The National Jug Band Jubilee

Music is an important part of Louisville culture. Live show venues throughout the city continue to draw countless people, and Louisville's annual music festival--Forecastle--is one of the biggest events in the city. People flock to hear good music, so it's no wonder that Louisville hosts so many musical events for different bands. The summertime in Louisville is all about outdoor music--for instance, both Westport Village in Lyndon and Cherokee Triangle have weekly live music events. Earlier this year we also saw a Reggae Festival and a celebration of blues music, but this September, Louisvillians can celebrate jug bands at the National Jug Band Jubilee at Waterfront Park.

It's almost sounds silly, but jug bands are no joke. Music played with banjos, guitars, and--most importantly--the jug, have a long-rooted presence in Kentucky history. The genre of music rose to popularity in the early 1900s, and it's actually pretty interesting how the jug came into the picture. According to the Jug Band Jubilee's website (linked here:, the first jugs used in jug bands were whiskey jugs. It only makes sense that music played with whiskey jugs rose to popularity in Kentucky, otherwise known as Whiskey Central. When people think about what it was like at the turn of the century near the river, it's hard not to think about musicians keeping a rhythm by blowing into a massive whiskey jug. Just think about the steam boats moving on the lazy river, people in straw hats, and lots of awesome jug bands.

Althought the genre rose to its heights in the early 1900s, there are still plenty of people who appreciate jug music. There are also plenty of people who love to play in jug bands, as evidenced by the full lineup list. On September 21st at Waterfront Park in Downtown Louisville, jug band enthusiasts and curious people alike can enjoy classic jug band music, food, drink, friends, and even beautiful, handmade jugs at the National Jug Band Jubilee. If you have no plans on the 21st, why not visit Waterfront Park and see why so many people today still appreciate this classic brand of music? It's an important part of Louisville history, and it's cool to know that a genre was born from Kentucky's love of all things whiskey. What other city can say they invented a genre of music because of whiskey?

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