When the Moon River gates finally opened Saturday afternoon, organizer Jeff Cuellar says festival-goers flooded the entrance.

"We had one kind of pop in the beginning right when we opened the gates and then it was smooth sailing for the rest of the day,” he said.

After souvenirs and merchandise sold out early last year, Cuellar says lots of guests had one destination in mind.

"Watching gates open up and people sprinting to ‘merch.’ I think they realized from last year we have some pretty coveted items not just from the festival but from the artists too,” he said.

But for others, Moon River was more about who they got to see, than what they got to buy. Festival goers Abigael Pena and Zahli Hayden told Channel 3 their favorite performers were the festival founders.

"Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors, Drew and Ellie, they're in love," they said. "They're in love, they inspire us."

Throughout the day, festival staff responded to the heat and crowd, which had about 1,000 more people expected than last year.

“We realized we were getting some extra lines at the water station, so we were able to pull two more water stations, because hydration being so important,” Cuellar said.

For loyal music lovers who say they'll be attending every year, the hard work of organizers made the experience unforgettable.

“People should absolutely come," Hayden said. "It's the best music festival I've ever been to,” Pena added.

Festival organizers expect to have a complete headcount of how many people attended the second Chattanooga-based Moon River festival after it concludes Sunday night.