Saturday, October 25, 2014 · 6:51 p.m.

Bessie Smith Strut tickets on sale Monday

New price set at $5, $10 after June 9

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Strut ticket sales locations

—Area Kangaroo Express gas stations

—Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.

—Champy's, 526 E. M.L. King Blvd.

—Mary's Lounge, 212 McCallie Ave.

—Maggie G's, 400 E. M.L. King Blvd.

—JJ's Bohemia, 231 E. M.L. King Blvd.

—Roshanna's Hair & Beauty Bar, 320 E. M.L. King Blvd.

For the first time in the event's 30-year history, tickets will be required to attend the annual Bessie Smith Strut Blues Festival on June 11.

Hadden Sayers will be opening for Joe Louis Walker at the Bessie Smith Strut in June. Sayers has been playing guitar since he was a young teen. (Photo: Friends of the Festival)

Beginning Monday, May 21, tickets can be purchased for $5 at several locations around Chattanooga and online via a ticketing website through June 9. After June 9, the price jumps to $10.

The event remains free of charge for Riverbend pin holders, and children under the age of 6 are admitted free.

This year's musical lineup includes Motown funk legend Ike Stubblefield, The Lionel Young Band, award-winning bluesman Joe Louis Walker and guitarist Hadden Sayers.

The 2012 strut will see a host of changes after months of discussion earlier this year when Mayor Ron Littlefield sought to relocate or cancel the event because of security concerns. In late April, an anonymous donor stepped up to provide additional funds necessary for the Bessie Smith Cultural Center to take over event management, operations and insurance, allowing it to remain in the same location on M.L. King Boulevard.

Other changes coming to the popular event this year include fencing enclosing the event to limit access in and out of the event to three locations. Those locations are M.L. King Boulevard and Lindsay Street, King Street and 10th Street, and M.L. King Boulevard and Mabel Street.

Children under the age of 17 are required to be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible adult.

In addition the Chattanooga Police Department, off-duty police officers and private security officers have been hired to ensure the safety and security of the event.

Organizers with the BSCC have also announced that they will be accepting donations at each gate location in an effort to sustain the event in the coming years. Costs to more fully secure and insure the event this year have made the operating budget significantly higher, and the group seeks to establish startup funds for the 2013 strut.

This year, the goal is to recover all related expenses from the 2012 strut.

"Should funds remain, they will be reinvested in the Martin Luther King corridor and in the community to ensure that the Bessie Smith Cultural Center has programs that support the mission of the center," said a press release.

Strut attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs and cameras, but video cameras, coolers, outside food and beverages, glass containers, large backpacks, pets and skateboards are not permitted, and belongings will be subject to a search upon entry and re-entry of the event, officials said.

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