UPDATE: Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, Macklemore and Weezer to headline Riverbend 2019
UPDATE: Friends of the Festival has announced the full Riverbend lineup.
Headliners include Weezer, Lionel Richie, Keith Urban and Macklemore.
'Say It Ain't So!' Weezer will kick off the festival on Wednesday, May 29.
Get ready to say 'Hello' to Lionel Richie on Thursday when he will bring the music 'All Night Long.'
Riverbend will have a 'Little Bit of Everything' this year, including Keith Urban on Friday night. He was the first headliner Friends of the Festival announced last month.
Wrapping up the festival on June 1, Macklemore will take music fans back to the 'Good Old Days.'
Friends of the Festival also announced over 20 other bands who will be playing at this year's festival.
For more information about this year's lineup and to purchase tickets, visit Riverbend's website.
PREVIOUS STORY: Thursday night, Friends of the Festival announced some major changes to the Riverbend Festival.
The festival, which has long been a nine-day event each June, will now be reduced to just four days and will kick-off on May 29.
Organizers said a shorter festival means they can bring in bigger acts, like this year's Friday night headliner country music star Keith Urban.
Chip Baker with Friends of the Festival said they are spending five to six times more per night on the Coca-Cola Stage alone.
"Just as the community has evolved over the last few years, it was time for us to transform too," said Baker.
Other changes include ditching the tokens and replacing them with wristbands that can be used for food and drink purchases.
Festival-goers who stockpiled some tokens from past years will be able to redeem then this year only.
The festival will also lose one stage to provide more parking space.
Kerrigan Raper works at Cold Stone Creamery on the riverfront, a prime spot during Riverbend, which often has a line out the door during the event. She's curious to see how the change to a four-night festival will affect business.
"I think it'll be better having bigger acts, but the fact that it's cut from nine to four days will have a little bit of something. But maybe the bigger acts will help to cancel it out," Raper explained.
Tickets for the festival go on sale Monday, February 4.
Tickets start at $60 on Monday, but will gradually increase to $75 as the festival date approaches.
Among other changes are the elimination of the Bessie Smith Strut, and Faith and Family night, but both of those events could be scheduled elsewhere during the year.
Although Keith Urban was the only major star announced Thursday, the other three headlining acts will be announced in the next few weeks.
The Riverbend Festival has been a Chattanooga attraction since 1982, and officials said these changes are needed to improve the overall fan experience.
PREVIOUS STORY: Thursday, organizers of the annual Riverbend Festival announced the event will be shortened to four days this year.
During a press conference at Songbirds, Chip Baker with Friends of the Festival announced the change.
Baker announced that country music singer Keith Urban will headline this year's festival.
Organizers also plan to do away with tokens and allow people attending the festival to load money or a card onto their wristbands.
PREVIOUS STORY: After months of speculation, Riverbend Festival organizers will announce Thursday if any changes will be made to this year's festival.
Friends of the Festival will be hosting a special news conference at 5:30 pm at Songbirds.
Organizers say they will be sharing "the evolution of the festival" along with what is in store for this year.
A celebration featuring Amber Carrington will follow.
PREVIOUS STORY: Local businesses react to the impact of possible changes to the Scenic City's annual Riverbend festival as organizers say next year’s event could be shorter.
Some downtown restaurant managers say they are open to the idea of change.
"Oh, absolutely. That's what really brings people down here. I'm not saying the people they bring down here are bad by any sense, but different genres can bring different people too,” Trevor Evett said.
Evett is one of the managers at Blue Water Grill. And in his time as manager, he says Riverbend has definitely helped bring in more customers to his restaurant.
"It has actually brought a lot of business down here. A lot of local people. And a few people at the top of my head who have done great things for Chattanooga, and it's really starting to grow too,” Evett said.
Organizers of Riverbend tell Channel 3 they are in the process of revamping the festival.
One of the changes could be the length of the festival itself.
The festival lasts for eight days and has dozens of artists perform on multiple stages.
Evett says shortening the festival could have its pros and cons.
"In a good way, you know, a lot of people come down here and it takes up a lot of parking. So we could [get] our regulars in here in a sense. But at the same time, it also brings a lot of people down here too,” Evett said.
No plans are finalized yet, but Friends of the Festival Executive Director Chip Baker says they've been working on these plans for the past few years.
He says "all cards are on the table" when it comes to making changes.
The only thing about Riverbend that won't change is its location. Baker says they plan to keep it on the Riverfront.
Local businesses hope some of the new changes could bring bigger artists to the Scenic City.
“I'd like to see Chris Stapleton. I think that would be awesome. He's one of my favorites,” Evett said.
PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga's Riverbend could look completely different next year.
Friends of the Festival Executive Director Chip Baker said they are in the process of revamping the festival.
None of the plans have been finalized, but Baker said the plan is something they have been working on for the past few years.
In terms of whether the festival will be shortened, Baker said it is "all on the table."
Baker added that Chattanooga's music scene has evolved, and Riverbend is evolving as well.
Baker did say the festival will still take place on the riverfront.
Friends of the Festival hopes to release more information in the next few weeks.