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Event organizers say Railbird Music Festival likely to return to Keeneland in 2020

Though it's the first, organize say it's likely not the last, Railbird Festival.
Though it's the first, organize say it's likely not the last, Railbird Festival.(WKYT)
Published: Aug. 17, 2019 at 12:10 AM EDT
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Event organizers for the inaugural Railbird Music Festival tell WKYT they consider it a resounding success. Though it's the first, organizers say it's likely not the last, Railbird Festival.

The estimate right now for festival attendees is around 30,000.

Crowds were out at Keeneland, but some businesses benefitted from Festival-goers who were also spending money downtown.

With a lot of those people coming in from out of state, local hotels saw a bump in business.

"August is generally a slower time for Lexington, so it was really great to have a new special event in town. So we were sold out over the weekend and Lockbox was nice and busy and bustling," says Jennifer Davis, of 21c and Lockbox.

David Helmers, one of the organizers, said they'd meet next week to go over what worked and what didn't. He says the only major issue they saw was traffic that caused a bit of a delay. They intend for this to be a yearly event.

Businesses say they'd be happy to see a return, and that the festival gave them the chance to have customers from different parts of the United States.

"Definitely had some people traveling in from Tennessee. We saw a few people from Charlotte, North Carolina. But the festival itself is huge," says Alexandria Smith of Pies & Pints.

Blue Stallion Brewing said business picked up before the festival, as people came into town, as well as the Monday when they started to leave.

Businesses say the exposure to Lexington is a positive thing.

"Hopefully they’ll come back, and I’ll come back for the Bourbon Trail or whatever throughout the year," says Davis.

Organizers tell WKYT the people who attended Railbird should have received a survey about their experience. Event organizers say they will use that information in their planning for next year.

Official totals on attendance should come out sometime next week.