A date has been set for the Brantley Gilbert concert to benefit the families of the five service members shot on July 16, according to Chip Baker, executive director of Friends of the Festival.
Baker said the concert will take place on a Wednesday night, two months after the shooting. It will be held on the Riverbend Coca-Cola stage, which is used during Riverbend and docked down the river at Hales Bar in South Pittsburg the rest of the year. Other details will be released Monday, after the memorial service for the four Marines and the Navy officer who died in the attack on two Chattanooga military sites.
Baker said the Friends group has been working for several weeks with the city, WUSY-FM 100.7, the Marine Corps and others to plan the event. He said the Marine Corps asked that the news conference about the concert be set for Monday so as not to distract attention from the 2 p.m. memorial service today at McKenzie Arena.
Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus are scheduled to appear at the memorial along with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.
"Out of respect for the Marine event [today], we have been trying to time the release and the details at a time that doesn't take away from that," Baker said.
He said other details, such as who else might be on the bill and whether the benefit will be ticketed, will come out on Monday.
It has been reported that jazz artist Harry Connick Jr. has been asked to perform, but his appearance is not confirmed, Baker said.
Gator Harrison, on-air personality with Clear Channel Chattanooga, has been working on the benefit concert since Gilbert announced last month that he would perform a benefit show here. When asked for details, Harrison echoed what Baker said.
"I certainly know all of the details and I could capitalize on it with my five stations, but I don't want to take anything away from what will happen [today] with the vice president and the tribute [at McKenzie Arena]," he said.
"It's unfortunate that these rumors came out. Our position is that the community's focus should be on the memorial service today and we will announce all of the details on Monday."
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6354.