KINGSPORT, TN – The Marshall Tucker Band performing in the Tri-Cities, over 70 unique craft beers, over 20 fine wines, and a wide variety of barbecue – this is what’s in store for attendees at the 9th annual Racks by the Tracks Festival on Saturday, May 14th.
With over 12,000 people attending Racks by the Tracks each year, the popular festival is one of the most popular events in the Tri-Cities.
This year’s headliner, The Marshall Tucker Band is one of music’s most influential southern rock bands, the group combines rock, country, and jazz, with most of their albums having gone gold or platinum. With hit singles like “Heard It in a Love Song”, “Can’t You See”, and “Fire on the Mountain”, the group has continued to write, record, tour and entertain fans from around the world.
In addition to the headliner this year, Racks is also giving attendees the opportunity to see the number one Bon Jovi tribute band in America. Wanted: The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute Band has had such a successful career they have headlined shows at the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and all over the U.S.
Also on the lineup are fan favorite country/rock band Acoustifried and country singer Lance Stinson.
James Phillips, festival organizer, says, “We started working on the Marshall Tucker Band over a year and half ago and all the hard work paid off. Not only do they continue Racks’ history of great concerts, they even take it up a notch. And the Bon Jovi tribute band is better than any tribute band we’ve ever seen, you’ll forget it’s not really Bon Jovi up there. This is a can’t miss concert for anyone in the region, plus it helps to raise thousands of dollars for local non-profits.”
The festival is expanding the wine tasting to now include four different wineries.
The Racks by the Tracks Wine Tasting presented by Reedy Creek Vineyards and Cellar will feature over 20 wines from Reedy Creek Vineyards, Collier Wine Group, Arrington Vineyards, and Stonehaus Winery. Each winery showcases diverse flavors and allow ticket holders to sample a wide variety of styles.
Operating just like the beer tasting, each ticket will get you a commemorative wine tasting glass and access into the all-day concert. The wine tasting event is in the same area as the beer tasting event, so friends and families can spend time together while having tickets to different tastings.
Tickets to the wine tasting are a very exclusive ticket as only 500 are available so readers are encouraged to order tickets early.
CRAFT BEER TASTING
As the region’s original craft beer tasting event, Racks will again bring some of the best craft beer selections to the Tri-Cities. Part of what makes the Racks beer tasting so unique and fun are brewery representatives on-site who have never been to East Tennessee before as well as breweries debuting new beers. This year, Unibroue, Southern Prohibition, and Redeberger will be among those making their first trip to East Tennessee for a tasting event. Southern Prohibition was named the best brewery in Mississippi in 2015 and Redeberger have the highest rated pilsner in Germany.
In addition, there will be a wide slate of local breweries and beers from all over the world. In total, there will be over 50 low gravity craft beers including gluten-free, ciders and more to sample throughout the day.
The popular High Gravity Tasting section also returns in 2016 after selling out its first three years. Featuring beers that are over 5% alcohol by volume, these beers are some brewers’ masterpieces. Some breweries, like Oskar Blues, only brew beers that are high gravity, so the only way to try them is in the High Gravity section. This is an exclusive area with only 500 tickets available and will feature over 10 high gravity beers and includes access to the 50 low gravity beers.
“Our tasting event patrons love attending Racks year after year because they get to meet brewery reps from around the nation, sample beers they’ve never tried before and connect with great local brewers. We work hard every year developing relationships in the craft beer industry, so that brewers can come to East Tennessee to showcase what they are creating, but also so that our East Tennessee residents can share with them what makes our community so great,” said festival founder Kanishka Biddanda.
The beer tasting area is open from 2pm-7pm and is both indoors and outdoors at the Kingsport Farmers Market. Each attendee to either the Low or High Gravity tasting receives a commemorative glass along with entry into the all-day concert.
10K & 5K RACE/WALK & CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT
Events also include the festival’s SPF 10K and 5K Race/Walk presented by Dermatology Associates along with a Cornhole Tournament. Over 500 runners participated in last year’s races. Along with the fun environment, one of the appealing draws of the SPF race is its course is considered the fastest course in the region due to how consistently flat it is. In addition, there is a unique opportunity for runners to participate in The Boss Hog Challenge in which they run in the 10K and 5K back to back, and receive a special t-shirt to commemorate their completion. Awards for all races are given for numerous age groups. All race registrants receive a commemorative race t-shirt along with complimentary entrance into the all-day concerts. Registration for the races and cornhole tournament are available on the festival’s website.
BBQ & KIDS AREA
For those looking to enjoy great food, the BBQ Competition will give attendees an opportunity to taste the best barbecue from restaurants and teams from across the region. Each attendee can cast a vote in 5 different Peoples Choice award categories. No ticket is required to access this section of the festival. Non-barbecue food vendors will also be on-site.
Kids have a section dedicated to them in the Kid’s Station, which features large inflatables. Kids can also enjoy having their faces painted and other fun activities.
The family-friendly festival opens for lunch at noon and lasts until 10pm. The craft beer & wine tasting events are from 2-7pm. The 10K begins at 9am and the 5K begins at 10:30 a.m. The cornhole tournament begins at 2pm. The ticketed music concert is from noon to 10pm.
Entrance to the festival grounds is free and food can be purchased at menu prices.
Concert tickets are $10 in advance (kids under 5 are free) and $15 the day of the festival. The low gravity craft beer tasting and concert ticket combo starts at $30. The high gravity beer tasting ticket starts at $40 and provides access to the concerts, and both the low gravity and exclusive high gravity beer tasting sections. The wine tasting ticket starts at $30 and also includes access to the concerts. Ticket prices increase as the event gets closer.
To save money and avoid waiting in line, attendees are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance. All ticket types can be purchased at: www.RacksByTheTracks.com.
Alternatively, concert or low gravity beer tasting tickets can be purchased at any Food City store.
Stay up-to-date on the festivities by joining the Racks by the Tracks on Facebook. While entrance to the festival is free, all attendees must have a ticket to get access to the special events.
The festival has generated over $60,000 for non-profits.
This year’s proceeds benefit several non-profit organizations including Relay for Life, Kingsport Ballet, Rotary Clubs of America, Keep Kingsport Beautiful, PEAK Young Professionals and Kingsport Chamber of Commerce.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.RacksByTheTracks.com or contact event organizers at (423) 863-3998.
The festival is sponsored by Food City, Cumulus Broadcasting, Libation Station, Reedy Creek Vineyards & Cellar, Dermatology Associates, Sierra Nevada, AccuForce, Eastman Chemical Co., Sapporo Beer, KCVB, Action Rentals, Uncorked, Barberitos of Kingsport, WJHL and VIP Seen.