Gerber: How you can get up close at the 2012 Riverbend Festival

Gerber: How you can get up close at the 2012 Riverbend Festival

May 27th, 2012 by Alison Gerber in Opinion Columns

Ever been backstage at a concert, watching the stars heading to the stage, hobnobbing with other VIPs?

The Chattanooga Times Free Press is offering you that chance.

As always, the newspaper will be all over Riverbend, Chattanooga's nine-day music festival, which starts June 8.

We'll be covering it stem to stern, both with daily stories in the paper as well as continuous updates on our website throughout the day and night. We'll be shooting photos and video and writing every day about what's coming up that day and the next, plus recapping the previous night's acts.

We'll also write stories about other interesting newsworthy events that occur at the festival. Past coverage during Riverbend has included stories about everything from violent rainstorms to a homicide that occurred a few blocks away only minutes after the 2003 Bessie Smith Strut.

Plus, there are always stories about parking and smoking areas and other practical matters.

But back to backstage. This year, the newspaper is holding a contest for VIP Coke Stage access. All you have to do is get your photo snapped in a photo booth.

Here's how it works: Stop by the Times Free Press booth at Riverbend and take your photo in the photo booth. We'll upload those photos to the Times Free Press Facebook page where you can tag them and, at 2 p.m. the following day, we'll randomly pick a winner who'll get two tickets for VIP access to the Coke Stage that night. Those passes get you on the barge and behind the stage. We'll announce the winner on Facebook each day, too.

To enter to win the VIP passes for the first night of Riverbend, when country music singer and songwriter Eric Church plays the Coke Stage, just follow us on Twitter. Every new follower between now and noon on June 7 will be entered. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted at 3 p.m.

We'll announce the Twitter winner, picked randomly, on June 7.

In addition, Harrison Keely, the newspaper's social media guru, will be roaming around Riverbend, taking photos for our Facebook gallery. He'll choose the top 10 best Riverbend photos of the night and create a slideshow at timesfreepress.com with a link to our Facebook page to view more photos.

So get your photo made at the newspaper's Riverbend booth and who knows? You might get to spend the next night a little closer to that night's headliner on the Coke Stage.

Alison Gerber is the managing editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Reach her at agerber@timesfreepress.com. Send suggestions to readerfeedback@timesfreepress.com.