After bolting out of the gate and shattering expectations in its inaugural year in 2019, Railbird Festival has its sights set on topping its debut with a blockbuster lineup of artists for its second festival — set for August 28-29 at the Grounds at Keeneland.
The world-class music festival produced by AC Entertainment and Lexington entrepreneur David Helmers announced today a top-tier headline for the weekend’s bill, including Grammy-winning jam band Dave Matthews Band and beloved Kentucky-based heroes, My Morning Jacket. Additional acts include Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, Leon Bridges, Billy Strings, Black Pumas, Khruangbin, Midland, The Revivalists, Band of Horses, Margo Price and more. Tickets are on sale now at RailbirdFest.com
Rolling Stone reported that the inaugural festival in 2019 “shook the senses of the listener,” and Railbird will once again do so while celebrating the culture and traditions of the Bluegrass State at the historic Keeneland Racecourse. A Kentucky experience through and through, Railbird will be woven into the course grounds to create an unforgettable and immersive weekend, centered on music, bourbon, Kentucky cuisine, and equine culture.
“While we all missed live music and experiences tremendously last year, the Railbird team looked at it as a time to build on the success of our inaugural festival and come back even better than before,” said Helmers, who co-founded the festival. “We’ve been planning intensely and are excited for the festival’s return to Keeneland with a list of world class artists, bourbon and culinary experiences.”
General Admission (GA) and VIP 2-Day passes are available to the public now via RailbirdFest.com, with a limited quantity starting at only $155. Affordable layaway plans are also available, with payment options starting at only $25 down.
A portion of proceeds from every ticket sold will benefit Railbird’s nonprofit community partners, Fayette Alliance, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope and Central Music Academy.
Those wishing to elevate their Railbird experience can purchase a VIP 2-Day pass with enhanced amenities for 2021. VIP patrons will have access to all GA amenities, as well as exclusive Limestone and Elkhorn Stage lounges with air-conditioning, a VIP Village with complimentary local hors d’oeuvres and spa services, private bars, luxury restrooms, fast-track entrances to the festival, free on-site parking for the weekend, commemorative Railbird merchandise and more.
Railbird celebrates the spirit of Kentucky with highly-curated bourbon experiences in The Rickhouse and up-close culinary demonstrations with Sip & Savor.
In addition to world-class musical acts across three stages, Railbird will offer immersive bourbon experiences and hand-selected rare barrels from Kentucky’s finest distilleries in The Rickhouse. Bourbon selections will be chosen in collaboration with co-owners Justin Sloan and Justin Thompson of Lexington’s treasured Justins’ House of Bourbon, a well-known stomping grounds for Bourbon beginners, lovers, and collectors.
Private bourbon selections, Railbrid Selects, for the Railbird Rickhouse include single barrel picks from Four Roses, Bulleit, Castle & Key, Elijah Craig, New Riff, Old Carter, Old Forester, Pinhook, Wilderness Trail and a Justins’ House of Bourbon Railbird Signature pick.
Railbird will also offer a wide variety of premium experiences highlighting renowned chefs from the area through its Sip & Savor program. Up-close-and-personal demonstrations and interactive discussions will be led by culinary headliners Jeremy Ashby, Travis Milton, Cole Arimes, Ouita Michel, Samantha Fore and Kristin M. Smith throughout the festival weekend.
All festival goers will enjoy wagering, lounging and a taste of horse culture at the Lucky Day Plaza.
Fans can get in on the action and wager on off-track betting, with coast-to-coast simulcast from Del Mar to Saratoga on the festival grounds. Keeneland’s own BETologists will be on-site with tips for winning big.
This festival is an all-ages event, complete with a Fillies & Colts family area with performances, horse rides, arts and crafts, interactive games, and much more.
The Railbird Festival 2021 artist lineup includes:
Saturday, August 28
- My Morning Jacket
- Leon Bridges
- Billy Strings
- Black Pumas
- Margo Price
- Japanese Breakfast
- Joy Oladokun
- Sarah Jarosz
- John Moreland
- Briston Maroney
- Sierra Ferrell
- Bendigo Fletcher
- The Brook & the Bluff
- Magnolia Boulevard
- Nicholas Jamerson
Sunday, August 29
- Dave Matthews Band
- Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit
- The Revivalists
- Band of Horses
- Tanya Tucker
- Colter Wall
- The War and Treaty
- Zach Bryan
- Liz Cooper & The Stampede
- Cedric Burnside
- Cha Wa
- S.G. Goodman
- Southern Avenue
- Grayson Jenkins
About Health and Safety
Railbird is about coming together to enjoy great music, Kentucky bourbon, and the incredible Grounds of Keeneland, and that can only be achieved by keeping the safety of fans, artists and staff at the forefront at all times. Railbird Festival organizers will be in regular communication with local health and public safety officials and will continue to abide by relevant recommendations and guidelines that are current at the time of our event. As the festival approaches, Railbird patrons will receive regular updates with important information regarding safety policies and procedures before entering the festival grounds.
About AC Entertainment
AC Entertainment is internationally recognized as an innovative leader in creating, producing, booking and marketing first-class live entertainment experiences – from festivals and concerts to all types of special events. As producers of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Forecastle Festival, High Water Festival, Moon River Music Festival, and Homecoming Festival, and through the 1,000+ concerts presented nationally each year, AC takes special pride in those unforgettable, spine-tingling moments that everyone remembers long after the lights have come up. For more information on AC Entertainment, visit ACEntertainment.com.
For more than 80 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. The world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, Keeneland conducts four sales a year, in January, April, September and November, and presents online auctions through the Keeneland Digital Sales Ring. Graduates of Keeneland sales dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2020, The Summer Meet at Keeneland presented five days of racing from July 8-12. Keeneland hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in 2015 and 2020 and is holding the event again in 2022. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a privately held company with a not-for-profit mission that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses and millions of dollars donated in support of horse industry initiatives and charitable contributions for education, research, and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. Keeneland also maintains the Keeneland Library, a world-renowned public research institution with the mission of preserving information about the Thoroughbred industry. To learn more, visit Keeneland.com.