Red Bluff Music, Arts & Food Festival provides riverfront entertainment

The festival will be held over three days, May 17-19, at Riverside Park in downtown Montgomery, two of which are free to attend.

Longtime fans of Montgomery’s live music may remember a massive downtown celebration called Jubilee CityFest, a three-day celebration of music and art that rocked the city for 36 years.

Sadly, it ended in 2012 and its tradition was never fully revived. That may change thanks to the emerging Riverside Festival.

“Our dream is that this can evolve into what Jubilee CityFest used to be,” said William Barnes, director of entertainment at Vintage Hospitality Group. He organized the second annual Red Bluff Music, Arts and Food Festival Friday through Sunday, May 17-19, at Montgomery Riverside Park.

“We’ve gotten some great feedback and the city is very supportive of what we’re doing there,” said Barnes. “Mayor Reed, as well as the Chamber of Commerce and other city councilors sponsor and support our events. We have some great corporate sponsors.

The Red Bluff Pub on the Hill in Riverside Park is the centerpiece of the festivities on Friday and Sunday, May 17 and May 19, and Barnes said it’s free to attend both days.

“The whole idea behind Red Cliff Bar is to honor the history of the land and do something really special for the city of Montgomery,” said Barnes.

On Saturday, May 18, performances will take place on three stages, including the nearby Riverwalk Amphitheater. Tickets for this day are $40 in advance and $50 at the door. VIP passes are available for $100 while supplies last, Barnes said. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

“We designed music for the entire city,” said Barnes. “Our goal is to really celebrate Montgomery. That’s what we do every night out there.

Barnes, a veteran musician, took over from Vintage Hospitality restaurateur Jud Blount last year just as Red Bluff was about to host its first music festival. That was over Memorial Day weekend. This year, they are hosting the festival the weekend before the holiday.

“I moved back home about two years ago and Judd and I started talking,” Barnes said. “Of course, he had a heart for music. He wanted to do more and was busy, so he asked me if I could help him manage his music activities.

Barnes said the three major events at this year’s festival are:

Jerry Douglas, 14-time Grammy Award winner and world-leading dobro master.

Eric Gales, whom Barnes considers “the greatest living blues/rock guitarist on the planet.” He’s kind of like our Jimi Hendrix.

West Love, “The Princess of Southern Soul.”

“Hopefully we’ll have some bigger names next year,” Barnes said.

This is just a small sample of the festival’s musical lineup, which Barnes says features many “really legit” local performers:


Free — Doors open at 4 p.m.

master stage

  • House music by DJ Ali and DJ Jeffrey James
  • 4-5 p.m. John Bull Band and Peggy Walker
  • 5:15-6:15 PM Cheyloe Martin and Frank Jordan
  • 6:30-7:30 PM Ikebel College Jazz Collective
  • 7:45-9:15 pm Band 4
  • 9:30-11pm Little Wren


Tickets required — Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

master stage

  • 1:30-2 pm over there in electric blue
  • 2:45-3:15 pm Trew TheStar, John Boy, That Boogie and Jeremy Flyy
  • 4-4:30 PM Shanay King, JusDri, Kita Crowell and JustGeeter
  • 5:30-6 PM Jonathan Michael
  • 7-7:30 p.m. Charity Bowdoin
  • 9-9:30 pm Little Kim Stewart & Funk Nation
  • Gumptown Brass & Red Bluff Ramblers All-Star Jam 11pm-1am

Riverside Amphitheater

  • 1-1:30 PM Kirk Jay
  • 2-2:45 PM Tyler Hollingsworth
  • 3:15-4 PM Happy Ghost
  • 4:30-5:30 pm Amulet
  • 6-7 p.m. West Ireland
  • 7:30-9 pm Jerry Douglas Band
  • 9:30-11 PM Eric Gales

jubilee stage

  • 12:30-1:30 pm Stroll with Ricky Tate
  • 1:30-2:30 pm Luo
  • 2:45-3:45 PM Rachel!
  • 3:45-4:45 pm Richard Company
  • 4:45-5:45 PM Wesley Hill
  • 5:45-6:45 pm think about everything


Free — Doors open at 1 p.m.

jubilee stage

  • House music by DJ Ali and DJ Jeffrey James
  • Eva Jane 1 p.m.
  • 2:15-3:15 PM Glen Street Band
  • 3:30-4:30 PM “Sacred Steel Revue” by DJ Randolph
  • 4:45-5:45 PM John Mark Turner and Dave P. Moore
  • 6-7:30 PM Early James
  • 7:45-9 pm Sam Williams’ Super Jazz Concert

“We’re really trying to showcase it to locals and young people,” said Barnes.

In addition to music, the festival showcases Montgomery’s talented local visual artists. These include talents such as Tamiah Coleman, Kevin King and husband-and-wife team Luke and Aimee Bentley. A portion of the festival’s proceeds will be donated to The King’s Canvas 501c3, an arts and community development nonprofit based in West Montgomery.

more: Road Ahead: West Montgomery Neighborhood Experiences Historic Changes

Come sample the city’s unique Southern cuisine. Barnes said chefs from the Vintage Hospitality Group (Vintage Year, Vintage Café, Frenchie’s, Ravello Ristorante) are preparing special treats. Chef Amber Bonds of Funky Forte, Express Yo Noodle and other local restaurants will also be serving dishes.

“It’s music, food and art,” said Barnes. “We have great local artists, local chefs.”

They will also provide inflatable toys for children to play in the family entertainment area.

The walk-in entrance to Riverside Park during the festival is located in the Downtown Tunnel on Commerce Street. Walk into the park and turn right to reach the Amphitheater and Redcliffe Bar.

For more information and tickets to the Red Bluff Music Festival, visit

Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel covers exciting events in the River Region. Contact him:

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