2012 was a pretty good year of music entertainment in Louisville, and 2013 is looking to be just as good or better. There will be many great concerts this year at the Kentucky Center for the Arts, YUM! Center, Headliners, Louisville Palace, and other smaller venues, but I am most excited about all the various music festivals. We’ve already seen a sold out pre-sale for Forecastle this month! I’ve compiled my list of music festivals and series for my 2013 itinerary.
1. Abbey Road on the River (May 23-27, Galt House Hotel, Belvedere Festival Park)
Each year Abbey Road on the River attracts approximately 25,000 enthusiastic Beatles fans from 50 states and 10 countries who will attend the festival to watch more than 60 bands play music, mostly by The Beatles. According to the festival’s Facebook page their ticket sales are almost doubled from where they were at this point last year. This has always been a favorite Memorial Day Weekend festival of mine having attended every year since 2005 and performed on stage since 2010. This year sounds like it will be one of the best years yet.
2. Forecastle (July 12-14, Waterfront Park, Belle of Louisville, Club 116)
Forecastle Festival is a three-day music, art, and environmental activism festival that has gradually been growing since 2002 to a whopping 30,000 people in attendance. The festival is known for bringing in national touring acts such as The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, The Smashing Pumpkins, and many more. Rolling Stone rated the festival "Top 15 Festivals in the Country". On January 11th the presale tickets for this year’s festival sold out within two minutes.
3. Kentucky Homefront Show (2nd Saturday monthly, Clifton Center)
The Kentucky Homefront is a radio music series recorded on the 2nd Saturday of every month (except January and July) that features local acoustic folk, traditional, blues, country, and bluegrass musicians and hosted by John Gage. Last year featured some great talent including Jeff & Ivan Guernsey, the Bibelhauser Brothers, Harry Pickens, Michael Cleveland, Whiskey Bent Valley Boys, and many more. February 9th is the next installment and as of now Field of Kings and the Bibelhauser Brothers Band featuring Michael Cleveland are currently on the bill. Admission is $12 and all shows start at 7:30pm.
4. WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays (last Wednesday April-Sept, Big Four Lawn)
On the last Wednesday of each month April-September WFPK Waterfront Wednesdays provide free music and a happy hour atmosphere which is free to the public. This series features many great regionally and nationally recognized bands.
5. WFPK Winter Wednesday (last Wednesday Nov-Feb, Clifton Center)
This is a new series started this winter by WFPK to take the place of Waterfront Wednesdays when weather isn’t ideal for outdoor concerts. These concerts are held the last Wednesday of each month at the Clifton Center. The next two installments are January 30 with Matt Costa and Joan Shelley and on February 27 with Bobby Long and another act to be announced.
Abbey Road on the River feature photo: courtesy of AROTR Facebook page
Abbey Road on the River article photo: courtesy of Anna Blanton
Forecastle Festival photo: courtesy of Forecastle Festival Facebook page
Kentucky Homefront photo: courtesy of Kentucky Homefront website
WFPK Waterfront Wednesday photo: courtesy of WFPK Facebook page