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The line-up for Louder than Life has been set and will feature such acts as Slipknot, Motionless In White, GWAR, Guns N’ Roses, Godsmack, Dropkick Murphys, Rob Zombie, and many many more.

The three day event starts Friday, September 27 with the doors opening at 11 AM. With the event at the Kentucky Exposition Center this year, parking should be easier to find and rain won’t force the event to cancel.

Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at https://louderthanlifefestival.com/tickets/. Attendees that are interested in attending all three of the festivals at the Exposition Center this year will be sad to hear that the Trifecta Pass is sold out.

If you have not had the pleasure of attending Louder Than Life in the past, here is an idea of what you can expect.

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The World’s Largest Bourbon Festival, Bourbon & Beyond, will make its anticipated return to Louisville, KY Friday, September 20, Saturday, September 21, and Sunday, September 22, expanding to three days full of incredible music, unique culinary events, and unmatched experiences from the region’s best distilleries at the new Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center. In addition to an unforgettable lineup of bourbon and chefs, music performers include a unique mix of rock, roots, bluegrass and folk acts headlined by Foo Fighters, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters (returning after originally being scheduled to appear in 2018) and the Zac Brown Band. Additional acts include John Fogerty, Daryl Hall & John Oates, ZZ Top (celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2019), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Trey Anastasio Band, Leon Bridges, The Flaming Lips, Alison Krauss, Edward Sharpe And The Magnetic Zeroes, +LIVE+, Grace Potter, Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, among many others. In total, more than 45 artists will play on three stages, including the side-by-side Oak and Barrel main stages and a bluegrass stage that will be curated by the genre’s leading authority, The Bluegrass Situation.

Held during Bourbon Heritage Month, Bourbon & Beyond also celebrates the craftsmanship behind award-winning spirits, master distillers and world-class chefs. Bourbon author, Amazon Prime host (Bourbon Up) and expert Fred Minnick has curated one-of-a-kind tastings and seminars celebrating Louisville’s world-renowned distilleries, while culinary curators Edward Lee (The Mind of A Chef) and Anthony Lamas (Seviche) will team up to arrange special food experiences that will be announced soon.

“If you could capture America in a bottle, it would be a bottle of bourbon. It’s a uniquely American creation, like jazz and baseball, and its beating heart is in Louisville,” says Bourbon & Beyond producer Danny Wimmer. “This connection to the past has transformed Louisville into a city of the future. One of the most vibrant and diverse food scenes in the country has grown around bourbon’s resurgence, and we tried to mirror that spirit with the great music lineup that we put together. I can’t wait for people to visit this city in September and experience something that goes far beyond their preconception of what Louisville is.”

Bourbon & Beyond exclusive VIP packages, General Admission tickets, camping and hotel packages, as well as special event tickets, go on sale Friday, March 15 at 12:00 PM EDT. Visit www.BourbonandBeyond.com for more details.

Produced by premier independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents, the third annual Bourbon & Beyond will be held at a new festival location, the Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center. All of DWP’s Louisville festivals will take place at the new venue, including the firstever Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival (Sept. 14-15) and Louder Than Life (Sept. 27-29). Fans interested in attending all three weekends can purchase a special Trifesta Pass, which allows General Admission weekend access for the discounted rate of only $229.00 plus fees.

The initial list of participating chefs at Bourbon & Beyond includes:

  • Edward Lee (The Mind of A Chef, 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, Whiskey Dry)
  • Graham Elliot (Family Food Fight, Top Chef)
  • The Voltaggio Brothers (Michael – Ink, Top Chef & Bryan – VOLT)
  • Tiffani Thiessen (“Dinner At Tiffani’s”)
  • Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa, Toro, Little Donkey)
  • Amanda Freitag (The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef’s Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking, Chopped)
  • Anthony Lamas (Chef/Owner at Seviche)
  • Brooke Williamson (Top Chef, Knife Fight, House of Food) • Jose Salazar (Salazar, Mita’s, Goose and Elder)
  • Ouita Michel (Holly Hill Inn)
  • Adam Sobel (Cal Mare)
  • Jonathan Searle (Lockbox)
  • Matt Abdoo (Pig Beach)
  • Rusty Hamlin (Papi’s Taqueria, Zac Brown’s Social Club, Atkins Park Restaurant)
  • Sara Bradley (Freight House)
  • Kelsey Barnard Clark (KBC)
  • Justin Sutherland (Iron Chef America, Handsome Hog, Pearl and the Thief)

The festival’s centerpiece, Kroger’s Big Bourbon Bar presented by Louisville Courier Journal, will feature more than two dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries, and a unique opportunity to enjoy bourbons and exclusive one-time specialty cocktails from 1792, Angel’s Envy, Barrell Bourbon, Bloody Butcher’s Creed, Buffalo Trace, Coopers’ Craft, Elijah Craig, Four Roses, Kentucky Peerless, Michter’s, Old Forester, StoneHammer, Wild Turkey and more to be announced.

