We all survived the first year of the Danny Wimmer Presents TRIFESTA, an epic three weekend festival series featuring music ranging from Luke Bryan to ZZ Top and more! Not only did we survive, but seeing these radically successful events do so well reminded me that as a city we have hit our stride.
Having the Danny’s, both Wimmer and Hayes, take notice of The Ville from Los Angeles, fall for her, and found a total of three major music experiences here is a big deal. To have them commit to at least a decade of hosting these events (and more) here is a bigger deal. Hearing whispers of the potential for them to move offices and homes to the Derby City is crazy awesome. It’s fair to say that other cities of our size are jealous. Hell, LA itself must be jealous by now.
We’re stealing the show! Literally.
Our team was given the opportunity to experience all three events of the Trifesta events this year and to say we had a blast is an understatement. We can’t wait until next season when DWP takes all three to the next level, which we know is happening because they’ve already announced METALLICA will be headlining TWO NIGHTS of Louder Than Life!
Here’s a quick recap of our insane musical month.
Hometown Rising snuck up on me. First it was July and I was packing for vacation and then all of a sudden it was time to see Luke Bryan shake his groove thang on stage in front of tens of thousands of screaming country music fans right down the street from my Germantown home. For those of you who don’t know, country music isn’t my usual genre of choice. There are three times that I crave country music, and they are all around water. The beach, on a boat, and at the pool. Actually, make that four. The old school ladies of country are THE BEST for karaoke night.
My friend Amy LOVES country music so she was the obvious person to take to the inaugural Hometown Rising festival. We grabbed a bite beforehand and hit the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Exposition Center. By some miracle there was one spot left at the Strike and Spare bowling alley for a reasonable price, so we grabbed it and then walked a not so terrible distance to the entrance of the festival grounds. From the moment we crossed the threshold the energy was intoxicating. Even if you didn’t feel like staying in one place all day listening to music, there were plenty of things to engage you. From line dancing inside the Big Bourbon Bar, to The Music Experience, to corn hole in the VIP area and more bars and food options than I could keep track of, they had everything we needed for a top shelf honky tonk time.
It didn’t take long for me to get sucked in to the quality entertainers tearing up the stage with songs that spoke to my Bluegrass soul. We met people from all over the country who had come to Kentucky for the weekend and they raved about the hospitality of not only the festival team, but the locals like us! It made us smile to see artists like Keith Urban post on the socials after leaving the stage that the Louisville crowds were unbelievable. I mean, we knew we were, but it was cool as hell all the same.
Less than a full week later the DWP team had flipped the space for my favorite of the three festivals, Bourbon and Beyond. I danced and sang to the classic catalog of John Fogerty and then raged into the night with the Foo Fighters. I forgot I wasn’t 21 anymore and did it again the next day, swaying along with the pure, heavenly voice of Allison Krauss, and let my gypsy soul fly free into the evening without a care in the world. Even though I went skydiving with my family on Sunday, there was still time and nothing to keep us away from ZZ Top and Zac Brown Band that night. Like we didn’t have to be productive adults at 9AM the next day, we jumped and screamed and sipped bourbon until the moon was on it’s way back down to switch spots with the sun. It was the best time. I ended up getting sick from being so worn down, but I am here to tell you that IT WAS WORTH IT and I’d do it again.
I was down for the count all Louder than Life weekend, but we sent some other friends to capture the essence of this off the charts, no holds bar, rule-free weekend with the metal music crowd. They were so overwhelmed with the awesomeness of the raw and real fans living for the music of the hardcore legends and next big things, they literally had no words. Just awesome pictures to capture the days.
All in all we were blown away by Trifesta 2019! There are always things that come up with moving into a new space, but these growing pains were small in comparison with the incredible success of each festival event. Maxim, Forbes, and more have hailed Bourbon and Beyond as a top festival in the country, and Louder Than Life is officially the largest rock music festival in America…so I’d say way more went right than anything they may need to tweak for 2020.
We can’t wait for the name dropping to begin for next year’s line-ups and we plan to be front and center for every day of the Trifesta next year! Cheers to Danny Wimmer, Danny Hayes and their full team of amazing humans who make this happen. We are glad you’re here and hope to call you full time Louisvillians one day!