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    Who would’ve thought Louisville would turn out to be a music festival Mecca? First there was Forecastle; now there’s HullabaLOU, a brand-new music festival to be held at Churchill Downs this weekend, July 23–25. With musical acts ranging from Al Green to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes to the B-52s to Bon Jovi and the Dave Matthews Band, there truly is something for everybody. 

    As with the Forecastle Fest, here’s the guide to getting there, getting in, getting around and getting down. Without further ado…

    Getting there, getting around, finding a place to lay your head:

    There’s always TARC. Plan out your ride at

    , or, if you’re driving,

    you can get a pass for $25 a day

    for parking right on the grounds. Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium also has $10 parking, but that’s for people who need a bit extra help (that is, wheelchair accessibility), along with one guest. The accessible parking pass includes complimentary rides on specially equipped vans to and from Gate 17. (No advance purchase.) 

    If you’re visiting from out of town and are coming up short finding lodging, try KOA Campground just over the bridge in Clarksville, Ind. ((812) 282-4474), or the Add-More Campground, also in Clarksville ((812) 283-4321). There’s a handful of housing offerings on


    , of course; as always, use common sense. 


    You can still get tickets

    in advance

    or, if you’re feeling impulsive, on a walkup basis. Some VIP tickets are available too for people who want a guaranteed up-close view of their favorite band. 

    Who’s playing when: 

    The big deal is Bon Jovi on Friday evening, but that day you can also see the B-52s and Doobie Brothers, along with Gladys Knight and the truly underrated Sam Bush. Saturday features Kenny Chesney, Al Green, Ben Folds and local gal Joan Osborne. (She’s going to be huge someday—trust me.) Sunday brings last year’s Forecastle headliners The Black Crowes, Taj Mahal, the Avett Brothers and the Dave Matthews Band. Not to mention all the other smaller acts with big sounds playing on five different stages each day from 1:00 p.m. from Friday on.

    Getting in and keeping comfortable:

    Be patient, wear comfortable shoes and clothes, and please wear deodorant. (The humidity’s even worse than it was two weeks ago at Forecastle.) You can bring in two-20 oz. bottles of water, blankets (up to 10’ x 10’), collapsible camping chairs, small non-framed backpacks, diaper bags, binoculars and/or cameras with the lenses stuck on for good. You may be asked to open your bag, but that’s the world we live in today. Leave behind pets, large bags, outside food and drink, glass containers, video equipment (even amateur), recording devices, tents, booze, guns… If you have any doubt, leave it at home. 

    Do bring sunscreen, bug repellent and rain gear—

    scattered showers are in the forecast

    . Also, if you’re in, you’re in—no leaving and coming back without a new ticket. So be prepared to stick around.



    HullabaLOU has named Boombozz Pizza, Famous Dave’s, Shiraz and Salsarita’s as a few of the vendors whose food will be available. Bottled water will be $2 and bottled soft drinks $3. If the food is half as good as Forecastle’s…

    Other cool stuff:

    HullabaLOU is on


    . Click “Like” to get access to news, conversations (including buying/selling of tickets) and contests. For those with shorter attention spans, they’re also on Twitter at


    Anything and everything else:

    If there’s anything else you want to know about, check out

    Contact the author at



    Photo of Jon Bon Jovi: Flickr/



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