Keeneland Plays Host To Inaugural Railbird Festival This Weekend

Aug 9, 2019

The inaugural Railbird Festival will be staged Saturday and Sunday on the historic Keeneland grounds in Lexington.  It will feature a diverse musical lineup along with a taste of bourbon and equine culture.

VisitLex President Mary Quinn Ramer said patrons will hear a variety of musical selections.  “It’s hard to pinpoint it into any one single genre of music.  So, you’re going to see a mix of Indie, rock, a little bit of roots, bluegrass, some twinges of R and B, a nod to country,” noted Ramer.

Organizers hope to see about 10,000 music fans each day on the Keeneland hillside.  It’s hard to estimate the festival’s economic impact on Lexington pre-event. 

The Breeders Cup, one of thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious events, was held at Keeneland in 2015.  It will return in 2020.   Ramer noted it’s difficult to compare the Breeders Cup and Railbird when it comes to dollars spent in Lexington.  “The audiences are different audiences between a Breeders Cup weekend and a festival weekend, so it’s hard for me to make any real direct correlation,” said Ramer. 

Ramer says the festival is expected to provide a sizeable shot-in-the-arm for Lexington’s hospitality industry during what’s traditionally a rather slow month.  Railbird is expected to be an annual event.

Here's more with VisitLex President Mary Quinn Ramer regarding the first ever Railbird Festival at Keeneland:

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