This was Nashville.com’s first year attending the Moon River Festival and it won’t be our last. Held in Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park last weekend and presented by Drew Holcomb and Co., the festival offers an experience with something for everyone. We were struck with how family friendly the festival was and how many kids were in attendance. The weather was beautiful for the festival with warm days and cool nights and there was only one small weather-related hiccup which resulted in the cancellation of one set. We were impressed by the speed at which the festival emptied the venue and got everyone back in while keeping everyone safe during a short thunderstorm.
The festival is held on the river within easy walking distance to most of what Chattanooga has to offer and many restaurants and bars. We spent most of our time at the festival enjoying a good mix of music that most would be able to find something they like including bluegrass, country, folk and rock and roll.
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors are a known quantity and someone who we saw at Bonnaroo and another show earlier this year. For the festival, they were joined by Johnnyswim for a rare Goodbye Road collaboration project show. Marcus King and Chattanooga’s own, Larry Fleet, also put on great shows to large crowds on the 1st day of the festival.
The iconic Tennessee brand, George Dickel was also at the festival and brought it’s “Flight School” to attendees so that they could get the opportunity to try some of the brand’s most iconic variants.
Musical highlights on Day 2 were abundant, but we really enjoyed the, new to us, Richy Mitch and the Coal Miners, who headed from the festival to the storied Basement in Nashville for a sold out show the next evening. Sisters, Larkin Poe, also hailing from Tennessee provided a fiery blues set in the afternoon and Grammy award winning trio, Nickel Creek, played the classics as well as selections from their new ”Celebrants” record on their 1st tour as a group since 2014 Sunday evening.
If you are looking for a family friendly festival with an excellent vibe and a stellar musical line up, check out what we think is one of Tennessee’s top music festivals, The Moon River Festival. It is well worth the drive from Nashville. Get your tickets when they go on sale for 2024 because the festival sells out fast!