The Ultimate Guide to Bourbon & Beyond 2019

About a month ago a friend leaned over to me at a bar with something pulled up on his phone.

“Have you seen this yet?”

It was a festival lineup. Skeptically, I read through. I hadn’t been super impressed with a lot of the festival lineups this year so my hopes were not high.

“Oh yeah, I like them. Oh, and them too. Whoa. WHOA. OH MY GOD.
Dude, what festival is this?!”

My eyes shot to the top of the lineup. “Bourbon & Beyond”. A festival I hadn’t heard of before, hmm. I clicked around their page only to discover it’s in one of my favorite cities, Louisville, KY. The land of bourbon… and good festivals, apparently.

I immediately reached out to them, desperate to cover this festival. And man the festival gods must really love me, because they said yes. So I am here to tell you all why I am SO excited for this festival by laying out the who, what, where, when, and more with the ultimate guide to Bourbon & Beyond 2019.

WHAT

Now in its third year, Bourbon & Beyond is a three-day music festival in Louisville, KY. Hailed as the “World’s Largest Bourbon Festival”, they combine some of my favorite things: live music, bourbon, and new experiences.

WHERE

In the home of bourbon, of course! The Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo Center, right in the heart of Louisville, KY.

WHEN

Bourbon & Beyond 2019 takes place appropriately during National Bourbon Heritage Month, September 20-22. And let me tell you, I am looking forward to a festival with temperate weather! While I love Louisville, the heat can be a little brutal in the summer. Louisville in late September is usually in the high 50s to low 80s. *sigh of relief*

Gates open daily at 11am.

WHO

The lineup is what initially got me SO excited for this festival. In my opinion, it’s one of the best I’ve seen this year. Some of my favorites include The Flaming Lips, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Live, Jenny Lewis, Grace Potter, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Foo Fighters, Kurt Vile, Margo Price, and White Reaper. Just to name a few.

Additionally, the festival has a stage dedicated to American roots music, bluegrass. “The Bluegrass Situation Stage” will feature emerging artists, including a few local acts. Bluegrass and bourbon, can you imagine anything more American?

WHAT TO EXPECT

First of all, expect a lot of bourbon. Like, a lot. I mean they are the “World’s Largest Bourbon Festival” after all.

There will be 25+ distilleries represented by nine bourbon bars on site, including the Boone County Distilling Back Porch, the Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar, and the Kroger Big Bourbon Bar.

But maybe bourbon isn’t your thing. No judgment! (Ok maybe like a liiiiitle judgment.) The Tiki Barrel Bar will make bourbon and rum cocktails alll weekend long. The Tito’s Handmade Vodka Airstream Bar is available to vodka lovers out there, whipping up cocktails like Tito’s Moscow Mules. Maybe you don’t like liquor at all. No worries! They also have the Lagunita’s Craft Beer Bar for beer lovers, and even The Angry Tree Bar for cider lovers like me!

Now let’s talk food. Can you think of anything more Kentucky than a bourbon/BBQ pairing? Me neither. Luckily you can experience exactly that at Jailhouse BBQ, presented by Larceny Distillery in partnership with Bosshog Barbeque. Here you can get Kentucky-style smoked whole hog BBQ, pork, or chicken expertly paired with Larceny bourbon. YUM.

There are also ticketed culinary events like the three-course meal at the B&B Supper Club at Sevice by chef Anthony Lamas, which might be your only chance to eat skirt steak all weekend. There’s also the Expect the Unexpected Supper Club, which asks renowned chefs to cook outside of their comfort zone. Chefs will tackle signature stations like the El Toro taco truck and Iron Quarter pizza oven while imparting their signature style and flair.

The festival also hosts Mash Stage Demos where chefs, master distillers, and bartenders will show off their skills.

HOW TO GET TICKETS

Buy your tickets online here!

If you purchase your tickets online before September 1, your wristbands will be shipped to you before the festival. Otherwise, you will pick up your wristband at the on-site box office with your confirmation e-mail and your driver’s license.

VIP wristbands are RFID-enabled and should be registered online before you arrive. You will receive instructions on how to register it through e-mail.

Bourbon & Beyond is an all ages event. Patrons ages 5 and up require a ticket for entry.

