UofL CardBook | For Music Lovers
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For Music Lovers

12 Aug For Music Lovers

We love music. So, we lovingly made some Spotify playlists for you too.

Louisville is no Nashville. It’s better because of our local music scene’s diversity. We do all types of music here, from the well-respected Louisville Orchestra to the new jazz introduced each year during UofL’s Jazz Week to our famous local rock ‘n’ roll scene. We do it all here, and we do it really well.

Forecastle Festival

Once a small annual concert for local bands held in a park in the Highlands, Forecastle Festival has grown into one of the best music festivals in the Midwest. The festival has moved to Waterfront Park in Louisville and attracts huge crowds, touting itself as a melding of music, arts and activism. Throughout the day, between sets on the various stages, you can check out vendors and local organizations promoting a greener planet.

Recent acts have included the Black Keys, Sam Smith, My Morning Jacket, Beck, Jack White, The Alabama Shakes, Smashing Pumpkins, Girl Talk and Outkast.


Louisville public radio station 91.9 WFPK knows how to throw a concert—and does it frequently. From April through September, the station hosts the free WFPK Waterfront Wednesday concert series (did we say free?), drawing acts like They Might Be Giants and Dawes. The station also hosts Live Lunch concerts each Friday. The concerts feature touring artists and locals and are broadcast live from the station’s studio on Fourth Street. A few times a year, the station, in partnership with UofL’s Student Activities Board, hosts Live Lunch at the Red Barn. Go to these. They’re free. And pretty good.

KFC Yum! Center

The KFC Yum! Center doesn’t just serve as the home of some of UofL’s sports teams. It’s also become the premier destination in the region for concerts by some of the biggest names in music. Since it opened in 2010, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, R. Kelly, Justin Bieber and The Zac Brown Band have rocked the arena. Pollstar ranked the arena #8 in the nation and #22 in the world for ticket sales.

More venues

Big-name national acts also play Louisville’s other top venues, including the picturesque Palace Theatre (Neil Young, Ryan Adams, Death Cab for Cutie) the quintessential rock club Headliners Music Hall (Iron & Wine, Turquoise Jeep) the brand new Mercury Ballroom (Toadies, Booker T. Jones, Kaiser Chiefs) and the Iroquois Amphitheater (The Shins, Alice Cooper). And local and touring bands hit up spots like Zanzabar all the time for cheap shows.

Hometown heroes

Don’t overlook the world-famous bands that call Louisville home, including My Morning Jacket, Houndmouth and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Those names are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the great music created in this city.

Local bands to check out

The Pass
Genre: Synthpop
If you like: Passion Pit

Jalin Roze
Genre: Hiphop
If you like: Lupe Fiasco

Cheyenne Marie Mize
Genre: Indie folk
If you like: Meghan Trainor

Ben Sollee
Genre: Bluegrass/folk
If you like: Mumford & Sons

A Lion Named Roar
Genre: Pop/rock
If you like: Keane

Silver Tongues
Genre: Rock
If you like: Bon Iver

Genre: Folk/rock
If you like: Fleet Foxes

Matt Duncan
Genre: Indie rock
If you like: Dirty Projectors

My Morning Jacket
Genre: Rock
If you like: Wilco

Genre: Hiphop
If you like: Rhymefest