Baylor student in charge of bringing headliners to Riverbend by boat
Keith Urban made his way to the Coca-Cola Stage Friday night by boat, and his driver was a Baylor student.
Barrett Chambers has driven all the main acts, with the exception of Lionel Richie, who preferred getting to the stage by car.
Chambers has been driving for Riverbend for the past four years. He started when he was just 13 years old.
He says age is just a number, and being out on the water is second nature to him.
“So, I got real comfortable doing it, and it always felt like it's my grandfather’s boat, and if he is confident enough with me to drive his boat, then I shouldn't fear it if he trusts me to do it,” Chambers said.
Chambers says there isn't a boat on the water he can't drive. Boating has been his entire life. He drove his first boat at just six years old.
"It takes time to learn it all, but it's much simpler than people think,” Chambers said.
He showed Channel 3 all the controls, which look like a lot to handle, especially when driving for big names like Keith Urban. But, Barrett says he thrives under pressure.
"A lot of people tend to panic when they get freaked out or something. When the wind is blowing around, I just turn out and restart. I know to turn it around and restart than bash it off the docks,” Chambers said.
At 13, Barrett got a job with Riverbend, to make sure the headliners got to the Coca-Cola Stage.
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Over the years, he's has had a chance to meet some big names like Ludacris, Weezer, and Harry Connick, Jr. who was in town for a special performance to honor the Fallen Five.
But it's what country star Toby Keith said that has this young captain feeling more confident.
"When he left, they asked him, 'Toby, what was the coolest thing about Chattanooga?' He said, 'Actually, it was our young captain over there.' And I thought that was really cool,” Chambers recalled.
He says this is the best job he’s ever had.
"It's just something I take pride in. It's fun being the captain. Everybody is listening to you and everything. I think I'll do this for a long time,” Chambers said.
Chambers' family runs Erwin Marine Boat rentals off of Riverfront Parkway. They say whenever Barrett is on the water, it’s like he’s driven for over 30 years.