As part of this innovative partnership and Kroger’s commitment to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, 25 cents will be donated directly to Dare to Care Food Bank (www.daretocare.org) from every ticket sold. Dare to Care Food Bank works to ensure that no one in our community lacks enough food to live an active, healthy lifestyle, and Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative is their bold plan to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste in their company by 2025.

Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar presented by the Bourbon Women Association will showcase craft selections from Wilderness Trail, MB Roland and Bluegrass Distillery. Acclaimed Louisville whiskey bar The Silver Dollar will operate The Hunter’s Club, where attendees can find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles.

The initial list of participating bourbon brands at Bourbon & Beyond includes 1792, Angel’s Envy, Bardstown Bourbon, Barrell Bourbon, Blanton’s, Bloody Butcher’s Creed, Bluegrass Distillery, Boone County Distilling, Buffalo Trace, Coopers’ Craft, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Four Roses, Jim Beam, Kentucky Peerless, Knob Creek, Larceny, Maker’s Mark, MB Roland, Michter’s, Old Forester, Wild Turkey, Wilderness Trail, W.L. Weller and Woodford Reserve.

Ticket prices for Bourbon & Beyond will be as follows:

  • 3-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $169.50 + fees
  • 3-Day Mint Experience VIP: starting at $579.50 + fees
  • 3-Day Beyond VIP: $1,599.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $249.50 + fees

Mint Experience VIP tickets include access to The Mint Garden—an exclusive hang area with dedicated bars, comfortable furniture, and live audio/video streams of the Barrel and Oak Stages, plus front-of-stage viewing of the Barrel and Oak Stages—as well as a dedicated merchandise stand, premium, dedicated food offerings, air-conditioned, flushable restrooms, dedicated entrance lanes into the festival and a commemorative laminate and wristband.

Beyond VIP tickets include access to all Mint Experience VIP amenities PLUS a shaded viewing deck, air-conditioned lounge/tent with live audio/video streams of the Barrel and Oak Stages, allinclusive premium drinks at 2 private bars within the hang area, complimentary hors d’oeuvres during set lunch and dinner hours, dedicated air-conditioned, flushable bathrooms, massage station, complimentary lockers with cell-phone chargers, complimentary Wi-Fi access, Beyond VIP Concierge staff and a commemorative Beyond VIP laminate and wristband.

Bourbon & Beyond sponsors include Kentucky Department of Tourism, Louisville Tourism, Kroger, Lagunitas, Red Bull, Zyn, Fxck Cancer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Angry Orchard, Bourbon Women Association, Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA), Glencairn Crystal, and Eagle Nest Outfitters.

The Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center are located at 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville, Kentucky. Festival doors open at 11:00 AM daily.

Premier independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents continues to show its love for Louisville with a third addition to a massive fall festival series in the one-of-a-kind city. Hometown Rising, the first-ever Country Music & Bourbon Festival, will make its debut Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15 at Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center, combining two of Louisville’s cultural cornerstones—great music and incredible bourbon.

Hometown Rising’s incredible music lineup will be led by country heavyweights including Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, and Little Big Town, with additional appearances from Dwight Yoakam, Brett Young, Jake Owen, Bret Michaels, Frankie Ballard, and many more. In total, more than 30 artists will play on three stages, including two side-by-side main stages, over the course of the weekend.

Hometown Rising exclusive VIP packages, General Admission tickets, camping and hotelpackages, as well as special event tickets go on sale Friday, February 15 at 12:00 PM EDT. Visit www.HometownRising.com for more details.

With three back-to-back festival weekends in Louisville in 2019, Danny Wimmer Presentswants to ensure all fans have the chance to enjoy multiple events with an affordable and convenient ticketing option. New this year, fans can purchase a special “Trifesta” Pass for the discounted rate of only $229.00 plus fees. The pass allows General Admission weekend access to all three DWP fall festivals in Louisville—Hometown Rising (September 14 & 15), Bourbon & Beyond (September 20-22) and Louder Than Life (September 27-29). Check out https://trifestapass.com for more information.

