As always, the lineup for this year’s Riverbend Festival is full of interesting headliners, rising superstars and something for everybody.
The Coke Stage (the barge) is the epicenter of the festival. Headliners include Hank Williams Jr., The Wallflowers, Luke Combs, Switchfoot, Dustin Lynch, Flo Rida, Third Eye Blind and Bret Michaels. But it’s the side stages that offer some of the more interesting performances.
In addition to the Coke Stage, the side stages include the Bud Light Stage, Unum Stage, TVFCU Stage and the Chevy Stage. I’ve highlighted 5 performances you should check out below. The list could be 20 shows long, but I’ve narrowed my focus to a few can’t-miss shows.
What are you excited about? The full lineup is available here.
The 2018 Riverbend Festival is June 8-16 on Chattanooga’s Riverfront. The festival spans eight days, and tickets are still available.
General admission tickets are on sale now.
The Land of Ozz — Saturday, June 9, 8-9:30 p.m. (Bud Light Stage)
Look, Riverbend is never going to snag Black Sabbath or Ozzy Osbourne to perform. “But what about the ultimate Ozzy Osbourne experience?” you ask. Sure! Land of Ozz will perform on Saturday night on the Bud Light Stage as a lead up to the doom metal rockers (that’s a joke) The Wallflowers at the Coke Stage. They absolutely look the part of later-years Ozzy. You’ll hear Sabbath songs and “a stunning reproduction of Ozzy’s solo material, focusing on the classic Randy Rhoads era as well as the prime Jake and Zakk years.” An Ozzy Osbourne cover band over The Wallflowers? Yes. Yes.
Mitch Rossell — Sunday, June 10, 8-9:30 p.m. (Unum Stage)
Not many people get to say they’re the “protégé of Garth Brooks,” but that’s exactly what Chattanooga-native Mitch Rossell is. In 2016, the rising songwriter and country singer was invited to open for Brooks on select tour dates. He also became a co-writer of Brooks, working with him on his recent hit song “Ask Me How I Know” and releasing his own album “Raised on Radio.” He certainly wouldn’t repay the favor to Brooks by inviting him to join him at Riverbend this year, right? That would be crazy. In fact, I’ve been told by people with Friends of the Festival to “not say anything” about Garth Brooks being at the festival. So, I won’t. But you should check out Rossell!
Tower of Power — Wednesday, June 13, 8-9:30 p.m. (Bud Light Stage)
Akeem and The Big Boss Man were The Twin Towers, a feared WWF tag-team in the late 1980s and early 90s. Tower of Power is a chart-topping soulful horn band whose songs were popular in the 1970s. Hits include “You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “What Is Hip?”, and “Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream).” At least 60 musicians have toured or recorded with the band over their 50-year existence. Watch the band perform below. Get your funk on!
Brother Sundance — Friday, June 15, 9:15-10:30 p.m. (TVFCU Stage)
In the vein of bands like Purity Ring and Chvrches, Brother Sundance (Ryan Talerico) is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter from Miami. His sound will work particularly well at the under-the-bridge amphitheater that is the TVFCU Stage. And even if you don’t know the name, you might recognize some of his songs (which are really catchy, by the way). The Brother Sundance song “You & Me” was used in an episode of the ABC Family drama The Fosters titled “Many Roads.”
The Cleverlys — Sunday, June 16, 7:45-9 p.m. (TVFCU Stage)
Ahh, what can we say about The Cleverlys. They are a “family bluegrass band from a remote thicket of Stone County Arkansas.” Their comedic/virtuosic performances of popular covers are unmatched in the bluegrass world. You can hear them perform Beck’s “Loser,” the Destiny’s Child “Say My Name” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” Watch them perform Lady GaGa’s “Bad Romance” below. The Cleverlys are always coming up with new covers. You never know what you might hear.