WHAT IT COSTS

General Admission

• Friday single day pass – $115
• Saturday single day pass – $99.50
• Sunday single day pass – $99.50
• Weekend passes – $229.50

Mint VIP

• Friday single day Mint VIP pass – SOLD OUT
• Saturday single day Mint VIP pass – $285
• Sunday single day Mint VIP pass – $249.50
• Weekend Mint VIP pass – $650

Beyond VIP

• Beyond VIP – $1,599.50

There are also hotel and VIP packages which include two VIP passes and four nights in select hotels, two Bourbon & Beyond t-shirts, and re-entry to and from the festival all weekend. Find out more about this offer, here!

Payment plans are available through July 26, 2019.

Fun fact: Every ticket purchase supports zero hunger, zero waste! As part of this innovative partnership and Kroger’s commitment to zero hunger, zero waste, 25 cents from each ticket purchase will be donated directly to Dare To Care Food Bank.

WHAT DOES VIP GET YOU?

Bourbon & Beyond has two levels of VIP: Mint VIP and Beyond VIP.

Mint VIP

• Access to the mint garden, an exclusive hang area for VIPs only
• Front-of-stage viewing of the Oak and Barrel stages
• Access to the mint tent – a shaded hang space with dedicated bars and comfortable furniture
• Live audio/video streams of the Barrel and Oak stages
• A dedicated merchandise stand for convenient shopping
• Premium food and beverage offerings (for additional purchase)
• Private locker rentals
• Air-conditioned, flushable restrooms
• Dedicated entrance lanes into the festival
• A commemorative VIP-only laminate & RFID wristband

Beyond VIP
The Beyond VIP experience gets you everything the Mint VIP experience gets you, plus:

• A shaded viewing deck
• All-inclusive premium drinks at dedicated bars within the beyond VIP hang area
• Complimentary hors d’oeuvres during lunch and dinner hours curated by Anthony Lamas of Seviche
• Massage station
• Complimentary lockers with cell-phone chargers
• Complimentary WiFi access
• Concierge staff
• A shaded hang area with dedicated bars and comfortable furniture
• A dedicated merchandise stand for shorter shopping lines

All VIP wristbands are RFID-enabled and should be registered online before you arrive. You will receive instructions on how to register it through e-mail.

WHERE TO STAY

Bourbon & Beyond allows on-site camping! But there are also many hotels and Airbnb‘s nearby.

Camping

• Car or Tent Camping – $145 for four nights (Thursday through Sunday)

More information about camping at Bourbon & Beyond can be found here.

Hotels Nearby

Sleep Inn Louisville Airport & Expo – 0.7 miles
Ramada by Wyndham Louisville Expo Center – 0.8 miles
Home2 Suites by Hilton Louisville Airport Expo Center – 0.8 miles
Super 8 by Wyndham Louisville/Expo Center – 1 mile
Four Points by Sheraton Louisville Airport – 1 mile
Holiday Inn Louisville Airport – Fair/Expo – 1 mile
Hilton Garden Inn Louisville Airport – 1.5 miles

WHAT TO BRING

You can check out my post on what to pack for a music festival, here! And you can find a list of what NOT to bring to Bourbon & Beyond (restricted items) under the FAQ here.

One notable thing I noticed on the restricted items listed is the bag policy. Purses, totes, fanny packs, and backpacks of any kind are not allowed in. However, clear bags under 12″x12″ are allowed, as are clear or mesh drawstring bags, and clutch purses under 4.5″x6.5″.

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Be sure to subscribe and follow me on Twitter and Instagram – I’ll be covering the festival all weekend, September 20-22. And if you’re not already, remember to follow Bourbon & Beyond on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to buy your tickets while they last, here!

This post is sponsored by Bourbon & Beyond. All opinions are my own.

75 Comments

  1. That sounds like an amazing weekend! There’s nothing I like better than a big festival with music and food. What an awesome addition of bourbon, too! It’s rotten timing for me, though. I’m going to check out some other getaways you have here!

  2. I THOUGHT THE FESTIVAL SOUNDED LAME AND THEN I SAW THE LINE UP! Foo fighters, AND Hall and Oates AND Zac Brown Band AND Edward Sharpe!?!?!?! omg yes!
    If you like music festivals, you should check out the Rainforest World Music Festival in my country of Malaysia!

