Jfest Moving To Tennessee Riverpark

By Barry Courter

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 Riverpark would be a logical alternative.

It will be interesting to see how this works for Jfest and the park.

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