“I am beyond thrilled to be playing the very first year of Hometown Rising, and to have the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious and eclectic lineup of modern country artists,” says performer Alice Wallace.

Adds festival producer Danny Wimmer, “Hometown Rising is a blend of the music and culture I grew up around, in a place I now consider a second home. While DWP is best known for our rock festivals, I was surrounded by country music growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, and I’m excited to be expanding our portfolio with a genre and a place that are both close to my heart. I can’t think of a better location to launch a country music festival than right here in bourbon country. Mayor Fischer and the Louisville community continue to be great partners as we take this next step in the marriage of great music, food and bourbon.”

Music Industry Veteran Danny Wimmer knows a little about producing music festivals, and he should… he has been at it since 1993 with big name events like Rock on the Range, the Aftershock Festival, Carolina Rebellion, Rock Allegiance, and others.

Evidence of his expertise can be seen with the huge crowds that he’s drawn to Louisville over the past half-decade with music festivals that may sound a little more familiar. Last year alone, Danny Wimmer Presents Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life Festivals drew a combined 110,000 fans to Champions Park for four amazing days of music, food, and great times.

Later this month, both festivals return with back-to-back weekends jam packed with dozens of favorites and new acts ready to expose attendees to the upcoming crop of artists in their respective genres.   Continue reading

Amid recent talks about tariffs and trade wars, eight of the world’s biggest players in the whiskey industry are meeting for what has been dubbed the “W8 Summit” to be hosted right here in Louisville.

The world’s eight leading whiskey associations will gather in Kentucky, the Birthplace of Bourbon, next week in a historic summit to discuss trade issues that threaten the growth of this iconic, international industry.

The “W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit” is being hosted and coordinated by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a non-profit trade group founded in 1880 as the Commonwealth’s voice for Bourbon and distilled spirits issues.

KDA President Eric Gregory said this first-ever gathering of the world’s whiskey associations will serve as an open exchange of ideas, strategy and a shared commitment to preserving free and fair trade. “Now more than ever, our groups need to be communicating directly and, hopefully, speaking with a unified voice.”

“The global whiskey industry has been enjoying an unprecedented level of success to the benefit of our legendary producers, consumers, countries and local communities,” he said. “It’s critical that we maintain this momentum and ensure that world leaders understand the deep economic impact of whiskey and how it will be affected if this unfortunate trade war escalates or continues to extend.  The potential for long-term damage is real.”

Participating trade associations from around the glob include:

  • Distilled Spirits Council
  • Irish Whiskey & Spirits Associations
  • Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Producers Makers Association
  • Kentucky Distillers’ Association
  • Scotch Whisky Association
  • Spirits Canada
  • spiritsEUROPE
  • The President’s Forum

The group will meet July 25 and 26 in Louisville, ending with a press conference and ceremonial planting of a white oak tree outside the Frazier History Museum on Whiskey Row, the site of the upcoming Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center.

Kentucky Bourbon is one of the Commonwealth’s most historic and treasured industries, a booming $8.5 billion economic engine that generates as many as 17,500 jobs with an annual payroll topping $800 million and pours $825 million into tax coffers each year.

In addition, the industry is in the middle of a $1.2 billion building boom, from innovative new tourism centers to expanded production facilities, all to meet the growing global thirst for Kentucky Bourbon.

There are now 39 companies operating 52 distilleries in the Commonwealth making 6.8 million barrels of aging Bourbon – all modern records. Distillers also paid a record $19.2 million last year in barrel taxes that fund critical local programs such as education, public safety and health.

Visit www.kybourbon.com and www.kybourbontrail.com to learn more.

In one of bourbon country’s largest single projects, Gov. Matt Bevin and leaders of Stoli Group broke ground recently for Kentucky Owl Park, a nearly $150 million lakeside complex to include a distillery, visitors center, cooperage, rickhouses, bottling center, restaurant and other facilities at Bardstown’s 420-acre Haydon Materials Quarry.

“Global demand for bourbon continues to bring significant economic impact to Kentucky through jobs, investment and tourism,” said Gov. Bevin. “This new project by Stoli Group in the heart of bourbon country will serve to accelerate this trend. Stoli Group will offer numerous employment opportunities and support many families in and around Nelson County. I congratulate the company and look forward seeing this concept come to life over the coming years.”

