Jfest moving to Tennessee Riverpark
After 20 years, Jfest, the contemporary Christian music festival that takes place in May, will be leaving Camp Jordan and moving to the Tennessee Riverpark, according to Ted Gocke, J103 program director.
Gocke says the one-day festival has essentially outgrown the East Ridge facility.
“Camp Jordan is a wonderful sports and recreation facility and it keeps expanding with more playgrounds and fields, which is wonderful, but it eats up our space,” he says.
While the final tabulation has not been completed, Gocke says the event this past weekend was another successful one. Despite the threat of bad weather, between 7,000 to 9,000 attended.
By moving to the Riverpark off Amnicola Highway, about three times that many people can attend, he says. To help attract more people, J103 has committed to upping the budget for talent another $100,000 to get some of the top-tier talent. He said future plans could include adding stages offering different musical genres within the contemporary Christian field.
It will remain a one-day festival for now.
To accommodate parking, J103 has signed a five-year deal with Chattanooga State to use its parking lots, and the folks with the county parks service have agreed to widen the path connecting the campus with the park.
It has long been thought, and discussed, that if Riverbend should ever leave Ross’s Landing for whatever reason — loss of space because of development, for example — the RiverBarry Courter park would be a logical alternative.
It will be interesting to see how this works for Jfest and the park.
› Songbirds South will host Concert for a Cause to benefit 6-year-old Layla Shook on Sunday, May 27. The Ringgold resident was born with a rare ailment called Apert Syndrome cloverleaf skull. She has been through 58 surgeries, including complete skull reconstruction, and has more to come.
Just 22 days after her birth, her skull was completely fused and her brain had no room to grow, according to information from Songbirds. Craniofacial surgeon Dr. Larry Sargent broke her skull into pieces and rebuilt it. Layla will have more skull surgeries in the future. She developed hydrocephalus after her second skull surgery. She now has a shunt in her head to continually drain fluid from her brain. She has been through 10 shunt revisions.
Sunday’s event will take place from 3 to 8 p.m. and will feature music by Tyson Leamon, Throttle 21, Outlaw 45, Convertibull and Sexy Beast, in that order. Cover is $10, but of course you can always donate more.