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Festival Attendees on Night Two of the Festival

Featured Article

Riverbend Returns

After a Two-Year Hiatus, the Area's Largest Music Festival Returns to the Chattanooga Riverfront

For 39 years, the Riverbend Festival has been a cornerstone in the Chattanooga summer scene. The organization celebrated that accomplishment this past weekend at the annual Riverbend Festival. Officially established in 1982 by Chattanooga locals, the event was created as an avenue through which the community could come together and celebrate their beloved city. Eventually, as the event garnered more attention, Riverbend became nationalized, with attendees traveling from all over the United States. 

The festival ranks in the top 10% of all festivals in the United States and boasts three stages with a wide variety of performers from nearly every music genre. Beyond Riverbend’s incredible live music performances, there are fireworks, picturesque views, arts and crafts, food vendors, and more. The event is held along the Tennessee Riverfront, allowing those in attendance the opportunity to fully experience the city’s scenic views. Locals and visitors also explore Chattanooga beyond the festival, from shopping or eating at local downtown businesses to renting kayaks and paddle boards to explore the river. 

Riverbend became a signature entertainment event for Chattanooga, with an average of more than 50,000 people in attendance and regional earnings of $6.8 million. The festival’s website delves into its impact on the local economy, asserting that the investment audiences make for the event increases the county’s tax collections by $800,000 and supplies $30 million in economic impact. This impact demonstrates how Riverbend is a Chattanooga business committed to gaining more foot traffic for the city, showing visitors and locals what makes Chattanooga unique. 

In 2020, COVID-19 contributed to a two-year cancellation of the iconic event. After this two-year intermission, Chattanooga’s famed local music festival returned to the stage for its long-awaited performance. The festival took place June 3-5 and featured 23 acts with headliners Cage The Elephant, Jason Isabell and the 400 Unit, and Brothers Osbourne. Chattanooga native, Leslie Jordan, was also in attendance. Despite having to downsize the event due to pandemic concerns, Riverbend sold out of all VIP packages and had a largely successful turnout, with over 15,000 people in attendance eager to hear the featured performances. 

For 39 years, the Riverbend Festival has showcased the Chattanooga area and all that it offers. Despite hardships, the event organizers have demonstrated their commitment to uplifting the community, encouraging tourism, and providing memorable entertainment. Now, after the festival’s triumphant resurgence, locals and visitors alike can expect the esteemed event to dominate the streets of downtown Chattanooga again next summer.

  • Arrested Development
  • Moon Taxi
  • Festival Attendees
  • Grace Potter
  • Festival Attendees
  • Cage the Elephant
  • Festival Attendees on Night Two of the Festival
  • The Shindellas
  • Brittney Spencer
  • Leslie Jordan
  • Gov't Mule
  • Jason Isbell