Festival goers enjoy day one of Riverbend Festival 2017 - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Festival goers enjoy day one of Riverbend Festival 2017

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Hundreds of people crowded the Riverbend festival gates hours before show time. 

As spectators made their way up the line, tickets were scanned and bags were checked. The festival staff also searched people using handheld metal detectors.     

"I think it's better that they have the metal detectors now because they didn't have that in the years past from what I remember, so them having the metal detectors up there it's very good. I feel it's more safe," said festival goer, Sheldon Fite. 

16 food vendors lined the streets, while bands like the Black Jacket Symphony, Boz Scaggs, Rickey Thade Cole, and Boy Named Banjo all hit the stage. 

Officials explained that this year's line up is the most diverse it's been in years.

"They've been improving the bands year after year. It's just getting bigger and bigger and better and better," said festival goer, Pendell Myers. 

More than 350,000 people are expected to attend the eight day festival, which officials estimate will bring in about $29 million to Chattanooga. 

1,400 volunteers help pull it off. 

Those who have been to the festival before say it's a party you can't miss. 

"It's like a mother giving birth to a child and seeing them grow up to the most phenomenal thing that you can ever imagine," said festival goer, Angie Williams. 

Riverbend was extended to midnight this year. 

Gates will open at 5:00 pm every night throughout the festival. 

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