Featured Photo by Stephen Arnold

4 Music Festivals by the Tennessee River!

As the longest tributary of the Ohio River, the Tennessee River runs for 652 miles through the Tennessee Valley. Running from just east of Knoxville, Tennessee towards Chattanooga and into northern Alabama before bending north between the boundaries of Alabama and Mississippi. With its long stretch through various cities, this tributary accommodates many music festivals for visitors to indulge themselves in.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Photo by Erin Smith

The Moon River Music Festival has been hosted in Coolidge Park, Chattanooga for the past couple of years. It was founded by musician Drew Holcomb from the band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and is a two-day event usually held in the fall. This family-friendly event prides itself for continuously celebrating the tradition of bringing specially curated music lineups and community focused experiences to the region.

Turtle River Winterfest

The Riverbend Music Festival is one of the country’s biggest music festivals, drawing an annual crowd of 650,000 attendees. Held at Ross’ Landing on the beautiful downtown riverfront in Chattanooga, there are five stages set along the backdrop of the Tennessee River. The eight-day festival includes a wide genre of musicians with approximately 100 acts lined up to perform on multiple stages. Headliners usually perform on the Coca-Cola Stage, a converted barge floating just offshore.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

The Tennessee River BBQ Battle & Music Festival is a two-day event organized by the Kansas City BBQ Society. Held at Green Acres RV Park in Savannah, the festival is not only about music but a state championship BBQ contest. The proceeds from this festival benefit local charities and to continue this event for years to come. Family and friends are welcome to bring their lawn chairs and blanket to enjoy the live music and the heavenly smell of some of the best BBQ in the country.

5 Ways to Get Outside on the Turtle River

Photo by TN Vacation

The Tennessee River Jam is a summer music festival that lasts four days at Paris Landing State Park. The festival plays against the backdrop of Kentucky Lake, which is a reservoir along the Tennessee River. The Tennessee River Jam is a wide variety of music genres including classic country to R&B to bluegrass music. The venues of the festival involve family-friendly eateries, hopping bars, classic marinas, and an amphitheater.


I’m a senior at Winona State University majoring in advertising. I love anything related to arts and culture like dance, music, and visual art.

Carissa Chin

Writer , River Travel Magazine