Inaugural Railbird Music Festival

A recap on Keeneland’s first music festival and its performers


The Raconteurs, a rock band fronted by Jack White of The White Stripes closed the first night of Railbird on the Limestone Stage. They had the flashiest set of the night, complete with all the lights and sounds of a true rock show, contrasting from the americana and folk centered performances earlier in the day. Photo by Ashlyn Martin.

Ashlyn Martin, Staff Reporter

According to Railbird Festival’s website, “A Railbird is a horse racing enthusiast known for sticking close to the action, hanging on the rail as each contender comes barreling down the track.” During Keeneland’s first ever music festival, the 30,000 participants flocked around the stages of 30+ artists, becoming railbirds themselves. The festival was a huge success. AC Entertainment, the organizer of Railbird and other popular music festivals such as Bonnaroo and Forecastle, intends to host Railbird again next year.

Railbird took place on the grounds of Keeneland during August 10-11th. It featured popular Americana, country, rock, and alternative artists, as well as local artists. For an inaugural festival, the lineup including some big names. Saturday’s headliner was The Raconteurs, an American rock band headed by Jack White of The White Stripes. Sunday’s headliner was Hozier, an Irish singer-songwriter known for his hit, “Take Me to Church.” Other well-known performers included Mavis Staples, Brandi Carlisle, Old Crow Medicine Show, Grace Vanderwaal, and Tyler Childers.

I attended both days of Railbird and look forward to going again next year. It was an incredible experience and I encourage you to witness it for yourself next year!