Many years ago I took my first trip to Louisville and had an amazing time so, in 2014, when Louder Than Life was first announced it was a no brainer to head back to Kentucky which has become a yearly tradition.
The 3rd annual Louder Than Life festival was held at Champions Park on October 1st & 2nd but some of us headed in earlier than usual to enjoy more of this great city; boy am I glad we did! Louisville has a long, interesting history but for anyone that knows about the festival you know the focus, like this article, is on music, bourbon, spirits and “gourmet man food” which they certainly have plenty of.
For those heading to Louisville, any time of year, I wanted to mention a few places my group would highly recommend. First and foremost no trip for us would be complete without at least one visit to Against The Grain Brewery and Smokehouse. I’ve been to many breweries in my travels and they brew some of the best plus the food is fantastic and if you catch it on the right day/night you can see a baseball game since it’s attached to Louisville Slugger Field. Want some good coffee and breakfast treats then wake up, skip Starbucks, and head over to Please & Thank You before taking one of the many distillery tours in the area. Speaking of which, this year we went on the Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience which is about 15 minutes outside of downtown. The tour is pretty informative in regards to the history of the property itself (purchased with 55,000 barrels of abandoned whisky) as well as the history/resurgence of bourbon; bonus = whisky samples.
However if that’s not enough for you there are tons of other places to visit. Not only are there other distilleries and some coming soon like, our favorite, Angel’s Envy (in our plan for next year) but there are plenty of bars, an area called Fourth Street Live (obviously on 4th st.) and a plethora of food choices. This years discovery is a place on Whisky Row called Doc Crow’s and if you only have time for one meal in Louisville I’d tell you to head over there and get The Bubba which might have been one of the greatest burgers EVER!! Want a fun but more secluded spot then how about around the corner and downstairs to the Troll Pub Under The Bridge. You certainly won’t go hungry or thirsty in Louisville and you can always walk it all off at the Muhammad Ali Center, the waterfront or wandering the city streets then head back to your hotel for some drinks with the fishes (if you’re staying at the Galt House).
As I said, Louisville is a great city and, oh yeah, I almost forgot there was a music festival too!!! Louder Than Life in it’s 3rd year brought some big names to town with a mind-blowing music lineup of over 35 bands on three stages, with performances from Disturbed, Korn, Slayer, The Cult, Ghost, Pierce The Veil, Crobot and many more. Without question one of the highlights of the weekend was, Rock and Roll Hall of famers, Cheap Trick who had plenty of artist looking on and were then joined onstage by Anthrax, Vinnie Paul (Hellyeah), Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflett (Chevy Metal, Foo Fighters), and members of The Cult. On Sunday night, Slipknot’s Corey Taylor pulled double-duty, joining Korn onstage for the first time ever to perform the band’s new single “A Different World” before closing out the two day festival with his fellow masked bandmates in Slipknot.
Can’t get to town early? Well, LOUDER THAN LIFE isn’t just about the music as it celebrates the, previously mentioned, culture of Louisville and offered attendees a full day and night of experiences. These included Bourbon World presented by the Louisville Courier-Journal, regional craft beer, over 40 vendors in the Gourmet Man Food village and the Jack Daniel’s Experience. If that’s not enough there were also band meet-and-greets, autograph signings hosted by Monster Energy, FYE, The Music Experience, and much more. Interested attendees could have their festival t-shirts customized by New York rock fashion designer Christian Benner at the Christian Benner Experience. There were also plenty of vendors selling stickers, sunglasses, and great rock star clothing like our friends over at Wornstar. On top of all that, if you wanted to take a break from the music, check out some football scores and grab a beer, It’s Miller Time VIP Lounge, allowed fans to enjoyed a private bar with some additional gourmet food options, while watching all the weekend’s college and NFL football action.
With all the shows and festivals I attend yearly there’s no question the Danny Wimmer Presents are some of the best. They aren’t just great for the fans but their chosen cities benefit as well, in 2015 Louisville had an estimated economic impact of nearly $13 million and, as you can imagine, that doesn’t go unnoticed..
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said, “Another strong year is in the books for Louder Than Life. Cheers to its return in 2017.”
And “Visiting for a festival or event is the number one driver for tourism in Louisville, and Louder Than Life, with its strong following, has benefited the city both culturally and economically,” says Karen Williams, President & CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to welcoming back this premier destination festival for the fourth year next Fall.”
There’s also the social impact in the community and this year, LOUDER THAN LIFE’s charity partners, including Take Me Home Animal Rescue, Fuck Cancer / Dyin To Live, and Livin’ The Dream raised over $40,000 for various causes.
I’d be remiss in not mentioning some of the great sponsors since none of this can happen without the folks at Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Miller Lite, f.y.e., The Music Experience, Zippo Encore, Tito’s Vodka, El Jimador Tequila, 4th Street Live, Louisville Courier Journal and many others. As an avid music fan and concert goer I want to specifically mention Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs. Not only were they giving out Earplugs to VIP, Media and others but they are another company that’s giving back and partnered with the Hear The World Foundation. Each pair of Vibes purchased helps fund projects that provide hearing aids, surgeries and education around the world; get more information at www.hear-the-world.com
When your done checking out all the great pictures from Louisville and want more information on visit:
And now that you have some information to start planning for next year hopefully we will see you at Angel’s Envy or somewhere along the way in Louisville. However, if you can’t make it to Kentucky then check out the other DWP Festivals including
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