Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Travis McLeese said the Tennessee River Jam, which made its inaugural run during the weekend, exceeded the Chamber’s expectations.
McLeese said that across the full weekend, with 12 concerts at seven venues, he estimated about 8,500 total people attended the event.
“Our lofty goal was five thousand people, so to hit that number was very exciting,” McLeese said.
He said he got the 8,500 number from examining approximate head counts from each of the seven venues involved in the event. These are estimates and not exact numbers.
At the main show Saturday at Paris Landing State Park, estimated attendance on land was 4,000 people, along with about 1,500 watching and listening from boats on the water.
The hillside from which the people watched the show was packed to its capacity of 4,000.
Ace’s Restaurant, which had a show on Friday, gave a head count of 350.
The Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge, which also had a show on Friday, gave a head count of 100.
The Breakers Marina, which had three shows during the weekend, reported a head count of 1,000.
Blues Landing, which also had three shows for the weekend, estimated its attendance at 1,200.
Sweet Jordan’s, which hosted a show Saturday morning, gave a head count of 100 attendees.
LL’s Bar & Grill, which hosted a concert on Friday night, reported attendance of 185.
McLeese said the total economic impact for Henry County from the event was estimated at $1 million.
This figure would not only include ticket sales and other direct revenue, but also gas, hotel costs, and restaurant meals paid for by people coming to the River Jam from out of town.
“Weekends like this make me love my job as Chamber director,” McLeese said, referring to being able to see people from other states as well as our community come together for the event.
He said a committee should meet sometime next week to begin discussions for next year’s River Jam.
Nothing is official yet, but McLeese said he was optimistic about making the music festival an annual affair.
“All signs point to bringing the event back again,” he said.
The event required collaboration from people all over the community — from planners to venue owners to local musicians.
McLeese, however, said the event wouldn’t have been possible without local emergency service personnel present to keep the event safe.
“There were so many people who stepped in to help,” he said. “All the people behind the scenes — that’s who pulled it off.