Moon River Festival was held at Coolidge Park in Chattanooga, Tennessee on September 9th and 10th. This year they featured some incredible artists, with headlining acts such as NEEDTOBREATHE and Hozier. The park was beautifully decorated as usual along with a lodge for people who wanted to catch the football game. This area also had charging stations and furniture for people to sit and relax between sets. Truly an event for all ages, the park had places to entertain the kids, like the carousel and splash pad. The grounds were stocked with various types of food and drink options for everyone. In terms of layout, the festival had two main stages: Poplar and Iris. Each stage was at a fairly good distance from each other and the schedule allowed fans to jump from one artist to the other with sufficient time.
Last year’s Moon River Festival was canceled on Day 2 due to flooding in the park after a storm made its way through the city. We hoped that the weather was on our side this year, but we were met with another storm on Day 1. Fortunately, it wasn’t as intense and it went away within an hour. The festival followed their protocols and evacuated the park for everyone’s safety. After an hour, people were allowed to make their way to the park again. It seemed like the rain and humidity didn’t stop the fun for anyone!
Personally, I was excited to cover this year’s lineup. I have covered S.G. Goodman’s set in the past but it was great to see her on the big stage. Larkin Poe fed my rock ‘n’ roll soul for the weekend. Nickel Creek might have made me a bluegrass fan from their amazing performance. Sara Watkin’s skills on the fiddle matches no other I’ve seen. Being able to catch Hozier’s performance on camera was its own soulful experience as I’ve loved his music for a long time.
Moon River Festival 2023 was a great opportunity to discover new artists. The lineup had a perfect mix of every genre and we cannot wait to attend again next year!