The blazing sun, humidity and high temperature of 88 degrees didn’t keep festivalgoers away from day two of Railbird Music Festival held at The Infield at Red Mile, a harness racetrack, in Lexington, Kentucky.
Railbird Music Festival is a two-day event in its third year, with previous events in 2019 and 2021 hosted at Keeneland Racetrack.
“This is the first time I’ve set foot on Kentucky grass, and this is an unreal festival,” said festivalgoer Garrett Reese.
Here are three things you missed from day two of Railbird Music Festival 2023.
In the heat of the day, Emma Bailey, along with friends, crowded in front of fans while waiting in line at a hydration station.
“Lots of water,” Bailey said as she refilled a White Claw can with water.
Bailey and her friends made the more than five-hour drive from Roanoke, Virginia, to be at Railbird Music Festival.
“We’ve all been to festivals before and we’ve never seen 40,000 people ever in our life at a festival,” Reese said.
Thayer Dugan was positioned between the Limestone and Elkhorn Stage working at King of Pops, an Atlanta-based popsicle seller.
“People come here and they’re wanting to have a good time,” Dugan said. “Just like staying chill and just having a popsicle.”
The day two lineup featured a multitude of Kentucky locals.
The artists included Hindman’s Brit Taylor, Cordell’s Ricky Skaggs, Cole Chaney from Boyd County and headliner Tyler Childers from Lawrence County.
“We’re in Kentucky, which is the home of bourbon and Bulleit, … so, this is a natural fit for us, and these artists are obviously country, and many are from Kentucky,” Will Loy, a Bulleit Bourbon festival worker said. “We’re Kentucky through and through.”
Railbird Music Festival day 1 recap:Perfect weather, rocking tunes bring crowds out on Saturday
Local distillers like Bulleit Bourbon were out at Railbird showing off their pours and fun artifacts. Bulleit brand had out the “Bulleit Woody,” which is “designed after an old teardrop trailer that we have specially made great for tailgating purposes and festival-like purposes,” Loy said. “The cart pulls out to a bar, we have a lounge in the middle and a TV in the back. So, one-stop shop for your party purposes.”
Railbird partnered with the Lexington Bourbon Society to provide “Bourbon Stewards” to answer questions people may have.
“Sometimes people have questions about them, especially since a single barrel is so unique and it’s not like what’s out there on the shelf,” Chad Perkins, a Bourbon Steward said. “I’ll answer any questions they have because I just love sharing information about something that I’m so passionate about.”
Justin’s House of Bourbon has been partnering with Railbird Music Festival since 2019. The bourbon collector has a store in both Louisville and Lexington. Justin Sloan, one of the owners of the bourbon house, helped curate a single-barrel program for the festival.
“We do single barrels for the festival only and you can try them, and it gives a way for a local touch to a very big festival,” Sloan said. “The whole purpose of the festival is to connect the culture around Kentucky to music.”
Contact reporter Olivia Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @oliviamevans_