28th Annual Kentucky Reggae Festival

Kofi & The New Roots Band provided musical entertainment at the 2017 Kentucky Reggae Festival.

As told by Jennifer Washle, Event Organizer

The three-day Kentucky Reggae incorporates Jamaican culture and the flavor of the islands through music, ethnic food and the famed Caribbean Vendor Market.

The reggae festival is an experience like no other in Kentucky; the event gives patrons an opportunity to experience the islands right here in Louisville. The live music, the authentic Jamaican food, the vendor market and the kids entertainment area allow people of all ages to enjoy a fun-filled and relaxed day for an affordable price.

The event features live reggae performances, a wide variety of authentic Jamaican food and cocktails made with Four Roses Bourbon, Sailor Jerry Rum and more. The annual Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky Reggae Festival presented by Kroger has been one of Memorial Day weekend’s most popular events for 28 years.

Shawnice Whitfield and Elaine Styles.

How It Has Evolved

Over the years, the Kentucky Reggae Festival has grown to be one of the most anticipated events of the summer. In addition to keeping the usual traditions of Jamaican cuisine, reggae music and the Caribbean vendor market, the event has been able to preserve its authenticity and add a dash of homegrown flair by incorporating a variety of local partners.

By partnering with food vendors like A Piece of Jamaica and The Louisville Jamaican Association, local bands like PMA, several Caribbean craft merchants from the Kentucky area and sponsors like Four Roses Bourbon, we have had the opportunity to evolve the event into one of the most unique celebrations of Jamaican culture.

What’s on the Menu

The festival features a wide variety of authentic Jamaican food from the Louisville Jamaican Association, A Piece of Jamaica and T-Bone’s Jerk Shack. Taste the islands with the jerk chicken, curry goat, beef patties, fried plantains and rice and peas. American “fair food” favorites such as ice cold lemonade, funnel cakes, ribbon fries, burgers, corn dogs, kettle corn and more will also be available.

Cold beverages will be sold in the Sailor Jerry Rum Bar and the Bud Light Build-A-Bar areas, featuring Four Roses Bourbon, Sailor Jerry Rum, Hendricks Gin, Reyka Vodka and Milagro Tequila. Specialty drinks and beverages include Four Roses Bourbon cocktails, Milagro Margaritas, Sailor Jerry Reggae Rum Punch, refreshing Bud Light and more.

Tickets and other info

Through May 23, online-only, one-day general admission tickets are available for $10 single day pass, $20 for a two-day pass and $30 for a three-day pass. Tickets will be available each day of the festival at the gate for $15 per person. Parking is FREE and children 10 and under are free at the festival. No outside food, drinks or pets allowed. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. VT

Four Roses Bourbon Kentucky Reggae Festival Presented by Kroger

May 25-27

Louisville Water Tower Park


The Lineup

May 25

5 to 11 p.m.

PMA – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Yard Squad – 7 to 8:30 p.m.

INDIKA – 9 to 11 p.m.

May 26

2 to 11 p.m.

PMA – 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Elementree Livity Project – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Gizzae – 7 to 9 p.m.

Warrior King – 9:30 to 11 p.m.

May 27

2 to 11 p.m.

Lion Heights – 2:30 to 4  p.m.

Roots of a Rebellion – 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Dimachine – 6:30 to  8:30 p.m.

Lazo & Exodus: A Tribute to Bob Marley – 9 to 11 p.m.

By the numbers:

60+: Number of volunteers and staff members required

250+: Number of acts who have performed since the festival’s inception

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