Railbird Festival: Great Music and an Equally Amazing Culinary Lineup

We have been putting up eager posts about Railbird Festival since word about the new festival first made it our way back in February. It is hard to believe how fast time has gone, and that we are less than two weeks away from the festival.

Railbird is a brand new music festival in Lexington Kentucky (The Horse Capital of the World) focused on music,  bourbon and celebrating all things equine. Railbird takes place on the grounds of Keeneland. If you aren’t into horse racing (also Top Chef) or from Kentucky, you may not have heard about this beautiful place, but it is time to fix that. Keeneland is more than a race track, the complex features beautifully manicured grounds and major sales and operations facilities. It is also a national historic landmark, featuring shops and displays focused on preserving the history of horse racing.

We have high expectations for Railbird. It is being produced by AC Entertainment – the company is also involved in the production of Bonnaroo, Forecastle, High Water, Moon River and Big Ears. That’s exciting because these are great festivals of various sizes and themes and the production company will be coming in with a lot of experience. The site hosts races (and tailgating race fans) from April to September and is experience providing the infrastructure required to support a large event like this.

So we weren’t surprised when Railbird dropped a pretty amazing lineup back in March and we have been excited to see what is to come on the culinary front too.

The focus of this post is going to be on some of the non-music aspects of Railbird we are looking forward to checking out.

Culinary Adventures

Sip and Savor – Railbird has put together a stacked lineup of world class chefs who will be bringing intimate culinary experiences and demonstrations to fans at the Sip and Savor Stage. All the chefs they have scheduled look fantastic. A few of our favorites are: Top Chef Season 16 Runner Up – Sara Bradley – a Kentucky native, fantastic chef, and one of the most fun and relatable competitors we have seen on the show. Dan Wu (a Master Chef Alumnus) and James Beard nominee Ouita Michael! The schedule is up now and we look forward to checking out some of these awesome culinary demonstrations.

Friday Night Keeneland DinnerFriday night before the festival starts, Railbird is kicking off with a big and delicious celebration. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception in the Saddling Paddock. We are so ready to go full on horse country!! After cocktails, guests will move onto what the festival is calling a “culinary experience” hand crafted by Keeneland’s Executive Chef, Marc Therrien. The menu is up now and you can pick up tickets online. Just a quick look shows lots of things to be excited about from tapas, to street tacos, to doughnut bread pudding…we are seriously hoping to be able to find a way into this party. Pack your best big hats!

Trackside Brunch and Tour – On both Saturday and Sunday, Railbird is offering tickets for purchase for a super special trackside brunch and tour. Set on the Keeneland Clubhouse lawn, brunch will offer cocktails and a gorgeous setting. Also there’s a mimosa bar (SOLD!!!!!!). Check out the menu here and let us know what you think. I have a feeling we are going to need some stretchy (but fancy) pants for all the eating we hope to be doing next weekend.

Bourbon – As we learned a couple weeks ago in Louisville, you aren’t really in Kentucky until you have had bourbon. Railbird will feature The Rickhouse – featuring at least six Kentucky bourbon distilleries where you can explore flights, cocktails and more.

Equine Fun – Since the festival is taking place a world renowned equine facility, it only makes sense that Railbird will be offering some unique equine related tours and excursions. The website describes a number of different tours and opportunities, including watching morning workouts and tours of facilities on and off the property. Given how beautiful the setting is, if you can get up early this definitely sounds like a once in a lifetime festival experience.

We are so excited to get back down to Kentucky soon. Hopefully we will see you out there. And look forward to telling you all about our experience (especially the food) when we get back!


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