make purchases.  RFID (radio frequency identification device) technology allows you to attach your credit card for purchases or you can transfer cash or Riverbend tokens to the wristband at stations throughout the festival grounds.  Keep in mind, the admission wristband is non-transferable and should be worn for the duration of the festival.  Please note for purchases, this is the last year to redeem Riverbend tokens saved from previous years.

How do I redeem old tokens?

Festival tokens can be redeemed this festival, 2019 only. Token centers are  now called Top-Off Stations and are the locations where you can transfer tokens to your RFID wristband or add cash.

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.

What do I need to know about my wristband?

Your wristband serves as both a means of admission and making purchases.  Simply slide your wristband over your hand and tighten the clasp.  Don’t pull so tight that it’s uncomfortable – we recommend leaving space for two fingers between your wrist and the fabric.  Remember, it is non-transferable and once it’s securely on your wrist, you won’t be able to remove it until you cut it off after the event.

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 obtaining 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.