Tony & the Tan Lines will perform on Sunday. | Courtesy of Tony & the Tan Lines

There are still oodles of similarities between the former Labor Day festival that went by the name Kentucky Bluegrass & Bourbon Experience and this year’s new iteration, the Kentucky Music & Bourbon Experience. For starters, Four Roses Bourbon is still the main sponsor, the event once again takes place at the Water Tower, there are tons of musical acts each day, and lots of beer, bourbon and Kentucky-centric food.

Rachel Baiman plays bluegrass on Saturday. | Courtesy of Rachel Baiman

So what’s changed exactly? Well, instead of a bluegrass-specific focus, organizers are mixing it up with other local bands of various genres.

“We are promoting the weekend as a ‘celebration of Kentucky’ — the bluegrass music that is native to Kentucky on Saturday, followed by some of the hottest and most fun music talent in Kentucky on Sunday, all connected by the product that makes Kentucky world-famous — bourbon,” says Jennifer Washle, promotions manager of Bisig Impact Group, which puts on the event.

So for all you die-hard bluegrass lovers, don’t fret. You still have all of Saturday to take in the tunes by the likes of Hog Operation, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, Rachel Baiman and others.

But on Sunday, the stage will be ransacked by fun cover-ish bands like Tony & the Tan Lines and The Louisville Crashers. (The full two-day schedule is below.)

And along with a bourbon tasting lounge, you can expect a wide range of the state’s best barbecue, festival food and even a Budweiser Bar.

Blind Corn Liquor Pickers play Saturday. | Courtesy of Blind Corn Liquor Pickers

The Four Roses Kentucky Music & Bourbon Experience runs 4-11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 2-3, at the Water Tower. Admission at the gate is $15, or you can purchase discounted tickets online for $10 through Aug. 31. Children 10 and under are free.

Saturday, Sept. 2

  • Blind Corn Liquor Pickers — 4-4:45 p.m.
  • Hog Operation — 5-6 p.m.
  • Relic — 6:15-7:30 p.m.
  • Rachel Baiman — 7:45-9 p.m.
  • The Cleverleys — 9:30-11 p.m.

Sunday, Sept. 3

  • Mood Ring Engagement — 4-6 p.m.
  • Tony & The Tan Lines — 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • The Louisville Crashers — 9-11 p.m.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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