Best Music Festivals to Attend in 2023

Bourbon & Beyond

September 14-17, 2023 (Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky)

World’s Largest Bourbon & Music Festival

Bourbon & Beyond brings world class music to Louisville along with over 40 bourbon brands, a plethora of workshops, and and experiences that you won’t find at other festivals. Don’t forget the chefs, restaurants, and supper clubs to keep you full in between the biggest acts touring this year.

The idea for Bourbon & Beyond was born, bringing in an eclectic lineup of music all-stars (including acts such as Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, Zac Brown Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, John Fogerty, ZZ Top and Lenny Kravitz among others), alongside top-notch culinary demonstrations and the finest bourbon selections, as well as appearances from master distillers. In short order the event established itself as the World’s Largest Bourbon & Music Festival, in 2019 bringing in a record attendance of 91,000 people.

Festivalgoers get a chance to go behind-the-scenes on how bourbon is crafted and what it means to be a bourbon distiller. There are also many workshops featured to highlight other bourbon experiences such as distilling, pairing, and cooking with bourbon.

As for the cuisine element, the festival has seen celebrity and high-profile chefs such as Tom Colicchio, Carla Hall, Anthony Lamas, Chris Santos, and more.

The festival debuted in 2017, founder Danny Wimmer of Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP), wanted to push the boundaries that put music, food, and spirits together in festivals. While music a no brainer for his team, they needed to somehow make the festival experience better altogether–starting with better foods and better bourbons.

It’s a simple enough concept, but the execution of it required work. Wimmer teamed up with Fred Minnick and Edward Lee for the task. Minnick is an authority when it comes to bourbon, and Lee is a celebrated Louisville chef. Together, they came up with ways to present the best elements of Kentucky’s soul and spirit into a weekend. The goal was to feature Kentucky’s master distillers, the best bourbons, and the best local chefs and bartenders and they have successful succeeded at Bourbon & Beyond.

Tickets: Starting at $260

Pilgrimage Festival

September 23 & 24, 2023 (The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin, Tennessee)

Best Family-Friendly Festival

Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival was inspired by friendship, history, experience and the desire to create an authentic music festival. The founders – Kevin Griffin, W. Brandt Wood and Michael Whelan – aspired to highlight the diversity and community spirit of the New Orleans Jazz Fest, tailoring the best elements to Franklin– a richly historic town just 20 minutes south of Nashville. Like Jazz Fest, Pilgrimage takes place during the day, and offers a diverse yet renowned lineup of rock and roll, alt-country, bluegrass, jazz, indie, gospel and more.

Pilgrimage always has surprises on stage that include guest appearances, acoustic performances, and unique pairings. Pilgrimage freely mixes genres and musical styles to create an intentionally diverse music experience throughout the day so you can see all of your favorites and discover new ones.

Since it’s start in 2015, the festival has grown to double down on the music programming, with six stages and heralded lineups year after year, and has expanded its cultural focus by showcasing hundreds of local artisans, restaurants, food trucks and makers that give context and authenticity to the Pilgrimage experience.

Pilgrimage has always presented itself as family friendly which means kids are welcomed and encouraged to experience festival culture at young age. Specifically, at the Lil’ Pilgrims Area with Grammy award winning producer, Ralph Covert, kids experience numerous activities, renowned artists, and are presented musical talent at a high level that has underscored a commitment to the “all ages” experience.

In 2016, Justin Timberlake continues signed on as a partner and producer of the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival. Millville Market is an festival “village” is a collection of tiny houses and lounge furniture located on the front lawn for folks to chill between sets. It is a whimsical take on a studio of the same name, where Justin Timberlake and his Creative Director Trace Ayala engage in creative pursuits.

Each year Pilgrimage develops new elements to continue to create a music festival with the mission to grow and evolve each year. In 2017 Pilgrimage introduced Farm to Turn-Table, a food truck park with plenty of shade, seating, food trucks and activities that made it an event in itself. In 2017 Pilgrimage also introduced the Americana Music Triangle Experience which was a collection of municipalities from the rich music heritage of the South in one tent to participate for the first time, collectively in sharing this rich heritage. Thousands of people got to see in one place, where they might want to visit these towns, small and large, to keep this history alive.

It’s worth it to #MakethePilgrimage

Tickets: TBA

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.