Music festivals plan to go back to Champions Park next year

Organizers of Louder Than Life plan to return to Champions Park despite washed-out year

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated to monitor flooding.

All of the rain we’ve received and will get is impacting several things, including one of the biggest music festivals of the year, Louder Than Life, which has been canceled.

Organizers of Louder Than Life said before making the decision to cancel the festival, they looked at every option -- from moving the event to another location, to breaking the event up into smaller events in various venues. They determined that it wasn’t logistically possible, and the weather was just not cooperating. They said on their website it’s not safe to attempt to move equipment, and replacement equipment is not available.

Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents, said they aren’t giving up on Champions Park.

"We fought the good fight to keep Louder Than Life alive and then it became obvious that we couldn't," Hayes said.

Hayes said because of all the rain, they got close to shutting down Bourbon and Beyond Saturday night. Sunday they knew it definitely couldn’t happen. Things didn’t look good for the second round.

“People wondering, why didn’t you wait, why didn’t you wait, but what would be the point?” Hayes said. “We knew we couldn’t load in any longer, we knew it wouldn’t be safe to load in.”

Hayes said they also wanted to give fans and artists as much notice as possible so they could make alternate plans.

Festival organizers knew they couldn't safely load in equipment to make Louder Than Life happen.
Festival organizers knew they couldn't safely load in equipment to make Louder Than Life happen. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

The city said they still expect visitors to come through town and there isn’t a shortage of things to do.

"NULU festival Saturday, Schnitzelburg Oktoberfest is going on, Butchertown's Porktoberfest is Friday, Flea Off Market is Saturday and Sunday amongst a few things," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

With the cancellation of Louder Than Life, hotels and restaurants will feel an impact too.

KingFish, a restaurant off River Road, was selling parking spots to make some money. The general manager said the cancellation might be good for them because a lot of their regular customers will come back in.

“I think the traffic scared a lot of people away, so there is too much going on down here with the concerts,” KingFish manager Justin Helton said.

With no concerts, the next thing is moving all of the equipment out of Champions Park.

“(We’re) very carefully and slowly getting things out that we can get out,” Hayes said. “There is a lot that we can’t touch until the water recedes.”

Hayes said fans will be given full refunds for all tickets, including official hotel and camping package purchases.

The entertainment company said they will also restore Champions Park to how it was given to them. They’ll start doing that when the water recedes.

Next year, there will be three weekend music festivals one after the other.

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