After a long weekend covering another festival the previous week (Forecastle), Riverbend Festival was up next. This festival took place from June 3 to June 5 along the Tennessee River at Ross’s Landing in the beautiful city of Chattanooga in Tennessee. I arrived the day before the start of the festival to pick up my credentials and was able to walk around and get to know the layout of the festival. There were three stages, with easy access to all of them and several vendors. It got me excited to see it at its full potential.
I arrived in Chattanooga about fifteen minutes before the gates opened. I had no trouble finding parking and made my way over to the riverfront. I walked towards the Chevrolet stage, which was situated closest to the river. I snapped a couple of photos and made my way towards the Coca Cola stage, which was the main stage and there I waited for the first performance.
In this festival I covered Kendell Marvel, Devon Gilfillian, Jenny Lewis, Elle King, Brothers Osbourne, Arrested Development, Niko Moon, Moon Taxi, Grace Potter, Cage The Elephant, Los Amigos Invisibles, Brittany Spencer, The War and Treaty, Lenox Hills, Tanya Tucker, Gov’t Mule, and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit. I came to this festival not familiar with most of the artists on the bill. My goal was to discover new music. All these artists brought something completely unique to the stage. There wasn’t a dull moment the entire weekend.
Moon Taxi performed two different sets and I was fortunately invited to stay at the front and photograph the entirety of it. Their first set was their own music. However their second set was a tribute to Rage Against The Machine. They invited a few guest performers, one of them being Speech from Arrested Development.
I had previously photographed Brittany Spencer as a guest performer for The Highwomen at another festival I covered in California. At this festival, she performed her own music and I am definitely a new fan.
I’ve always loved Elle King’s unique voice. She was powerful and I was especially in love with her outfit.
Los Amigos Invisibles got the crowd dancing with their eclectic range of music with a latin rhythm twist. Cage The Elephant’s set was one of the most exhilarating performances I’ve ever photographed. Everything from the lighting and energy of the band was a photographer’s dream capture. Devon Gilfillian soothed the soul.
Brothers Osburne gave me a new appreciation for country rock music. They stunned me towards the end of their set, where they introduced tall neon skeleton props and the whole band in neon attire. I’ve never seen that before!
I was already familiar with Jason Isbell and his music and watching him perform some of my favorites live was a beautiful experience. There was something to say about each performer. I definitely have a new appreciation for genres I never considered before.
There was an entire row of amazing food vendors as well as other vendors selling their products. I was also incredibly grateful for the free water booths to help battle the heat. I had the opportunity of connecting with other photographers of other publications coming from different states. The crew working the festival was exceptional. Everyone was kind and professional. I was impressed by how organized the festival was and how welcoming everyone I encountered was. I could honestly say that this was one of the best festivals I’ve covered so far. I hope that I have the honor of covering this festival again in 2023.
View all of my photos below!
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