This story was updated at 5:07 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, with more information.
Jfest, typically one of the largest festivals in our area and originally scheduled for May 9 but postponed because of the coronavirus, will take place with about 25% of capacity on Aug. 1 at the Tennessee Riverpark, according to festival director Ted Gocke.
The Riverpark can hold about 30,000 people, Gocke said and last year's festival, held for the first time at the Riverpark after several years at Camp Jordan, drew about 9,600 people.
He believes the event will sell about that same number this year and believes it can do so safely, and comfortably. He also said organizers feel like the dangerous part of "the curve," will have been passed by the Aug. 1 event date.
'We are basing that on Governor Lee and the state guidelines and the fact that restaurants and the [Tennessee] Aqaurium and Dollywood are reopening. And, it being outside where we can spread out and feel safe. Even if we sell out, and I think we will, we still have plenty of room."
As it has for the last 21 years, the one-day event will feature a variety of Christian artists. He said that only We The Kingdom from the originally scheduled lineup could not make the new date and that was because a band member is getting married that weekend.
"All of the artists are hungry and raring to get out and perform," he said.
Performing will be Grammy Award winner Zach Williams, as well as "American Idol" finalists Danny Gokey and Colton Dixon, Unspoken, The Afters, Caitie Hurst, CAIN and local band The Union Chattanooga. Following fireworks, an after-party will feature Aaron Cole and Nobigdyl.
Gocke said he believes the timing is right for such an event.
"If there has ever been a time when a family music festival of hope and encouragement is needed, it is now," he said, adding that he has been working with the Hamilton County Health Department and other officials to ensure a safe event.
"We are so thankful to have been working with the local government officials to follow Gov. Bill Lee's Tennessee Pledge and are looking forward to celebrating with everyone at Jfest," Gocke said.
In a news release, Jfest organizers Partners for Christian Media said they're working to ensure all safety regulations and protocols are followed and have created a multilevel plan that will fulfill current mandates.
Wristbands, which serve as the entry into Jfest, are $20 for adults and $10 for kids in advance. They will be $35 at the gate, if available. They may purchased in advance at jfest.com.
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.