"The hills are alive with the sound of music..."
Lyrics from a famous movie, but they could easily suit Chattanooga during the summertime as melodies play across the Scenic City. In this month's blog, we look at some of the fantastic events in Chattanooga as you plan your next stay at the StoneFort Inn.
Every June, we host the biggie: Riverbend. It started in 1982 as a five-night festival and has grown over the years to attract hundreds of thousands of people over the course of the each event. You get a taste of the best music has to offer, including classic rock, country, urban, and bluegrass, as well as jam bands, on multiple stages set alongside the Tennessee River. Notable past performers have included Foreigner, Huey Lewis & the News, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, The Beach Boys, CeeLo, Goo Goo Dolls, ZZ Top, Blake Shelton, Steve Miller Band, The Commodores, Kid Rock, Pat Benatar, Boyz II Men, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Collective Soul, and too many other headliners to mention here.
Riverbend 2015 is June 5-13 and includes such acts as 3 Doors Down, Stone Temple Pilots, WAR, Martina McBride, Merle Haggard, the Little River Band, Hunter Hayes, Gregg Allman, Cole Swindell, Molly Hatchet, Leon Russell, Matthew West, Melissa Etheridge, Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick, Here Come the Mummies, Jess Goggans Band, and Bert David Newton, among others. Eighty-nine acts in all on five different stages over eight nights for the unbelievable price of $39 for a wristband!
Learn more about Riverbend at http://www.riverbendfestival.com/
Every Friday night from May 1st to September 4th, rain or shine, people congregate in Miller Plaza downtown for a musical party known as Nightfall. The Plaza is just a short walk from StoneFort inn, making it almost essential entertainment when you stay with us during the summer months. It's been a tradition since 1992 with great acts like Lucinda Williams, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Mitch Ryder, Keb Mo, Barenaked Ladies, Todd Snyder, The Black Keys, Adrian Belew, and many more performing. Bikers line their motorcycles along the closed off street while hundreds of people enjoy the tunes, cold beer and hot food. The 2015 Nightfall lineup includes Eric Pulido (of Midlake) and Friends, Spirit Family Reunion, AJ Ghent Band, Band of Ruhks, Novalima, Amy LaVere, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Ryan Oyer Band, Selwyn Birchwood, Band of Heathens, Fantastic Negrito, David Mayfield Parade, Kim Lenz and the Jaguars, Kishi Bashi, and Escondido. Learn more at http://www.nightfallchattanooga.com/
Like Nightfall, Riverfront Nights is a free summertime concert series. The main difference is the shows are on Saturday nights and happen on the riverfront between August and September. This year's acts include Jacob Powell, Rosco Bandana, Cornmeal, Big Something, The Main Squeeze, and The Producers – styles that range from young country rock to funk/metal to pop to jamgrass to 70's style arena rock. Learn more at http://www.riverfrontnights.com/
This open-air market in the First Tennessee Pavilion is a great place to find fresh produce and cool art, but you can also enjoy some terrific free performances as well from mid-April to November. Each Sunday has a different theme, so each visit is unique. Learn more at http://chattanoogamarket.com/
Summer Music Weekends at Rock City
Shows daily at 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 4:30 pm by the Old Time Travelers, as well as other artists like Tarryn Aimee Smith, Highbeams and Taylor Kress. They also have Birds of Prey Shows! Learn more at http://www.seerockcity.com/birds.
Created in 2011, it celebrates Chattanooga's jazz culture throughout the month of April (Jazz Appreciation Month). To learn more about what they'll be doing in 2016, visit http://www.jazzanooga.org/
Chattanooga's music scene includes several other hot spots that don't fall into the strict category of music festivals, but they do offer a near-constant array of entertainment for those visiting the Scenic City.
The Tivoli Theatre
A beautiful movie palace from the 1920s that offers shows ranging from blues to classical to opera to comedy. If a Broadway show is more your style, the Tivoli is probably more your speed. Shows in 2015 include the Oak Ridge Boys, Black Jacket Symphony, and others. Learn more at http://chattanoogaonstage.com/
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
This memorial to Chattanooga and Hamilton County's veterans, the venue hosts full-scale Broadway and theatrical shows, concerts, comedians, and community gatherings. Learn more at http://chattanoogaonstage.com/
Opened since 2011, you can catch acts like Marilyn Manson, Indigo Girls, GWAR, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, then take a short cab ride back to StoneFort. See upcoming events at http://track29.co/shows.cfm
Rhythm & Brews
On Market Street near the Aquarium, the bar keeps a long list of upcoming shows on its website for music fans 21 and over. Shows range from original to tribute bands to local up and comers. See who is playing at http://clients.ticketbiscuit.com/rhythm-brews/EventListPage.aspx
On MLK Blvd, just a short walk from the StoneFort Inn, this bar's a great place to catch hip new acts and local bands while mingling with cool locals. See what you think at http://www.jjsbohemia.com/
The Camp House
Also on ML King Blvd, this bistro opened in 2010 hosts an all-original, all-acoustic songwriter shootout at 7 pm on Thursday nights. Coffee culture rules here with a mood that fits relaxing with friends.
These are just a few of the many options available in Chattanooga's growing music scene. You can always refer to our Calendar of Events Page for upcoming shows.
Savings that Hit the Right Note!
With StoneFort Inn's Musical Madness Add-On, you can stay in Chattanooga during a music festival or show and get 10% discounted off your room rate, along with late check-out at 12:30 pm (we know you'll be up late listening to the bands), plus a fruit and cheese platter to sweeten the deal and a Gift Card you can redeem for $25 worth of drinks from the Terra Mae bar. Learn more at http://stonefortinn.com/special-offers-b-and-b-chattanooga/hotel-packages
Long before the hip Southside district, long before the galleries and boutiques came to North Shore with the Walnut Street bridge reopening, and ten years before the Tennessee Aquarium was built, the Riverbend Festival was one of the first signs of life in a blighted, polluted town.
The city was down on its luck. It was dirty and dangerous and no one came to downtown after dark. Locals had moved to the suburbs, and none of the vibrant riverfront nightlife we now associate with Chattanooga existed. That changed when several powerhouse local businesses and foundations came together and brought The Commodores, Beach Boys, and Rick Springfield as part of a Five Nights Festival that later evolved into the Riverbend Festival we know today.
Those early concerts were held all over downtown, from Engel Stadium to Ross’s Landing. It wasn’t until later that the festival settled on the riverfront. And from there it grew, along with the rest of downtown and the riverfront, into a thing of local pride and Chattanoogan culture. The Riverbend Festival has become a part of this city, one of the most popular (if not THE most popular) events on the yearly calendar.
Riverbend has seen major acts over the years, including Huey Lewis & the News, Sheryl Crow, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Willie Nelson, Train, Three Dog Night, The B-52's, Little Richard, ZZ Top, The Black Crowes, America, The Alan Parsons Project, Daughtry, Earth, Wind & Fire, Jars of Clay, moe., Ricky Skaggs, Steve Miller Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams, Jr., Kid Rock, Boyz II Men, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar, LL Cool J, Keith Urban, Michelle Branch, Styx, Blues Traveler, Nickel Creek, Rascal Flatts, Collective Soul, and Lynard Skynard.
The festival has grown from 5 nights to 9, and expanded to include a beloved Faith and Family night that represents the multi-generation tradition Riverbend has become. Each year families eagerly pick up their Riverbend pins from the local businesses that sell them and visitors pour into Chattanooga hotels for the event. Some locals even take off work during Riverbend week to fully immerse themselves in the spirit of fun that takes over the city. Whether you’ve been to Riverbend each year or never before, don’t miss this year’s celebration of music and urban revitalization!