Each evening, beginning at 5pm, there are musical groups set up on the different stages all along the riverwalk area next to the Tennessee River, with each night's headlining group on the Coco-Cola Stage at 9pm. They try to represent all genres of music - rock and roll, country, blues, zydaco, jazz, folk, even a Faith and Family Night. One year we had Vince Gill as a headliner, and another Trisha Yearwood. Last year (2009)the headliners were Willie Nelson (who sorely disappointed), Little Richard (David said he also didn't deliver), Montgomery Gentry (really rocked), Train, Three Dog Night, B-52s, Steve Curtis Chapman, and the Commodores. And dozens of other groups on the various other stages. I told you this year's lineup in the last post.
Regardless of who we see, and whether we go every night or only a few, it's worth every penny. You make your way thru the throngs of people to the stages or the grassy areas, set up your chair or blanket for the evening, and either sit and visit with friends, walk around catching a glimpse of other performers or events, and, my personal favorite, people watch. There's a sand play area for the kids, a Children's Village, a Kid's Talent Show, an exhibitor area, and a vendor area that has every food imaginable (chicken on a stick is very popular). The stars come out, a cool breeze comes off the river (or it's hotter than hell with no breeze whatsoever), the boats that have come to watch from the water are floating near shore. The whole package is wonderful. Most of us only see the headliners on the big screen, but that's ok, because the real headliner is the river itself, the bridges and horizon...and, of course, sharing the evening with friends and family.
This last Friday night we went to see Sheryl Crow, and Saturday night Allison Krauss and Union Station. They did not disappoint as some have done in the past! Sheryl Crow has a really nice personality onstage, very personable and enthusiastic. Allison Krauss has the voice of an angel, and is very softspoken, and Union Station had toes tapping. Both evenings followed outrageously hot and humid days, more typical of August than early June, but, thankfully, once the sun set it cooled down a smidgeon, with that light breeze off the river.
The only downside to the whole event is that you have to walk quite a distance from your parking to get there, and going back is uphill! It's for that reason that I have chosen to attend only a few nights, as I need the time for my hips to recover from the strain. I plan to see Darius Rucker on Wednesday night and the Charlie Daniels Band on the last night. Anyway, here are some photos of the two nights this weekend: (there are many others of the festival area on last year's post)
That's the museum at the top of the hill (see last year's post with photos). There's a bandstand to the left and in front of here, the first of five, just inside the entrance with an audience area plus people just sitting here and there on the hillside.
That's the stage on the left - the V.I.P. or "Star" guests sit in chairs in a fenced area in front of it, while the rest of us sit on the lawn area and see the performers on the big screens. (You'll have to enlarge this to see better - I took it from the sidewalk.) You can' tell by looking at this photo, but by the time the concert starts there are hundreds of people, not including the hundreds more at the other stages and activities.The end of a very long, hot evening. Daddy had to carry him aaalll the way to the car, up aaalll those hills... good thing he's 6'4" and strong! But a good time was had by all, and, hopefully, we'll have a couple of more nights before the week is out (unless our 90+ temps and humidity turn into late day thunderstorms).
I rarely get my photo taken at these events, so this year we made sure I did so that the kids will have proof someday that I do occasionally got out of the house! The boys only went to the Allison Krauss night, and will go again on the last night because of the fireworks. (I don't know what has Conner so wide eyed!)
That's my daughter Melody and son-in-law Brent on the left, my husband David on the right, and, of course, you know the lights of my life, Garrett and Conner. (if you don't, you're new here!)
I don't drink beer, but this is a very popular spot! You can see that David and Brent are up front there waiting their turn. Everything is paid for with tokens that you buy at special booths.
Garrett wanted to show us how strong and responsible he is now by carrying two chairs. That lasted for about two minutes and he handed one of them off to me.
The boys come for one reason and one reason only...Dippin' Dots! Would you believe $5 a bowl? A small bowl! I don't think they cost that much last year, but I'm pretty sure they won't be getting any at the next concert unless they rob their piggy banks!
I don't know what to call these except maybe water spouts.
This is the kind of sunset we get to enjoy and appreciate over the stage and screen area, and it reflects in the river. (Again, you'll have to enlarge to actually appreciate this.)