published Friday, May 27th, 2011

Chattanooga: Riverbend Festival widens no-smoking areas

by Chris Carroll
Crowds hold their places with lawn chairs at Riverbend, a nine-day music festival on the waterfront downtown. Staff File Photo
Crowds hold their places with lawn chairs at Riverbend, a nine-day music festival on the waterfront downtown. Staff File Photo

Riverbend officials today announced a change in tobacco policy, expanding no smoking areas at this year’s festival.

At a news conference this morning, Friends of the Festival Executive Director Chip Baker called the decision “a big step” and said Riverbend was ahead of similar open-air events.

Local police and festival staff would enforce the new policy, Baker said. If violators become "belligerent,” they will be asked to leave or escorted out, not arrested, he said.

Abena Williams, a spokeswoman for the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department, did not immediately know whether the ban extends to smokeless tobacco.

The “no smoking zones” include all VIP areas, box seating, star seating and handicapped areas in front of the Coca-Cola Stage, where the festival’s headliners traditionally play.

Other smoke-free zones include all seating near the Tennessee Valley Amphitheater and the Unum Stage, along with the Children’s Area near the Olgiati Bridge.

Attendees will be allowed to smoke in other areas of the festival, Baker said.

Riverbend begins June 10.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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memphisexile said...

I don't even smoke and I think this is stupid. I feel sorry for the cops that will have to waste their time enforcing this instead of focusing on crowd control and keeping the drunks in line.

May 27, 2011 at 5:01 p.m.
u4icmusic said...

The entire Riverbend Festival should be non-smoking. Second hand smoke kills even when the event is outside. Smoking should be banned citywide.

May 28, 2011 at 5:29 a.m.

I wonder what would happen if they stopped the sale of beer and smoking down there? I am sure it would not be such a nice Festival then. Maybe someone needs to mention that. Is it not my right to smoke if I want just like it is yours to not smoke. What makes your rights any better than mine? We have already lost the right to talk about the Lord any where we choose, for goodness sakes our children can't even pray before a sporting event even if they want to. So why not take a few more rights away. The right to bare arms, freedom of speech and so fourth. Come on America get a grip!

June 1, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
Dawg1 said...

Nobody wants to smell your nasty cigarette smoke. Your rights end where mine begin.

June 11, 2011 at 9:33 a.m.
BlueBierd said...

In an effort to become more green and healthy, many places and events are starting to ban smoking in their premises, and this has caused several of my friends to resort to bringing their e-cigs and sneaking in a smoke break.

Gordon -

February 6, 2012 at 3:12 a.m.
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