Some of the toughest questions we get asked

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General FAQs

  • Is this an annual event?
    Absolutely! 8th year and running! We can hardly believe it, too.
  • My company wants to sponsor. Is that possible?
    Yes! We’re currently accepting sponsorships for On the River. We have a variety of sponsorship options – send an email to and someone will get in touch with you soon. Oh yeah… thanks!
  • Can I volunteer to help out at this event?
    Of course! We have some volunteer positions available for responsible, hard-working individuals. Those positions include marketing, ticketing, set-up, decorations, logistics, clean-up and tear-down. Let us know what your availability is by filling out the form located at the volunteer section.
  • Who is in charge of this event?
    On the River is the culmination of a conversation between a couple guys who wanted to host an outdoor summer bash for their friends. The Steering Committee has teamed up with the Young Professionals Against Poverty to benefit the South Bend Center for the Homeless. This event would not be possible without the support of many family, friends, acquaintances, colleagues and businesses.
  • How many people are expected to attend?
    Probably somewhere in the ballpark of 1,500 – 3,000 people each day. So invite some friends and add to that number!
  • Can I bring my own food/beverage/cooler?
    Nope. Check out the festivities page for more info on food and drink… we’ll have plenty of stuff for you at the event!
  • Can I bring pets?
  • Can I bring beach toys, frisbees, volleyballs, etc?
    That sounds like fun! Once again, please just keep track of your own stuff and PLEASE watch out for others.
  • Can I bring blankets, towels, chairs, umbrellas?
    Sure! Why not?!?! Please just watch out for your own stuff and watch out for others… don’t put your big ol’ chair or umbrella in front of those who want to see the stage! On the River is not responsible for lost or stolen items. So be careful!
  • Will there be any shade out there?
    There will be a big tent, however, the main focus of the event will be the imported beach area – there’s not really much shade on the beach, so please plan accordingly. “Ladies and gentleman of the class of ’99… wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future…. Sunscreen would be it.”
  • What’s appropriate attire for this thing?
    Well, first and foremost, we do suggest sandals... practically the entire event is on sand. We also think you should dress for the heat… summer clothes. Other than that, break out your Hawaiian shirts, your tropical dress and your beach hat. You get the drift. If so inclined, guys are welcome to be shirtless and gals may wear bikini tops. We don’t really want to see any thongs or speedos though – sorry!
  • What if it rains?
    Then it’s a beach party in the rain! On the River will be held rain or shine. The stage is covered so the bands will still play. There is also a big tent that’ll accommodate those of you who don’t like to sing in the rain.
  • What ages can come to Teen Night?
    Well, this event is designed for teenagers...hence the name! But all ages can come and hang out.
  • Does everyone have to be at least 21 to enter?
    Yes and No. So we'll try to spell it out as easily as possible.
    • NO: Friday, August 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. is considered Teen Night and all ages can come out and enjoy the festivities of On the River.
    • NO: Saturday, August 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is considered Family Day with family-oriented activities. So all ages are again welcome.
    • YES: Saturday, August 8 any time after 3:00 p.m., yes… EVERYONE must be 21. We’re sorry! Saturday evening is a 21 and over event so get a babysitter and come have a blast!
  • Is the party area really made up of sand?
    Yep! The whole place will be made up of sand… it’s basically the beach on the river. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 tons of sand will be onsite. We suggest wearing sandals. The food/beverage service area will be on pavement (at least to start out) as will the stage. And we’ll try to keep sand out of the port-a-potties!
  • What time does this event start/end?
    Friday, August 7 — 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (Teen Night) with last call for food and beverages at 10:30PM. Saturday, August 8 — 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Family Day). Saturday, August 8 — 3:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. (21+ Bash*) with last call for food and beverages at 10:30PM. *The volleyball tournament begins at 3:30 p.m.

Getting Here

  • Where do I park?
    The Commerce Center parking lot which is right across the street from the event (between Colfax and LaSalle) is fair game and it’s free! Additionally, you may park in any non-private parking lot or legal street parking anywhere in downtown South Bend. Onsite handicap parking is available.
  • Where exactly is this event located?
    On a little ol' spot where Colfax Avenue and the St. Joseph River meet in Downtown South Bend. If you need an actual address for your GPS, you can punch in 320 E. Colfax Ave. South Bend, IN 46617. We're just to the east of the St. Joe River and south of the Commerce Center. Some of you who have been around town for awhile know this site as the former location of The Wharf Restaurant.


  • What will the security be like?
    There will be plenty of security during all three portions of the event. Parents can rest assured that we're creating a safe environment for your teen on Teen Night. Several protocols such as bag checks and the no alcohol/tobacco policy will be accompanied by police officers, the Red Cross, and several dozen security staffers will be on hand to ensure an enjoyable time for all.
  • Will my kids be safe?
    Of course they will. Not only do we have an entire staff dedicated to security and keeping our patrons safe, but South Bend Police Department officers will be there, as well.

Ticket FAQs

  • Are there refunds?
    No refunds… sorry! We don’t really see why anyone would need a refund… maybe this shouldn’t even be a frequently asked question. Plus, all the money goes to a could cause anyways.
  • Can someone buy a ticket I purchased?
    If you physically have a ticket in hand, sure, go ahead and give it to somebody else. If you purchased the ticket online, please email -- describe your problem and we’ll find a solution!