Bourbon & Beyond Wraps Incredible Weekend with 91,000 Fans In Attendance
September 20, 21 & 22 At Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center
The World’s Largest Bourbon Festival Featured Foo Fighters, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, Zac Brown Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Fogerty, ZZ Top & More
The third year of Bourbon & Beyond wrapped an unforgettable weekend September 20-22 with 91,000 fans in attendance at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center. Produced by premier independent festival producer Danny Wimmer Presents, the festival offered memorable experiences from top music talent, local and national bourbon distillers, and celebrity chefs that together celebrated the spirit of Louisville.
Foo Fighters, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, Zac Brown Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Fogerty, ZZ Top and nearly 50 artists in total across Bourbon & Beyond‘s three stages captivated the audience, including several surprise moments. Foo Fighters welcomed special guest Revel Ian on guitar for their final song “Everlong.” The young son of Pearl Aday and Anthrax’s Scott Ian closed out the first night after Pearl opened the festival with her band on Friday. On Saturday, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl sat in on drums with Squeeze for their classic hit “Black Coffee In Bed.” Legendary vocalist Robert Plant ended Saturday night with a mesmerizing performance of songs from the Led Zeppelin songbook as well as his solo material while Zac Brown Band wowed with a number of original hits and covers. Nathaniel Rateliff was also joined by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band for a rousing performance. And John Fogerty celebrated the 50th anniversary of his appearance at the original Woodstock with a mini-documentary before his set, while ZZ Top marked their 50th year as a touring band.
The Better In The Bluegrass culinary stage and the Kentucky Gold bourbon workshop stage also had their share of special moments. On Friday, master chef and Bourbon & Beyond culinary co-curator Edward Lee was joined by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer for a cooking demo. On Saturday, former Saved By The Bell and Beverly Hills 90210 star Tiffani Thiessen celebrated the release of her new cookbook, Pull Up A Chair with a demo and book signing. Several music performers also made special appearances on the Better In The Bluegrass Stage including Coy Bowles from the Zac Brown Band appearing with chef Rusty Hamlin, as well as Ben Jaffe from Preservation Hall Jazz Band joining chef Justin Sutherland. The Kentucky Gold stage closed out its programming Sunday night with a provocative chat about the history of “Slavery in American Whiskey” and on Saturday hosted the Van Winkle family – renowned for the sought-after Pappy Van Winkle bourbon – who discussed their efforts to decrease counterfeiting in the industry.
Other onsite attractions included the Kroger Big Bourbon Bar presented by Louisville Courier-Journal, which featured more than two dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries and the Derby Dance Hall; Fred Minnick’s Mini Bar presented by Bourbon Women Association,hosted by the Bourbon & Beyond bourbon curator, author/expert, and Amazon Prime host (Bourbon Up); Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar; The Music Experience; Angel’s Envy Speakeasy; and The Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club, where attendees could find vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary collectibles.
Attendees at Bourbon & Beyond also enjoyed a variety of onsite food and beverage offerings that celebrated menus and flavors inspired by Kentucky. Selections from local and regional restaurants were curated by Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, DWP‘s affiliate concessionaire.
Forbes said of Bourbon & Beyond, “It’s the inclusion of great food and unique bourbon experiences that set Louisville’s Bourbon & Beyond apart from a crowded American destination scene.”
Louisville Business First said, “The musical lineup seemed to have something for everyone.”
And local NBC affiliate WAVE 3 said, “Bourbon & Beyond packs plenty of fun … the weather was nice, the music sounded good and bourbon was everywhere.”
Bourbon & Beyond was the second event in Danny Wimmer Presents’ Louisville Trifesta series, which kicked off with the sold-out Hometown Rising September 14-15 and will wrap up with Louder Than Life September 27-29. Tickets for Louder Than Life are still available at www.louderthanlifefestival.com.
Ahead of the Bourbon & Beyond festival kickoff, Danny Wimmer Presents hosted an appreciation dinner for Louisville Trifesta community partners on September 18 at Bourbon & Beyond culinary co-curator Chef Anthony Lamas‘ renowned restaurant Seviche. At the event, the following honorees were presented with hand painted one-of-a-kind custom guitars created by Ron Williams (RonzWorld):
-2019 Hometown Rising Award (for moving Louisville forward)
Karen Williams, President & CEO, Louisville Tourism
–2019 Bourbon & Beyond Award (for taking a big shot to accelerate the growth of Bourbonism)
Fred Minnick, Wall Street Journal-Bestselling Author, Bourbon Curator & Tasting Expert, Minnick Media, Inc.
–2019 Louder Than Life Award (for having the courage to make a lot of noise for the betterment of your community)
Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville Metro
–2019 Trifesta Award (for lifetime achievement for improving the quality of life in the Commonwealth)
Secretary Don Parkinson, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky
“I am honored to be chosen by Danny Wimmer Presents with its inaugural Louder Than Life award. I’m proud of the work that my team and I have done to help support DWP as they built that first festival at Champions Park and then kept building and building until this year. We’re seeing thousands of people over three weekends come to Louisville for the Trifesta,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “As our own Muhammad Ali once said, ‘It ain’t bragging if you can back it up,’ and I appreciate that these three festivals give us a world stage to brag about the greatness of our city.”
“I am honored by this recognition from Danny Wimmer Presents, which is making a remarkable impact on the world of music, and on Louisville and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Secretary Don Parkinson. “Governor Matt Bevin and the entire Bevin Administration team are excited about our partnership with DWP to make Danny Wimmer Presents’ Louisville Trifesta series a world-renowned experience.”
“Our team at Danny Wimmer Presents works year-round to plan and execute these festivals – but it takes a lot of people from outside of DWP to make the festivals successful,” said Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents. “We hosted this dinner to bring together and to honor the people who have made a difference, who have helped to make the Trifesta possible, and who have made us part of their community. We want to make this a new tradition.”
As part of Danny Wimmer Presents’ innovative partnership and Kroger’s commitment to Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, 25 cents from every Bourbon & Beyond ticket was donated directly to Dare to Care Food Bank (www.daretocare.org). Other charitable partners included Take Me Home animal rescue and the Fxck Cancer & Dyin2Live Dreams Program.
Bourbon & Beyond partners included 291 Colorado Whiskey, 1792, Angel’s Envy, Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Balcones Distilling, Barrell Bourbon, Blade and Bow, Boone County Distilling, Bourbon Women Association, Bulleit, Catoctin Creek, Cooper and Thief, Coopers’ Craft, Eagle Nest Outfitters, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Four Roses Bourbon, Fxck Cancer, GE Appliances, High West Distillery, Jack Daniel’s, Jefferson’s, Jeptha Creed Distilling, Jim Beam, Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, Kentucky Distillers Association, Kentucky Peerless, Kentucky Tourism, Knob Creek, Kroger, Lagunitas, Larceny, Louisville Tourism, Maker’s Mark, Metro by T-Mobile, Michter’s, Old Forester, Rebel Yell, Red Bull, Republic Bank, Robert Mondavi Private Select, Smooth Ambler, Southern Comfort, Stonehammer, Take Me Home, The Music Experience, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Uncle Nearest Whiskey, US Marine Corps, Wild Turkey, Woodford Reserve, Z. Alexander Brown Wine and Zyn.
The Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center are located at 937 Phillips Lane in Louisville, Kentucky.
Bourbon & Beyond is produced by Los Angeles-based Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in America. DWP events include Aftershock Festival, Bourbon & Beyond, Chicago Open Air, Epicenter Festival, Hometown Rising, Louder Than Life, Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival, and Welcome To Rockville.
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