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Louisville’s Kentucky Bourbon Affair to combine with Bourbon & Beyond festival for 2020 event series


The Kentucky Bourbon Affair announced last week it is moving the five-day fantasy camp to September next year to become the opening act for the growing Bourbon & Beyond festival.

Created in 2014 by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the KBA features one-of-a-kind experiences at the state’s distilleries by day, followed by nightcap events that showcase Louisville’s “foodie” and cocktail scene.

Now in its third year, Bourbon & Beyond features more than 45 musical acts on three stages surrounded by spirits, educational sessions with legendary Master Distillers and whiskey experts, and culinary delights in one incredible weekend.

KDA President Eric Gregory said it was a “no-brainer” for the two events to join forces, creating a week-long celebration of America’s only native spirit. “It’s a recipe that will take the world’s love affair with Kentucky Bourbon to a completely new level,” he said.

“Start with five days of rare, immersive Kentucky Bourbon experiences. Add three days of legendary musical acts sprinkled with culinary starpower and even more of the world’s best Bourbon. Now garnish with the elegance of Louisville and its cosmopolitan nightlife.

“That’s what this thrilling new partnership will deliver starting in 2020.”

Danny Wimmer, of Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), said “From day one when we did our first festival in Louisville in 2014, I asked the question, “Why Louisville?” And the answer has always been the bourbon, the food, and the people. That’s exactly what the Kentucky Bourbon Affair is all about. This partnership is the next step, not only in showcasing this city to music fans from around the world, but in better serving the bourbon fans who come to our shows by giving them a full week of events in more intimate settings. There’s nothing like this in the world, and I can’t wait to celebrate Bourbon Heritage Month together with Kentucky Bourbon Affair.”

This weekend kicks off DWP’s first-ever Hometown Rising Country Music & Bourbon Festival in Louisville, to be followed each year by Louder Than Life, and then Bourbon & Beyond – a “Trifesta” of unmatched musical opportunities.

DWP is one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in the country, also crafting the Aftershock Festival in California, Chicago Open Air, Epicenter Festival in North Carolina, Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival in Ohio and Welcome To Rockville in Florida.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the Kentucky Bourbon Affair and Bourbon & Beyond events were brainchild of his Bourbon & Local Food workgroup in 2013. “This is exactly what we had in mind to really put Louisville on the map as the epicenter of Bourbon,” he said.

“In addition to the economic impact on our city, Bourbonism and events are the kind of tools that help us attract visitors and talent, and make our city a place where people want to live and work.”

Karen Williams, President & CEO of Louisville Tourism, said guests can extend their stays to bridge the weekend festivals and the unique KBA offerings, including private barrel selections, behind-the-scenes tours and nightly restaurant and bar takeovers on the city’s Urban Bourbon Trail®.

“The partnership with Bourbon & Beyond and the Kentucky Bourbon Affair connects two signature Louisville events that celebrate America’s Native Spirit,” said Williams. “Not only will visitors now be able to attend both during September’s Bourbon Heritage Month, but it also truly puts Louisville in the national spotlight as an epicenter for authentic Bourbon tourism experiences.”

Louisville has been the KBA’s “Official Host City” since the event’s founding six years ago.

Mary Gratzer, Director of the Kentucky Bourbon Affair event, said the KDA’s participating distilleries were unanimously behind the move from June to September because of the innovative and exciting opportunities with DWP artists and chefs.

The annual Kentucky Bourbon Affair has become a bucket list event for Bourbon aficionados. Last June’s KBA offered 45 events among 19 distilleries with nearly all activities selling out. More than 80 coveted “Golden Tickets” sold out within minutes.

The KBA is the only event that is exclusively produced by the distilleries themselves.

“We thank Mayor Fischer for his vision and express our sincere appreciation for the tremendous support and enthusiasm from Louisville Tourism, our industry partners, and of course Kentucky’s finest Bourbon whiskey brands,” said Gratzer.

“And thank you to Danny Wimmer, Danny Hayes, and the team at DWP. We look forward to your gifted ingenuity as together we create the ideal platform to bring the world to Kentucky, the one, true and authentic home for Bourbon.”

Learn more about the Kentucky Bourbon Affair at www.kybourbonaffair.com. Learn more about Bourbon & Beyond at www.bourbonandbeyond.com.

From Kentucky Distillars’ Association


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