Louder Than Life made its triumphant return in Louisville, KY this past weekend, held September 23, 24, 25 & 26 at the Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center with a record-setting attendance of 160,000 people who enjoyed the expanded four-day weekend for the first time in the festival’s history.
Producer Danny Wimmer Presents reported that more than 98% of festival-goers arrived with proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test – and others were able to receive convenient rapid testing onsite in order to access the event without delay.
Louder Than Life was historic for kicking off the partnership between DWP and legendary rock act Metallica, who is headlining two nights with two unique sets at each of DWP’s events this fall. Beginning at Louder Than Life, Metallica’s appearances featured a classic hits set on Friday, September 24 as well as a performance of “Metallica (The Black Album)” back to front in its entirety on Sunday, September 26 to commemorate the record’s 30th anniversary in 2021.
There were several other important milestones throughout the festival weekend including Judas Priest making a stop on their 50th anniversary tour, Anthrax celebrating 40 years and Machine Gun Kelly playing tracks from his album “Tickets To My Downfall” on the one-year-to-the-day anniversary of the album’s release on September 25. Ayron Jones also paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album offering a cover of “Breed” during his set.
Other memorable performances included rousing headline sets from Disturbed and KORN – one of the first appearances back for guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer after recovering from COVID-19. As well, Gojira debuted material from their album “Fortitude” in their performance. Many sets also featured guest stars such as Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett making an unannounced appearance with Judas Priest, Tye Trujillo (son of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo) appearing with his dad’s former band Suicidal Tendencies and The Hu on stage with Pennywise.
Says Courier Journal of the weekend, “It’s back and it’s amazing,” while adding, “Between the revolving slate of bands playing across three stages, plus too many beer, whiskey and food tents to count and a bunch of stands selling shirts, guitars and other merch, entertainment was easy to come by.”
Local news station WDRB also said, “Big crowds make for [an]amazing atmosphere as Louder Than Life kicks off in Louisville.”
LEO Weekly contemplated, “How will DWP top this for Louder Than Life 2022? I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to seeing you all there again for it.”
In addition to the 70 music acts over 4 days, with performances on three stages, festival-goers were able to enjoy award-winning bourbons, whiskey, spirits, craft beer, and the best food Louisville has to offer and sponsor activations that celebrated the bourbon culture and culinary heritage of this unique American city.
All weekend long, festival fans were also treated to exclusive interviews with bands playing Louder Than Life courtesy of the crew behind “That Space Zebra Show,” including KORN, Breaking Benjamin, Cypress Hill and Avatar. Interviews can be watched on DWPresents Twitch channel. As well, Metal Ambassador and SiriusXM host Jose Mangin was a part of the weekend, exclusively chatting with acts like Ice Nine Kills and Tremonti.
Louder Than Life has announced dates for 2022, to be held the weekend of September 22-25, once again returning to the Highland Festival Grounds At KY Expo Center. Passes are available now for just $10 down for a limited time at this location.
Louder Than Life partners included Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer, Kroger, Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Elijah Craig, Bulleit Bourbon, Angel’s Envy, Larceny, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Evan Williams, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry, Pegasus, ESP, Mortus Viventi, The Music Experience, Louisville Tourism, Kentucky Venues, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, The Well, TickPick, Fxck Cancer, Revolver, Inked, Blackcraft, Fanatics, Headcount, TWLOHA and Take Me Home.
Louder Than Life is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, one of the largest independent producers of destination music festivals in America. Since debuting in 2014, Louder Than Life continues to develop and grow. In 2019, Louder Than Life welcomed more than 128,000 fans over three days, earning its spot as the largest rock festival in America. For 2021, festival organizers added a fourth day, with the festival kicking off on Thursday.