By Anne Braly and Karen Nazor Hill
Question: Should the audience be banned from dancing in front of Riverbend stages to prevent blocking the view of people who brought lawn chairs?
Karen Nazor Hill: Never! I know it’s an issue at many venues, but I think folks have as much a right to dance as close to the stage as those who have staked their places with lawn chairs.
Anne Braly: Well, I guess I’ll be tossing my lawn chair when I do Riverbend with you, Karen. Really, I don’t like land hogs on either side — the dedicated stay-in-my-seat-to-get-the-best-view people or those who take over the front dancing. I say, divide all stage areas down the middle, even-Steven.
Question: Sometimes folks have to stand in line for 30 minutes or longer to purchase tokens. Is this necessary?
Karen: On some nights it has taken longer than 30 minutes to purchase tokens, and then another 15 to 30 minutes to get food or drink.
Anne: I still have a roll of Riverbend tokens in my purse and will sell them to the highest bidder with an opening bid of $25. Bet I get some takers who would rather spend a few bucks more than stand in those hot, crowded lines.
Question: Are the walking routes wide enough to accommodate festivalgoers?
Karen: There are some routes that are wide, but others that are so narrow it can be downright dangerous.
Anne: Good thing you and I have lost weight or we’d never have gotten through.
Karen: One young man told me he was elbowed so hard in the chest by a passerby crossing in front of him that he confronted her. If the stages were spread further apart, it would allow more space to get from one venue to another.
Question: Is there too much trash at the Riverbend site?
Karen: Yes, and it’s disgusting. Why can’t people use the many available trash boxes?
Anne: I know. Sometimes I think Riverbend is a convention of Tennessee Trash fans.
OUT OF THE GATE
Question: Are there enough entrances?
Karen: I’ve only used the main entrance and there’s usually a really long line.
Anne: The new buildings around Ross’s Landing, such as the River Pier Landing complex, have made things tighter. Maybe we could expand Riverbend to Renaissance Park and free up some of the space at the landing.
Question: Every year cars get towed from the festival. What can people do to avoid the costly problem?
Karen: Park farther away. My husband and I parked near 7th and Cherry streets and there was no problem finding a space — of course we did have to walk about nine blocks.
Anne: What can people do? Hmmm ... try reading the signs. One would think that after 20-plus years of having the festival at Ross’s Landing, people would get it through their heads that they will be towed if they park illegally.
If you have a question about Riverbend you’ve always wondered about, contact Mark Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org
E-mail Karen Nazor Hill at email@example.com
E-mail Anne Braly at firstname.lastname@example.org