published Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

New Riverbend stage to have Cajun flavor

Meo Mio's Cajun Spirits Stage lineup

(Local artists to be announced later)

June 8 Lil' Malcolm & The Houserockers (Lake Charles, La.)

June 9 Nick Moss Band (Chicago)

June 10 Cast Iron Filter (Charlotte, N.C.)

June 13 Mingo Fishtrap (Austin, Texas)

June 14 Simplifed (Charlotte, N.C.)

June 15 Billy Iuso & The Restless Natives (New Orleans)

June 16 Jumbo Deluxe (Atlanta)

The Riverbend Festival will change things up this year with Meo Mio's Cajun Spirits Stage, located on the west end of Riverfront Parkway under the Olgiati Bridge, according to talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller.

Each night of the festival except for June 11, the night of the Bessie Smith Strut, and June 12, Family & Faith Night, a local band will open for a regional touring act inside the large tent. The stage's sponsor, Meo Mio's Cajun Spirits restaurant, will serve up Cajun specialty food items and specialty adult drinks and craft beers, according to Friends of the Festival director of sales Karen Shostak.

"It will be the only place inside the festival grounds where you can get a specialty alcoholic drink or one of the special beers," she said.

Fuller said over the years several things have been tried, to varying degrees of success, in the area of the festival grounds where the new stage will be. Last year, for example, the kid's village was there. In prior years, a lumberjack demonstration was staged there during the festival.

"We wanted to put something there that was exciting and would get people down there, and when we started talking about this idea, people got excited," Fuller said. "This will be a place where you can hang out all night, hear some great music and have a good time."

Previously announced Riverbend acts include Foreigner, Lauren Alaina, The Band Perry, The Happy Together Tour featuring Micky Dolenz of The Monkees, The Turtles featuring Flo and Eddie, The Grass Roots, The Buckinghams and Gary Puckett and The Union Gap, Gov't Mule, Eric Church, Charlie Wilson and Foghat.

The festival is scheduled June 8-16.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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