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Contributed photo / Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will headline Riverbend 2022 on Sunday, June 5.

NOTE: This story was updated at 4:31 p.m. to include additional information about the wristbands and to correct the number of bands that will appear at the festival.

Tickets for this year's Riverbend Festival will now start at $115 after the $95 Tier 1 tickets sold out, according to a news release from Friends of the Festival.

The 39th festival is set for June 3-5 at Ross's Landing, and organizers have made some significant changes to how it will operate this year. One of those changes includes limiting the number of wristbands sold to 15,000.

Past festivals did not limit the number of wristbands available, and organizers said the move was done in order to better serve attendees with smaller crowd sizes, better access to the three stages and more VIP opportunities. Nightly estimates for crowd sizes at previous festivals ranged between 30,000 and 50,000 in recent years.

Headlining will be Brothers Osborne, Jason Isbell and Cage the Elephant. Other acts include Grace Potter, The War and Treaty, Niko Moon, Moon Taxi and Elle King.

Organizers have also chosen to follow the lead of other festivals around the country by selling tickets on a tiered basis to encourage people to buy early. During the months of December and January, they were available for $85 as part of a pre-sale special, and for $95 until last week. While officials have not released the number of available wristbands in each tier, they did say in the release that the price will increase to $135 at the gate once the festival begins.

Day passes are available for $75 and will be on sale for $90 at the gate once the festival begins. As a side note, in an effort to save money, organizers will be using wristbands from 2020, which were never used because of COVID-19.

Organizers announced last week that Arrested Development has been added to the lineup in place of Ayron Jones, who backed out because of an opportunity to join a larger tour. The Atlanta-based hip-hop group Arrested Development is best known for its '80s hit "Tennessee." The group will perform June 4.

The changes to the event were made, according to Executive Director Mickey McCamish, after getting feedback from attendees. He said in the release that people responded to surveys that they wanted smaller crowds, fewer days and fewer stages, and that they didn't want to be required to make purchases using only the RFID chips on their wristbands.

"We listened to festivalgoers who wanted to be able to use cash, credit cards, or debit cards to make purchases," McCamish said.

"There is no need to register wristbands unless you want to load them with money to make purchases while at the festival. Taking all forms of payment makes the festival experience so much easier."

He added, "For the general admission wristband, our three stages provide a closer connection to the artists, healthy food options from vendors, a marketplace with something for everyone, a craft beer garden, shaded picnic area, lawn games, photo booth opportunities, stationary seating and all new [merchandise] featuring our new brand."

In addition to the 23 acts on the lineup, actor/comedian/author and Chattanooga native Leslie Jordan will be present each evening to welcome a few of his favorite performers to the stage. In addition, he'll be available for photo ops and will drive thru the festival grounds in a vintage Chevrolet Corvair convertible.

The Atlanta Braves are also bringing the World Series trophy along with the team's mascot, Blooper, to the riverfront for photo opportunities June 4.

With on-site lockers available for rent and free water stations, guests are expected to be able to make their way throughout the venue with ease.

"Riverbend Festival is a big part of the Chattanooga summer experience," McCamish said, "but we knew it needed to change if it was going to survive. Throughout the pandemic, we were hard at work to make sure the new festival was based on a sound business model.

"We believe that this year's experience will provide a foundation that not only will allow us to survive, but thrive in the coming years. We couldn't be prouder of the efforts of our team, our board and our community for bringing Riverbend back for its 39th year."

— Compiled by Barry Courter

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