Site prep and construction for the project’s first phase — which includes the distillery — could begin early next year with an opening targeted for 2020. It would create approximately 57 of the park’s anticipated 77 total full-time jobs. The park will be home to Stoli Group’s newly created American Whiskey Division, including its storied 140-year-old Kentucky Owl brand.

“Stoli Group will put great resources into these endeavors — both the distillery experience and the growth of this very important category for our company. As master blender, Dixon Dedman will continue to manage the production of Kentucky Owl — the crown jewel of the new division, which will remain a small batch offering,” said Dmitry Efimov, head of Stoli Group’s American Whiskey Division. “This site will be home to additional brands that we will create or acquire. With the continued strength and growth of American whiskies and bourbons, we are beginning to evaluate those opportunities.”

Stoli Group purchased the Haydon Materials Quarry, formerly Cedar Creek quarry, along John Rowan Boulevard in Bardstown, to provide a unique topographical setting. In the long-term, company leaders plan to establish the park as a premier destination on the Bourbon Trail. Their plans include a freshwater lake for fishing and recreation, a gourmet restaurant, a convention center and hotel, a vintage passenger train and a refurbished train station.

Established in 2013, Stoli Group is responsible for the management, distribution and marketing operations of SPI Group’s global spirits portfolio. One of the world’s leading wine and spirits organizations, SPI Group is an independent company headquartered in Luxembourg committed to a mission of building a respected portfolio of select premium brands. Additionally, SPI Group develops large-scale real estate projects, including the Finos Tequila distillery in Jalisco, Mexico and the award-winning Bayou Rum distillery and visitors center in Lacassine, Louisiana, and farms 14,000 acres of agricultural land, including for its Stoli and elit Vodkas in Tambov, Russia.

Sen. Jimmy Higdon, of Lebanon, said Stoli Group promises to grow the state’s strong reputation in the bourbon industry.

“I am so pleased to hear Stoli Group has chosen this Bardstown location to be Kentucky’s newest bourbon-based economic development project,” Sen. Higdon said. “Kentucky’s signature bourbon industry has showed no sign of slowing, and with this huge investment in the region and the creation of new Kentucky jobs, I have no doubt that Stoli Group will join the ranks of great distillers.”

Rep. Chad McCoy, of Bardstown, said the project will have a substantial impact on the already thriving local bourbon industry.

“Stoli Group understands the rich tradition of bourbon in the commonwealth, and we are thrilled the company is expanding a recently acquired family business to Bardstown,” said Rep. Chad McCoy, who serves as vice-chair of the Licensing, Occupations and Administrative Regulations Committee. “The distillery is a boon for our community and will cement Bardstown’s transformation into the premiere bourbon destination for Kentuckians and people from all over the world.”

Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton said the company has found the perfect home in Nelson County.

“We are extremely happy to have Stoli Group’s American Whiskey Distillery join our growing family of distilleries in Bardstown and Nelson County,” Mayor Heaton said. “Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World. This new investment is a testament that there is no better place to make bourbon, educate and entertain visitors than Bardstown, Kentucky. The announcement comes as a result of much hard work by many people in the public and private sector here. The City of Bardstown is proud to be a part of this exciting project.”

Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts said the project will have a positive impact on the community.

“The announcement of Stoli Group’s American Whiskey Distillery coming to Nelson County is excellent economic news,” Judge-Executive Watts said. “We appreciate their investment in our community and look forward to helping with their success.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in September preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In October, KEDFA approved SPI Group for up to $1.2 million in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, SPI Group can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal year 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.

Louder Than Life will be making it’s annual appearance at Champions Park this weekend and weather will be just about perfect.  The two-day festival features music, food and drinks.  Headlining performances will feature Ozzy Osbourne with Zakk Wylde, Rob Zombie, Incubus, Stone Sour, Halestorm, and many more.  For the foodie, food will be showcasing many local and regional favorites ranging from fried chicken, barbecue, grilled cheese, hot dogs, tacos and gelato.  For the bourbon lover, many Kentucky bourbon distilleries will be featured, including Angel’s Envy, Jim Beam, and Buffalo Trace.

Gates open at 11:00 AM on both days.  Tickets are still available and prices range from $69.50 for Sunday only, $90 for Saturday only, $120 minimum for the entire weekend, to $280 for a VIP package.  If you are planning to attend, be sure to check the information page for what items are allowed to be taken in with you, pay close attention to the bag size restrictions.

If you have not attended the show before, check out last year’s Louder Than Life Festival.

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