The 15 Best Music Festivals in Kentucky

If you’re into music festivals, Kentucky is the place to be. From Louisville to Lexington, there are plenty of great festivals happening all year long. Here are some of the best music festivals in Kentucky for your next trip.

1. Forecastle Festival

Waterfront Park, Louisville

When: May (three days)

If you’re looking for a world-renowned music festival with a Kentucky twist, look no further than Forecastle. This Louisville event is situated on the waterfront and showcases artists from all corners of the globe.

And what would a trip to Kentucky be without some bourbon? Remarkably, 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced right here in this fine state!

FORECASTLE 2019 RECAPFORECASTLE 2019 RECAP

In addition to great music, Forecastle also offers delicious food and drink options from local vendors, as well as shopping from some of the best retailers in Kentucky. You can enjoy the waterfront views while sipping on bourbon or other drinks, making it a truly unique experience.

2. Interstellar Festival

Sparta

When: August (three days)

Interstellar will be made up of three amazing stages, each with top-of-the-line festival production. This is where the over 115 artists at the fest will perform until 5AM for an incredible dance music experience.

Interstellar 2022 Presale AnnouncementInterstellar 2022 Presale Announcement

At this three-day event, you can enjoy live performances by some of the music industry’s most popular talent. If  you’re looking for a mix of music styles, Interstellar has you covered. With trap, techno, house, and everything in between, this festival is one you won’t want to miss.

3. Louder Than Life Festival

Louisville

When: September (four days)

Every year, for three days, rock and metal fans from around the world gather in Louisville, Kentucky for Louder Than Life. The event not only features some of the best talent in music today but also whiskey tastings, craft beer Gardens, gourmet food trucks and multiple exhibits.

Louder Than Life 2022 Lineup Announced!Louder Than Life 2022 Lineup Announced!

Not only is Louder Than Life an amazing experience, but it also has had a significant economic impact on Louisville.

4. ROMP Fest

Daviess County’s Yellow Creek Park, Owensboro

When: June (four days)

Throughout the day, there will be various workshops led by artists that focus on instruments. These interactive sessions are open to people of all ages and skill levels. Other workshop topics like songwriting and flat-foot dancing will also be available.

Highlight 2022Highlight 2022

Throughout the whole weekend, there will be opportunities to play music with other attendees and dance at the late night stage.

5. Summer Motion Festival

Ashland

When: July (three days)

Summer Motion has brought country, rock, and Motown groups from all over the world to Ashland, KY for free! Fireworks, games, rides, and more await you at this alcohol-free event.

Summer Motion 2015 Day 1Summer Motion 2015 Day 1

If you’re looking for an event that’s family-friendly, look no further than Summer Motion. The fireworks display is another thing not to be missed!

6. Kentucky Reggae Festival

Louisville

When: May (three days)

For the reggae lovers out there, the Kentucky Reggae Festival is a must-attend event. With three days of music, food, and culture, this Louisville festival is sure to be a good time.

Kentucky Reggae Fest 2018Kentucky Reggae Fest 2018

The Kentucky Reggae Festival has been an annual event since 2003, allowing Louisville, Kentucky to experience the authentic Caribbean atmosphere of Jamaica through its culture and food.

7. Great American Brass Band Festival

Danville

When: June (four days)

The Festival is an annual event that in past years has occurred during the month of June. The location is downtown Danville, Kentucky. It’s a free festival open to visitors of all ages, and musicians come from different parts of America as well as other countries to perform.

Great American Brass Band Festival 2015 - Danville, KYGreat American Brass Band Festival 2015 – Danville, KY

The Great American Brass Band Festival celebrates brass band music with performances and educational experiences for all ages.

8. Poorcastle Music Festival

Breslin Park, Louisville

When: May (three days)

Every year hundreds of musicians, local businesses, artists & vendors collide to create an unforgettable weekend for the Louisville community. Experience music, food, and booze in Breslin Park, just minutes from downtown.

