Sales during Riverbend's third ticket promotion before the city's major music festival are tracking higher than last year, officials with the event say.
Last year, 20,000 pins were sold at Kangaroo gas stations, and so far this year sales have increased by 5 percent, said Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival. That number is expected to spike in the next week as the weeklong event, Friday through June 18, approaches.
"Chattanooga is a last-minute town," Baker said. "Everyone waits till the end."
Riverbend pins went on sale May 1 at Kangaroo gas stations for $30 each and will be sold at that price until the day before the festival starts. Thereafter pins will cost $40.
Chris Hughes, regional director at Kangaroo, said pins are being sold at 93 locations from Dalton, Ga., to Athens, Tenn.
"We are proud to be Riverbend sponsors," he said. "It's such a family-friendly event, we love to partner with them."
In April, pins could be purchased through the Riverbend Rewards program for $28, and before Christmas businesses could buy the tickets in bulk for $24.
"It just makes sense to buy them now," Baker said.
Baker said sales are improving some this year because the festival has spent 10 percent more on entertainment than in 2010, but he wouldn't say how much was spent on hiring acts.
Country music stars Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Kellie Pickler are headlining, along with Huey Lewis and the News, the Beach Boys, R&B singer Brian McKnight and Christian artists Casting Crowns.