This year’s Riverbend Festival brought to Chattanooga acts ranging from Brandy to Dierks Bentley to Cee Lo’s backside. And on Saturday night, the last night of the festival, the city’s biggest series of shows closed with O.A.R.

They're doctors and lawyers, students and teachers, retirees and recent graduates.

Lynyrd Skynyrd fans are not hard to spot at Riverbend. There's a certain unabashed blue-collar sensibility, a free-wheeling attitude they possess that would have made them easily identifiable Thursday night, even if they hadn't walked through the Riverbend gates bearing their idol's name on their shirts, hats, belt buckles and, in some cases, skin.

The Riverbend Festival is more than just music to the ears of those who attend the nine-day festival.

Being a solo musician is a difficult proposition.

Sitting on the screened front "porch" of Merlin Wagner and Janice Wilkey's houseboat as overhead fans churned up the sweltering summer heat Wednesday afternoon, it was easy to see the appeal of enjoying Riverbend by water.

Sweet Tea Night, the Riverbend Stretch, Faith and Family Night ... Tuesday.

Chattanooga police have received reports of car break-ins near the Riverbend Festival’s riverfront site.

Follow live updates tonight of the Riverbend Festival including tweets from reporter Lindsay Burkholder

  • June 14th, 2013  |

With sunlight filtering through a haze of barbecue smoke and a soundtrack of wailing blues guitars and sidewalk vendors touting the superiority of their pulled pork, Monday night's Bessie Smith Strut looked, sounded and smelled like it always has.

In the entertainment industry, "ban" is a four-letter word.

A heavy rain Sunday night cleared the streets and grassy lawns in front of the Coca-Cola Stage just half an hour before headliner Brandy was scheduled to perform.

Cee Lo Green won't be coming back to Riverbend.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, Riverbend leaves the 21st Century Waterfront tonight and heads over to M.L. King Boulevard for the Bessie Smith Strut. Like last year, the Strut will be a gated event, which is a sad testimonial to the world today, but what are you going to do?

Chicken on a stick, Polish sausage and calzones of any kind can be eaten at Riverbend with no fear because the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department's environmental health inspectors are on the job.

Friday’s cool, Cee Lo says, but there’s just somethin’ about Saturday night —  especially late Saturday night, apparently.

In its nearly 30-year stint as arguably the most recognizable performance space at Riverbend, the Coca-Cola Stage has weathered more than a few storms, courtesy of both Mother Nature and the tempestuous talents who have performed there.

By the time country giants Florida Georgia Line took the Bud Light Stage tonight, they looked out on a crowd that numbered in the tens of thousands and, according to festival organizers, was the biggest the venue had ever attracted.

The Riverbend Festival started more than 30 years ago, so longtime residents know the drill: nine nights, 100-plus musical acts, thousands of your closest friends packed along Chattanooga's riverfront.

So, Riverbend starts tomorrow. Also, there's a mouth-breathing elephant crouched in the corner with a towel over its head, trying desperately to avoid notice.

Visitors to this year's Riverbend Festival, which cranks up Friday, may notice a few changes to the way security is handled.

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