Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steel Pulse added to Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steel Pulse added to Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga

February 5th, 2013 by Barry Courter in Local Regional News

Lynyrd Skynyrd are coming back to Riverbend.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.


General admission pins, good for all nine nights of the festival, go on sale at area Kangaroo stores May 1. They will be $32 until June 7, when they become $45. One-day admission will be $26.

POLL: Would you pay to see Lynyrd Skynyrd?

The Riverbend Festival is bringing back one of its most popular acts ever, booking Lynyrd Skynyrd to play on the Coca-Cola Stage on June 13.

Rising country act Drake White, who has been opening for the band on their current tour, will do the same at Riverbend, according to talent and production coordinator Joe "Dixie" Fuller.

"Lynyrd Skynyrd was one of our biggest-ever acts, and I think people will like seeing them again," he said. "I think they will love Drake White also. He's a rising star that does a great live show."

Fuller also said reggae band Steel Pulse will play June 15 on the Bud Light Stage.

Riverbend Executive Director Chip Baker said organizers look at total sales, including gate, merchandise, food and drink sales, in measuring a festival night's success, and Skynyrd's numbers rank ahead of Hank Williams Jr. and Kid Rock by about 5 percent.

"They are a fun act that everybody likes," he said. "My kids, middle-school and college-aged, were excited to hear we are bringing them back. I remember putting snow tires on my car [in 1977] and going out with my buddy to buy the 'Street Survivor' album with the flames on the cover. It was $5, and we split it."

The band's current lineup features original member Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant (brother of original lead singer Ronnie Van Zant), former Blackfoot guitarist/vocalist Rickey Medlocke, new bassist Johnny Colt, formerly of the Black Crowes and Train, guitarist Mark "Sparky" Matejka and keyboardist Peter Keys.

Steel Pulse formed in 1975 in Birmingham, England, and became a favorite opening act for some of the punk and new wave acts of the time, including the Clash, the Police, the Stranglers, Generation X and XTC. The Grammy-winning act later would contribute a song to Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" and performed at Bill Clinton's inaugural celebration in 1993.

The festival is scheduled to take place June 7-15 along the 21st Century Waterfront.

Previously announced acts are country singer Jake Owen headlining on June 7; R&B/pop vocalist Brandy on the Coca-Cola Stage on June 9; contemporary Christian stars Newsboys will headline Faith and Family Night on June 11, when the a capella Voices of Lee will perform as well; country star Dierks Bentley is on the main stage on June 12; and jazz guitarist Larry Carlton on the Unum Stage on June 13.