Country legend Joe Diffie, over 40 unique craft beers, and the best barbecue in the region – thats exactly what the seventh annual Racks by the Tracks Festival will be providing in Kingsport on Saturday, May 17th from noon to 11pm.

With over 10,000 people now attending each year, the popular festival is growing again. In addition to beer and ribs, the headlining artist is Grammy award winning Joe Diffie. With the release of Jason Aldeans hit 1994 earlier this year that name-checked many of Joe Diffies twelve Number One hits, the legendary singer found himself squarely back in the hearts and minds of country fans. The multi-platinum-selling artist who dominated the charts during a hot streak in the -90s has sold over 6 million albums. With chart-toppers like Pickup Man, Third Rock From the Sun, and John Deere Green, and 13 albums and over 20 Top 10 singles to his credit, Joe has little to prove at this point in his career, yet he still has a fire in his belly to make good country music.

Joe Diffie Folk Soul Revival

Kanishka Biddanda, festival founder, says We are excited to continue the tradition of great concerts at Racks by bringing an artist with one of the most successful careers in country music.  This is a cant miss concert for anyone in the region, plus it helps to raise thousands of dollars for local non-profits.

Opening for Joe Diffie will be the immensely popular band, Folk Soul Revival. Hailing from the Appalachian mountain region, Folk Soul Revival is a harmony-laden, boot stomping, rootsy Americana band.  The Virginia Tourism Board awarded FSR the Virginia Band of the Year, and readers of Virginia Living Magazine named the band among the Top Three bands in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Also on the lineup is rising country star Matt Stillwell.  Stillwell has opened for Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, and Luke Bryan. Matt is also the first musician to be signed to NASCAR driver Kevin Harvicks entertainment label.

Matt Stillwell The Twang Bangers

The festival kicks off at noon with The Twang Bangers, fresh off their Bristol Motor Speedway concert.  Closing the festival will be popular blues draw Catfish Frye Band.

This years craft beer tasting event will again be the must attend feature fans have come to wait year-round for and which lets attendees sample over 40 rare and favorite craft beers from around the world, including gluten-free beers and ciders.

Last year, everyone loved all of the uncommon beers we brought in. So, again in 2014 we searched high and low to find great, hard-to-get beers, said festival organizer James Phillips.

For those looking for an even more special experience, an exclusive high gravity beer tasting will be available. In addition, some breweries are formulating special, one-of-a-kind Racks by the Tracks Festival brews.

A big part of what makes Racks beer tasting so unique is the size of the tasting area and that half of it is indoors and half is outdoors. This gives attendees the ability to bring chairs and sit down inside the tasting area with a direct view of the concert stage.

In addition, with the large tasting area, designated driver tickets will be available for attendee friends who do not want to sample but would like to be in the tasting area.

The beer tasting, from 2-7 p.m., has sold out the past five years, so those interested should buy their tickets well in advance. Each participant receives a souvenir tasting glass.


For those looking to enjoy great bard, the BBQ Cook-Off Competition will give attendees an opportunity to taste the best barbecue from restaurants and teams from across the region. Each attendee at the festival can cast a vote in 4 different Peoples Choice award categories.  Non-barbecue bard vendors will also be on-site.

Kids have a section dedicated to them in the free Leaping Lizards Kids Station, which feature large inflatables. Kids can also enjoy having their faces painted and other activities.


5K Race/Walk Kids Mile

Events also include the festivals SPF 5K Race/Walk & Kids Mile Dash presented by Dermatology Associates and the return of the Cornhole Tournament.  Over 325 runners participated in last years 5k, with proceeds going to The Skin Cancer Foundation. Each runner, regardless of age, receives a performance race shirt.  Awards will be given for numerous age groups.  Race registrants also receive free entrance into the concerts. Registration for the races and cornhole tournament are available on the festivals website.


The family-friendly festival opens for lunch at noon and lasts until 11pm.  The craft beer tasting event is from 2-7pm.  The Kids Mile begins at 10am and the 5K begins at 10:30am. The Cornhole Tournament begins at 2pm.  The ticketed music concert is from noon to 11pm.

The festival grounds are free and bard 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 craft beer tasting and concert ticket combo is $30 ($40 from May 1).  The High Gravity Beer Tasting ticket is $40 ($50 from May 1) and provides access to the concert, craft beer tasting, and the exclusive high gravity beer section.

To avoid waiting in line, attendees should buy their tickets in advance.  Tickets can be purchased at www.RacksByTheTracks.com today or at any Food City store.

Stay up-to-date on the festivities by joining the Racks by the Tracks Facebook page. While entrance to the festival is free, all partakers must have a ticket to get access to the special events.

The festival has generated over $30,000 for non-profits.

This years proceeds benefit several non-profit organizations including Sullivan County Humane Society, Relay for Life, Skin Cancer Foundation, Keep Kingsport Beautiful, Downtown Kingsport Association, 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, Pepsi, WQUT, Nash FM 104.9, WXSM, Libation Station, Dermatology Associates, Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union, Sapporo Beer, Leaping Lizards, KCVB, Biggies, Barberitos of Kingsport and VIP Seen.


Racks by the Tracks is a barbecue competition, craft beer tasting, and music festival held on May 17, 2014 in historic downtown Kingsport, Tennessee.  Celebrating its 7th anniversary in 2014, Racks is one of the largest one-day festivals in the region.  The festival is recognized within the community for being fun, family-friendly, well-organized, and committed to charitable giving.

The festival returns to its location at the Kingsport Farmers Market facility.

Quick Facts about Racks:

  • 7th Year of the festival – this years date is May 17th, 2014
  • Festival will be from Noon-11pm
  • Festival is family-friendly
  • Attendance size is over 10,000 people
  • 2,000-ticket, 40-beer craft beer tasting festival sold out five years in a row
  • Over $30,000 generated for non-profits through the festival
  • 30 barbecue competitors and 15 additional bard vendors
  • 85% of attendees come from the Greater Tri-Cities region (Kingsport, Johnson City, Bristol, Abingdon, Elizabethton, Greeneville)
  • 15% of attendees come from the Tri-State area (Knoxville, Chattanooga, Asheville, Gatlinburg, Greenville SC)
  • New this year is the Cornhole Tournament
  • Return of the popular SFP 5K Run/Walk and Kids Mile with had over 325 runners in its first year last year
  • Free Kids Station featuring events such as large inflatables and face-painting
  • Festival generates thousands of dollars every year to local community non-profits, which has included:
    • Sullivan County Humane Society
    • Relay for Life (American Cancer Society)
    • Skin Cancer Foundation
    • Second Harvest of Northeast Tennessee (Feeding America)
    • Kingsport Chamber of Commerce
    • Downtown Kingsport Association

Unique Craft Beer Tasting – 2-7pm

Attendees loved the unique beers Racks brought in last year and that will continue in 2014 with over 40 unique, hard to find, and favorite craft beers from around the world. There will be every type of beer possible available, including Gluten Free Beers and Ciders.  Also, returning this year will be the High Gravity beer tasting that is limited to 500 tickets.

  • Craft Beer Tasting Tickets are $30 before May 1st. $40 thereafter. (Ticket includes a concert ticket.)
  • High Gravity Beer Tasting Tickets are $40 before May 1st. $50 thereafter. (Tickets to the High Gravity Tasting include the Craft Beer Tasting and a Concert Ticket)