FYI / riverbend 2011 / Coverage

As stagehands break down performance areas and clean up whatever garbage still litters the riverfront, there’s little to mark the nine-day Riverbend Festival but the lingering aroma of funnel cakes and chicken on a stick.

Kellie Pickler is relying on tonight’s Riverbend audience to help her select songs for her next album.

Barring covert early morning missions to claim a spot on the Coke lawn, the average Riverbender’s day starts when gates open at 4:30 p.m. For Ben “Uncle Ben” Gaddy and the other members of the Local 140 Stagehand Union, however, that’s the halfway point.

With 35 No. 1 hits and more than 60 million albums sold, country music superstar Alan Jackson will be singing to a crowd of devoted fans tonight at Riverbend.

I’ve discovered there’s a certain sense of smirking superiority that comes with experiencing Riverbend multiple times.

Fans coming to hear Brian McKnight sing the slower songs he is best-known for will likely be surprised by his show tonight on the Coca-Cola Stage at Riverbend, according to Jay Holloway, production and promotion director at WJTT-FM 94.3.

Rather than bemoan the unruly weather as he performed on the Tennessee Valley Credit Union Stage, Mark “Porkchop” Holder seized the opportunity to segue into a decidedly apropos song.

State attorney general pressured festival officials to stop handouts from smokeless tobacco vendors.

Dylan Liles remembers he was in sixth grade when he first heard Casting Crowns perform live.

Blues. Barbecue. Brotherhood. All were cited as among the primary draws of the Bessie Smith Strut, which attracted thousands Monday.

The 30th annual Riverbend festival kicked off Friday, drawing thousands of people to Chattanooga's waterfront.
  • June 10, 2011

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