Two months after the Thoroughbred horses, jockeys, gamblers and ladies with big hats clear out of Louisville, Ky.’s Churchill Downs, the 2010 Kentucky Derby will be replaced with the debut of the HullabaLOU music festival.
The three-day fest is set to take place July 23-25 and feature five stages with more than 65 bands from adult contemporary to classic rock to country to bluegrass.
Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews Band have been booked as headliners. Additional acts include Colbie Caillat, Loretta Lynn, Taj Mahal, The B-52s, the Doobie Brothers and Al Green.
HullabaLOU, which has been in formal planning stages for more than two years, is being produced by Churchill Downs Entertainment Group, a newly formed subsidiary of Churchill Downs Inc. Festival Productions’ Quint Davis, the man behind the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, has been hired on as a consultant. Festival Productions is throwing its own new festival, the Bayou Country Superfest, in Baton Rouge May 29-30 at Tiger Stadium.
“Our goal … will be to make this music festival to the music festival business what the Kentucky Derby is to horse racing,” said Steve Sexton, president of the Churchill Downs Entertainment Group. He said he hopes the fest attracts up to 30,000 visitors a day.
James Woods, president and CEO of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Burreau, predicts the festival could bring in $38 million for the local economy.
With the help of facility manager SMG, Churchill Downs has already been the site for concerts by The Rolling Stones and The Police.