Louisville is a festival town. We love excuses to revel together on shut down streets, celebrating the things that make us unique, and welcoming others into the frivolity. From the monthly Flea Off Market in NuLu to Forecastle, we embrace every opportunity to gather in mass to eat, drink, and be merry!

This caught the eye of Danny Wimmer, founder of Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), several years ago on his bourbon pilgrimage to the Bluegrass, and he immediately called DWP CEO Danny Hayes and told him they had to do a festival here. Hayes thoughts Wimmer was a little out there at first, since their largest festival, Rock on the Range, is just three hours north in Columbus, Ohio each year. But, Wimmer convinced Hayes to come see The Ville for himself, and one visit was all it took for both Danny’s to buy in and move forward with the planning of a rock and roll festival in our town.

Louder Than Life took over Champions Park in 2014 and the DWP team was blown away by the region’s response, as was the Mayor’s Office and Louisville Tourism. Conversations began about the potential for DWP to add a bourbon centric event to their line up, and in 2017 Bourbon and Beyond became a reality. Last year the DWP team committed to a ten year festival production relationship with our city, including the addition of the company’s first country music event, Hometown Rising, debuting in a few short weeks.

After an unbeatable bout with Mother Nature last year that forced Bourbon and Beyond to end early and cancel Louder Than Life altogether, the DWP team have relocated their events from flood prone Champions Park to the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Exposition Center (think where we do the Balloon Glow during Kentucky Derby Festival) and are geared up and ready for their best year yet with record attendance anticipated. We will be there to dive into every experience and cheer them on as they help us show off the beauty and flair of our fair city.

Bourbon and Beyond 2018 (Photo Credit: Steve Thrasher)

We had the opportunity to sit down with Danny Hayes to chat about his story, the founding of DWP events in Louisville, and more on this week’s episode of the #502LeaderSeries podcast. Join us as we battle the background sounds of J-town favorite RecBar, and get to know Danny…who we are determined to charm into moving here. Because, let’s be honest, we’re way better than LA.

Danny Hayes (Photo Credit: Sam Shapiro)

Get your tickets to Hometown Rising, Bourbon and Beyond, Louder Than Life, before they sell out! Hometown Rising is September 14-15, Bourbon and Beyond is September 20-22, and Louder Than Life will wrap up the month on September 27-29. Campsite opportunities are available, as are VIP experience tickets for all three festival events.

Bourbon and Beyond Experience (Photo Credit: Nathan Zucker)

A special thank you to Danny Hayes and Lindsey Medina for giving of their time to tell the story. We can’t wait to experience this year’s events and to see what is coming next from the team at DWP!

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