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Photo by Barry Courter/ Festival goers find plenty of reasons to dance at Bonnaroo in 2015. Writer Barry Courter has been attending the music festival since 2007.

This story was updated at 3:02 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, to state that Riverbend will be capped at 15,000 attendees. It had incorrectly stated 30,000.

Some details for two of the largest festivals in the Chattanooga area will be announced in the next two weeks as the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival will reveal its 2022 lineup Tuesday and the Riverbend Festival will announce its full lineup Jan. 20.

Both festivals, like many around the nation, canceled their events in 2020 and 2021 because of either COVID-related fears, scheduling conflicts or weather. Bonnaroo, for example, canceled its September 2021 event a day before fans were to arrive because of the remnants of Hurricane Ida, which moved from Louisiana to the East Coast.

Riverbend is scheduled to take place on Riverfront Parkway on June 3-5, and Bonnaroo is scheduled to unfold on The Bonnaroo Farm in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 16-19. Tickets are on sale for Riverbend at riverbendfestial.com for $95 or at wgow.com for $85 through the end of January.

VIP tickets will be $295 and will include preferred seating and bars near the two main stages, access to VIP areas on the pier and a new VIP section on the green across Riverfront Parkway from the Tennessee Aquarium, as well as access to permanent bathroom facilities.

Riverbend will be capped at 15,000 attendees for the first time in its more than 40-year history. It will take place in the late afternoon and evening, with music ending around 11 p.m. Bonnaroo is a camping festival that draws ticket-buyers to a nearly 700-acre farm about 70 miles from Chattanooga.

Bonnaroo tickets go on sale Thursday at bonnaroo.com starting at $299 for general admission. The festival offers several ticket tiers, such as VIP for $1,250 and Platinum for $3,500. These come with a variety of amenities, such as private baths and showers, pre-made meals and exclusive entry points into Centeroo, the festival's main area and accommodations.

In past years, Riverbend has spread its lineup announcements over several days and weeks. The change is just one of many, according to Robin Derryberry of Derryberry Public Relations.

"This is a new Riverbend," she said in a telephone interview.

According to Friends of the Festival Executive Director Mickey McCamish, Riverbend has made several significant changes since its last event in 2019. Most significant is reducing the number days from eight to three, the number of acts from about 100 to 30, and the jettisoning of the iconic barge, which was the event's main stage.

Riverbend 2022 will feature two main stages with alternating nationally touring acts and a third smaller stage featuring local and regional acts.

Friends of the Festival is also operating with a reduced staff, opting to outsource roles such as marketing, staging and lighting.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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