published Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Jett, Young the Giant added to Riverbend

Rocker Joan Jett & the Blackhearts and indie newcomers Young the Giant with play the closing weekend of this year's Riverbend Festival lineup.

The announcements wrap up the headlining spots for the 2014 event, set to take place June 6-14 at Ross's Landing.

Jett will play on the main Coca-Cola Stage on June 13 and Young the Giant will close out the festival the following night, when the popular fireworks finale also takes place.

The headlining acts this year will be Gary Allan (June 6), Widespread Panic (June 7), Buddy Guy (June 8), Andy Allo (June 9), TobyMac (June 10), Boston (June 11), Justin Moore (June 12), Joan Jett (June 12) and Young the Giant (June 13).

Joe "Dixie" Fuller, talent and production coordinator said he took a "real aggressive approach" to booking this year's acts, and it has yielded "the best ever lineup in my opinion."

"We did some early smart buying, and it meant we didn't have to make what I call the 'desperate offers' where you have to take the best of what is out there," he says. "I am tickled to death with this lineup. You always want next year to be better than last year, and I now worry this year will be tough to beat."

Executive Director Chip Baker says everything seemed to fall into place this year.

"The festival is such a great value at $35 for eight days of entertainment, so we have to buy smart and this year the opportunities lined up better than they have in recent times," says Baker.

Known for her melodic, no-nonsense rock'n'roll, Jett has been a face on the music scene since she was a teenager and a member of the all-girl group The Runaways. The band formed in 1975, released a debut album in 1976 and played its last show on New Year's Eve 1978.

Jett launched a solo career immediately and, in 1982, had a No. 1 hit with "I Love Rock and Roll." The album by the same name has sold more than 10 million copies. Another song from the album, a remake of "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells, hit No. 7 on the Billboard Singles Chart. She's also had Top 20 hits with "Do You Wanna Touch" and "I Hate Myself for Loving You."

She's currently touring with new CD, "Unvarnished," and a new single, "Any Weather." Earlier this month she was on "The Late Show with David Letterman," and last month appeared on "The Queen Latifah Show."

Young the Giant is an indie rock band whose first three singles -- "My Body," "Cough Syrup" and "It's About Time" -- made the Top 5 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

Getting the music schedule essentially done allows Baker and staff to focus on the other areas that are part of the festival, Baker says.

"There are many moving parts like sponsorships, vendors, mobile exhibits, early wristband sales, and we have to make sure all of our opportunities come together correctly.

"The advantage of having the music done is that it takes a little of the pressure of that area."

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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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