Racks by the Tracks returns for lucky 13th season

Matthew Lane • Feb 25, 2020 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Racks by the Tracks, one of the largest food and music festivals in our region, returns to downtown Kingsport in May for its 13th year. Beer lovers and hot wing connoisseurs pay heed — tickets are on sale now.

Officials with the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and local business sponsors held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce details of the annual festival, to identify the bands scheduled to perform and discuss some of the highlights of this year’s event.

Notable highlights include a “Buy One — Taste All” ticket for the beer, wine and seltzer tasting area on May 16. No longer will attendees have to buy combo tickets. There’s also a 100-hour online ticket special currently going on.

For the first 100 hours (after Tuesday’s announcement) you’ll be able to purchase a tasting ticket (beers, seltzers, wines and concerts) for $35, while concert tickets and Spring Wing Fling tickets are $10 each. Tickets are available at www.racksbythetracks.com.

“(Racks by the Tracks) is an important event for our community. It brings folks together, and it’s not just a Kingsport event. It really has regional appeal,” said Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull. “It fits in with the things we do all year long, and it really helps build community spirit. It’s family fun, and it makes me proud to be mayor of Kingsport since it’s such a great event for the city.”


The two-day festival takes place at the Kingsport Farmers Market in downtown Kingsport (308 Clinchfield St.) and is estimated to bring in more than 15,000 people. It kicks off on May 15 with the fourth annual Spring WING Fling from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Here, you’ll be able to sample wings from a number of local restaurants and enjoy a beer or two while listening to live music. Water and condiments will be provided, Beer, wine and other foods will be available for purchase.

The event typically sells out (with 2,000 people in attendance). Following the 100-hour special, tickets can be purchased on March 1 at www.visitkingsport.com or at the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce for $15. Tickets will be $20 the day of the event.


Racks by the Tracks will feature more than 80 unique craft beers, more than 20 wines, seltzers and sangrias and 25 barbecue vendors. Live music will take place throughout the day beginning at 1 p.m., and for the younger generation, Racks by the Tracks will again feature a Kid’s Station, with rides on the carousel and other fun activities.

Returning for its eighth year is the SPF 10K and 5K Race/Walk, where typically 650 runners show up to compete. If you’re seeking a challenge, you can also sign-up for the Boss Hog Challenge, where you’ll compete in both the 10K and 5K races. For your effort, you’ll receive a limited-edition Boss Hog Challenge T-shirt.

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 five different People’s Choice award categories. No ticket is required to access this section of the festival. Non-barbecue food vendors will also be onsite.


The concert series at Racks by the Tracks kicks off at 1 p.m. on May 16 with local favorite Fairacres, a three-member band of longtime friends (and D-B juniors) Ellie Brooks, Kayley McMillian and her younger brother Conner (a freshman at D-B). Taking the name Fairacres (where they live), the trio sings a variety of music that includes classic and current country and Americana.

Next up, beginning at 3 p.m. is Demon Waffle, a band that blends reggae, rock, punk, soul, funk and ska with a high-energy show. Demon Waffle is no stranger to the Racks by the Tracks stage and once again will bring that one-of-a-kind sound to the festival.

Later on in the day at 5 p.m., Appetite for Destruction will hit the stage, offering a true blue, time tested, road-rashed, mother of all Guns N' Roses tributes for those in attendance. Starting in 2001, Appetite for Destruction is the only full-time touring Guns N’ Roses tribute band.

And wrapping up the evening, World Turning Band, A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac, will perform beginning at 7 p.m. Since 2013, World Turning Band has been entertaining audiences with Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits, along with B-sides, early tracks and solo efforts from Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.


Racks by the Tracks tickets are available online and at any Food City location. Individuals are encouraged to purchase early for the best pricing during the “100-Hour Online Sale” as prices will increase in increments as the festival draws closer.

If you’re coming from out of town or just looking for a weekend staycation, the festival also offers hotel packages that include free transportation to and from the event. The hotel packages are at MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center, Comfort Suites and Hampton Inn with a special discounted rate available only through www.racksbythetracks.com

Racks by the Tracks prides itself on giving back each year and to date has contributed over $100,000 to local nonprofit organizations.