POORCASTLE 2017 RECAP!POORCASTLE 2017 RECAP!

The best part of this experience is it won’t cost you a dime. That’s right, this event is free for all to enjoy!

9. Bourbon and Beyond

Highland Festival Grounds, Louisville

When: September (four days)

Bourbon and Beyond is an outdoor music and entertainment festival held in Louisville, Kentucky. The event features musical performances from classic rock, alternative rock and country music artists, as well as bourbon-themed food and drink vendors.

Bourbon & Beyond 2022 Festival RecapBourbon & Beyond 2022 Festival Recap

This fun night out is perfect for any music or bourbon lover.Bourbon and Beyond offers four days of top-notch entertainment for people of all interests.

10. Black Mountain Jamboree

Cedar Lane Farm, Monticello

When: June (two days)

Get away for the weekend and enjoy some great music in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.

Their curated lineup of rising Americana, rock and country acts will keep you entertained all weekend long, while the hiking trails to the lake give you a chance to stretch your legs and take in all the fresh air you oh so need.

Sierra Ferrell, "The Sea", Black Mountain Jamboree, Monticello KY, 6-3-22Sierra Ferrell, “The Sea”, Black Mountain Jamboree, Monticello KY, 6-3-22

11. Master Musicians Festival

Somerset Community College Festival Field

When: July (two days)

Every year, the Master Musicians Festival strives to bring a wide array of music from different cultures, generations and races to their stage.

This organization strives to bring musical education and performance opportunities to rural Kentucky through an all-volunteer board of directors.

Master Musicians Festival 2019 - Day 1Master Musicians Festival 2019 – Day 1

It’s no wonder this event sells tickets for quite the low price! The Master Musicians Festival is a one-of-a-kind event that should not be missed.

12. Railbird Festival

The Red Mile, Lexington

When: June (two days)

Railbird Festival, located in Lexington Kentucky boasts a combination of music, bourbon and equine entertainment making it the perfect festival for any outdoor enthusiast This yearly event takes places during the month of August.

Relive Railbird 2019Relive Railbird 2019

The festival highlights music from the folk, Americana, bluegrass, and rock genres with an equal focus on Kentucky bourbon. In addition, the event benefits non-profit organizations through ticket sales.

13. PeteFest / The Big Stomp

Jones Fields, Louisville

When: October (two days)

The Big Stomp is a festival that is innovative and inclusive, with the main goal of smashing the mental health stigma. Held on a private 90-acre nature preserve near Louisville’s well known Parklands, The Big Stomp offers visitors a multi day immersive experience.

The Big Stomp- Friday, October 14, 2022The Big Stomp- Friday, October 14, 2022

Come for two days of non-stop music from national and up-and-coming acts across multiple genres, ranging from rock to bluegrass to electronica and more. This is your chance to explore something new!

14. Ichthus Music Festival

Servant Heart Farm, Wilmore

When: September (one day)

If you enjoy Christian music and fellowship, then the Ichthus Music Festival is perfect for you!Get your loved ones together and come as a group! Don’t forget to bring some lawn chairs or blankets to make the experience more comfortable.

Ichthus 2021 Promotional VideoIchthus 2021 Promotional Video

15. Kentuckiana Pride Festival 

Big Four Bridge Lawn, Louisville

When: June (two days)

Here’s a celebration in support of the LGBTQ community that shouldn’t be missed! This festival prides itself (pun intended) on being one of the most diverse Pride celebrations in the region.

Kentuckiana Pride Festival 2022 / Big Four Lawn, Louisville WaterfrontKentuckiana Pride Festival 2022 / Big Four Lawn, Louisville Waterfront

Participate in the many activities offered, from a parade and live music to a marketplace and much more. This is an event that everyone can enjoy!

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, the 15 best music festivals in Kentucky! No matter what your taste in music is, there’s sure to be a festival on this list that’s perfect for you. So get out there and start exploring all that Kentucky has to offer!

Forecastle Festival Featured Image by: Proconcertgoer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons