After nearly four decades, the Riverbend Festival is getting major upgrades this year.

One of the major changes, and one Riverbend staff want visitors to pay attention to, is the new wristband system. The wristbands will be the only way to get into the festival, and the only way to buy things once inside. 

“It has a chip that actually serves as your means of admission,” Friends of the Festival marketing director, Amy Morrow said. “So there will be a beep when you walk in the door. We know you're here."

The wristbands can be loaded with money online or at “top up” stations inside Riverbend. You can even turn in old tokens from previous years to be loaded to your wristband. But this is the last year that redeeming old tokens will be an option. 

Morrow says Riverbend staff is confident that the change will be helpful. 

"We have plenty of folks in place, and it should be a very smooth process,” she said.

Wristbands aren’t the only change to the festival this year. The festival is much shorter, running only four days. 

Staff say that helped them add lots of experiences and amenities for guests, as well as new lighting and bigger names to the lineup.

Morrow says it’s all part of making Riverbend 2019 the best year yet. 

“It will be a visible and emotional experience that will be like none other. It's part of the renaissance of Riverbend,” she said.

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