    • LOL! The lineup always changes people’s minds. The Rainforest World Music Festival also looks incredible. I would love to go to an international festival someday!

  3. I love festivals so I’m very intrigued. But I must be honest- I’ve never heard any of those mentioned on the lineup haha! But there’s nothing better than a music festival with good company and good food. This one sounds like it’s going to be good!

  4. Great music, bourbon and good food – sounds like a perfect combo I would love to attend this festival – must be such an amazing experience! Thanks for all the details in your post.

  5. I am not a huge fan of festivals, as they are not my thing buttttttt you may have had me at Bourbon. Can’t wait to read the follow-up post of how it was!!

  6. Lynn

    I am not a huge fan of festivals, as they are not my thing buttttttt you may have had me at Bourbon. Can’t wait to read the follow-up post of how it was!!

  7. Madhu

    Wow this sounds like a great fun-filled festival and a whole lot of fun..I love to attend such fests as they have a whole lot of happy vibes around them. Thanks for sharing

  8. Yukti Agrawal

    I never knew about the Bourbon festival before reading your post. It looks exciting as I love music festivals and definitely I would love to go here. Thanks for sharing all details.

  9. This festival looks amazing! I love the Foo Fighters too! Wouldn’t be able to make it this year but I’ll keep it on my radar for 2020. Thanks for all the useful information like where to stay and what’s included in all the different ticket packages.

  10. Renata - www.byemyself.com

    This sounds just amazing – the line up is incredible and I must say that for all these mega-stars, the entrance fee is not bad at all. It’s great that you are sharing all these detailed info so that everyone knows what to choose from.

  11. I don’t like Bourbon (you can totally judge me, I deserve it) and I only know a couple of the bands here, but just reading the enthusiasm wiyh which you’re telling this I feel like going to the festival anyway!

    • Haha definitely! I’ve been to festivals where I’ve only been familiar with a couple bands and still had a blast. Sometimes it’s all about the energy!

  12. I’m so hoping I get to go! I’m in Lexington and my daughter is in Louisville and it’s too close, and too amazing of a lineup to miss!

  13. This looks like so much fun! I love festivals so much and being from Canada I haven’t ventured to the States enough. Thanks for sharing!

  14. This festival sounds like a blast! Can’t believe I’ve never heard of it. I have family in Louisville though so all the more reason to make a trip at some point.

  15. This looks like a really great event. Although, I’m not a bourbon drinker – ok, don’t judge, I think the many different options mean it would still appeal. For instance, I love a good craft beer. A great opportunity to enjoy some great music with friends and party.

  16. I will have to look out for Bourbon & Beyond 2020, as already booked for September this year, but it sounds as if you will have an amazing time!

  17. This sounds like a fantastic festival. I don’t see so many good line-ups these days and have lost interest in these festivals, but this one def is one I’d like to go to (Yas to Foo Fighters!!). Plus, I love bourbon!

  18. The Foo Fighters? Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes? The Flaming Lips? This sounds like the perfect festival, AND I can probably get my husband to go with me for the bourbon!

  19. This sounds really interesting.A little food and a little Hall & Oates with some Foo Fighters and John Fogerty? What’s not to love?!

  20. I’m a fan of bourbon, so I would love to go to this festival! I’d also be very excited for the headliners The Foo Fighters and Zac Brown Band. I think they have a great ecclectic line up, which will make for a really unique festival experience. Definitely would have to brush up on some of these artists I haven’t heard in a while!

  21. This festival sounds like so much fun. I had not even heard about the Bourbon festival till I came across this post – Thanks for all the amazing tips on what to expect as well as the expense guide. Definitely adding this to our bucket list.

  22. Sounds like a great lineup and a fabulous time. Well done covering what to expect at the Bourbon festival. Have a great time and I look forward to reading about it.

  23. Bourbon & Beyond is the BEST! I’m seriously so bummed I’m not able to make it out this year. You’re going to have such an amazing time! If you have any extra time, head down to Maker’s Mark and check out their bourbon cave – it’s epic.
    KB

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