Music News & Reviews

What to know before Railbird Festival. A guide to parking, security, tickets and more.

Keeneland announces festival with ‘A-list music’

Railbird Festival will take place Aug. 10-11 at Keeneland in Lexington. AC Entertainment, which produces Bonnaroo and Forecastle, introduced the festival Wednesday morning.
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Railbird Festival will take place Aug. 10-11 at Keeneland in Lexington. AC Entertainment, which produces Bonnaroo and Forecastle, introduced the festival Wednesday morning.

More than 10,000 people will be entering Keeneland’s grounds both Saturday and Sunday for the inaugural Railbird Festival.

Festival-goers are expected to be traveling to Railbird from 49 states and several different countries.

The festival is headlined by The Racounteurs, Hozier, Brandi Carlile and Tyler Childers. Railbird will feature three music stages and patrons will be able to enjoy plenty of local food and drinks from award-winning chefs.

Here’s everything you need to know about Railbird:

What you can bring to Railbird

Non-aerosol sun block


Point-and-shoot cameras

All bags under 14 by 11 inches. Backpacks may have two pockets and hydration packs may have two pockets, not including the hydration bladder.

Small hydration packs with an empty bladder

One empty water bottle and one sealed water bottle. Free, filtered water will be provided via hydration stations.

Selfie sticks, as long as they do not expand longer than 40 inches in length and are made of a light material

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What you can’t bring to Railbird


Large backpacks, purses or any bag more than 14 by 11 inches in size

Food and drink, including alcohol

Coolers and picnic baskets

Lawn/camping chairs with metal pieces or plastic structures. ADA seating will be available.

Lasers and glow sticks


Inappropriate headdresses

Silly string, confetti and spray paint

Pets (service dogs are permitted)

Glass containers and metal aerosol cans

Scooters or personal motorized vehicles

Detachable lens cameras

Recording devices

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What food and drink vendors will be at Railbird

Vendors: The Truly Cabana, Ranada’s Bistro, Hippie Dips, Pizza Nova, Corndog Inc., Old Kentucky Kettle Corn, Valumarket, Sugarlands Distilling Co., Windy Corner Market, Nathan’s Taqueria, Efe’s Greek Food, Flaming Wok, Dunn’s BBQ, Dipsie’s Mini Doughnuts, Keeneland

Food trucks: Salsarita’s, Pasta Garage, La Chandeleur, Tin Can Roaster, Rolling Oven, Hot Buns, Lil Cheezers, Sav’s Chill

Drink: Budweiser Beer Garden, Don Julio Tequila Hideaway, West Sixth Brewing

Railbird will have a tasting experience called “The Rickhouse,” with bourbons, including some barrel selections, picked by Lexington filmmaker AJ Hochhalter, who produced the 2018 documentary “NEAT: The Story of Bourbon.” Access to The Rickhouse is included with general admission tickets.
Chef Sara Bradley from Freight House and Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn and Honeywood, Cole Arimes of Coles 735 Main, Mark Richardson of Dudley’s on Short, Dan Wu of Atomic Ramen, Toa Green of Crank & Boom Ice Cream and Marc Therrien of Keeneland will do cooking demos and serve small bites to a limited amount of people in the Keene Barn Entertainment Center.

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How does parking at Railbird work?

If you are purchasing parking on site, which is $20 per day, you will enter through Keeneland’s Gate 1 off Versailles Road. Those who purchased advanced parking will park through Gate 4.

Gates into the festival will open at 12 p.m. each day.

Railbird will also have a ride-share drop off and pickup location, which can be accessed through Gate 1 or 2.

How is the weather looking?

Railbird will go on rain or shine, but weather may not be an issue at Keeneland this weekend.

According to the National Weather Service in Louisville, dry weather can be expected with temperatures reaching highs in the mid to upper 80s. There will be plenty of sunshine Saturday and a few clouds Sunday.

A chance for storms is slim, but a weather plan is in place to keep festival patrons safe. A festival spokesperson could not specify the details of the plan.

Railbird Festival co-producer David Helmers speaks about his hopes for the festival which starts on Aug. 10.

What else do you need to know?

Tickets are still available for $160 + fees for a two-day pass. They can be purchased on Railbird’s website.

Daily tickets can be purchased on Railbird’s website for $90 + fees.

Keeneland will also offer patrons the chance to tour its facilities and watch a morning workout.

Wristband registration is required for all weekend passes and daily VIP tickets. Patrons will also have the option to sign up for cashless payment, allowing easy and convenient cashless payments throughout the weekend.

Railbird will provide updates on the schedule and setup on their Twitter @RailbirdFest

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The Railbird Festival lineup

Saturday, Aug. 10:

The Racounteurs

Brandi Carlile

Old Crow Medicine Show

Mandolin Orange

Mavis Staples

Robert Earl Keen

Grace Vanderwaal

Ruston Kelly

Billy Strings

Low Cut Connie

The Dip

Devon Gilfillian

Lillie Mae

Lucie Silvas

Justin Wells

Ian Noe

Joslyn & The Sweet Compression

Sunday, Aug. 11:


Tyler Childers

Gary Clark Jr.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Lucinda Williams

I’m With Her

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

Jade Bird

Blackfoot Gypsies

The Wooks



Fruit Bats


Johnny Conqueroo

Kelsey Waldon

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