Today is the first day of the Riverbend and a local credit union is pitching in to help attendees stay cool during the eight-day music festival.

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union is introducing the Cool Zone at the TVFCU Stage.

In the past, the credit union’s leaders have joked that they have the coolest stage because it’s shaded by the Walnut Street Bridge.

“But we will truly have the coolest stage this year with the launch of the Cool Zone,” the credit union’s marketing and community outreach manager  Tammy Zumbrun said. “The Cool Zone will feature an array of misting stations and cooling fans to help Riverbend attendees beat the heat.”

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Festivalgoers will be misted with water as they enter the Cool Zone tunnel that leads to the TVFCU Stage area. Once inside the tented TVFCU Stage area, the hot, muggy air will be chilled using jet-engine technology.

Zumbrun said that since the credit union’s first sponsorship of Riverbend in 2007, leaders have sought creative ways to make their stage area exciting for the community.

“Back in the day, we were the first organization to build a Habitat House on a festival site,” Zumbrun said. “Then once the recession hit, we brought the beach to Riverfront Parkway with a 220-ton sand sculpture. Now, we are excited to bring the Cool Zone to Riverbend.”

The TVFCU Stage has special outdoor lighting and ceiling fans.

The stage’s tabletops have been designed by students from the Center for Creative Arts.

The tabletops will be given back to CCA later this year where they will be auctioned with all proceeds benefiting CCA’s Art Department.

The TVFCU Stage features an eclectic mix of hometown successes and up-and-coming artists.

Artist highlights include the following:

June 8
Roger Alan Wade, Chattanooga native, famed country music writer and cousin of Johnny Knoxville, will get things started on the TVFCU Stage on Friday night at 7:45 p.m.

June 9
C2 & the Brothers Reed will perform gritty rock ‘n’ roll while embracing their bluegrass roots on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. Bishop Gunn, hailing from Natchez, Miss., will follow at 9:15 p.m. with a blend of rock ‘n’ roll, soul and blues.

June 10
Kelley Lovelace, Hixson native and award-winning country music songwriter, and Rivers Rutherford, Memphis native and award-winning country music songwriter, will perform on Sunday at 7:45 p.m.

 June 11, and Tuesday, June 12
The stage will be dark on Monday and Tuesday for the Bessie Smith Strut and Faith & Family Night, respectively.

June 13
Hive Theory, a local band and winner of Road to Nightfall, will make their Riverbend debut at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Heather Gillis, a Tallahassee native, and her band will play roots rock on Wednesday at 7:45 p.m. Casey James, American Idol season 9 finalist, will follow at 9:15 p.m.

June 14
Overland Express, famed Chattanooga band and former house band for Yesterday’s, will take to the stage on Thursday at 7:45 p.m.

June 15
Waydown Wanderers, a five-piece modern-folk Americana act, will perform at 7:45 p.m. on Friday.

June 16
The Cleverlys, a family bluegrass band from Arkansas, will take the stage at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday. Then Mean Mary & the Contrarys, a Nashville-based band, will mix the power of rock with the raw innocence of folk and bluegrass to wrap up the festival at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday.

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