Louder Than Life, the premiere metal and hard rock festival, is returning to Louisville, KY for its 6th year, but it’s only the 5th festival. In 2018, the festival was cancelled by inclement weather that ruined the festival grounds. This year the festival will be held at the Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Expo Center on September 27th, 28th, and 29th. The Danny Wimmer-produced festival experience will be moving to a new location but still offering an out-of-this-world lineup along with top-notch bourbon and food. Every music festival has good food, but Louder Than Life makes the extra effort to have the best food. Burgers, lobster rolls, barbeque, burritos, cajun, Mediterranian, gourmet hot dogs, and more. You name it, they’ll have it. And you can’t visit Kentucky without sampling the finest Bourbon the state has to offer (only if you are of legal drinking age of course).
This year’s headliners form a monstrous trio. Fresh off the release of their sixth studio album, We Are Not Your Kind, the nine-member metal army, Slipknot, are headlining Day 1 (Friday). One of the most influential bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s, Guns N’ Roses, who are still blazing a trail after reuniting with Slash and Duff McKagan, are closing out Day 2 (Saturday). On the final day, multi-platinum metallers, Disturbed round off what is setting up to be a very promising weekend as they continue their summer tour with Pop Evil and In This Moment.
Now, with over 50 bands performing at Louder Than Life in just three days it’s tough to know where to be and who to see. That said, we’ve curated a list of 10 acts to definitely keep on your radar, outside of the headliners of course. After you review our list check out the full lineup which includes bands like Breaking Benjamin, Motionless In White, Dropkick Murphys, The Crystal Method, and many more. All jazzed up but still need your tickets? Find a slew of different options (1 day, full weekend, VIP, etc.) right here. Happy festivaling!
To get you all pumped for the pending fist-pump party, here’s the festival’s official Spotify playlist:
01.Staind (Day 1)
- It’s been five years since a crowd was treated to a performance by Staind. This year’s festival is marking their return on the main stage. With major hits in the early 2000s, Staind’s mark on the hard rock world is unquestioned. There’s no doubt the crowd will be ready to sing along to hits like, “It’s Been A While,” “Fade,” and “For You.”
02.Gwar (Day 1)
- Prepare to get messy. The comically horrific shock rock act from another world, GWAR are invading the festival on Day 1. Even after 25 years of running amok all over our planet, they are still spraying crowds with (fake) blood, vomit, and whatever they can fire from the stage.
03.Ice cube (Day 2)
- Louder Than Life has always been a diverse festival for music styles. Hip-hop legend Ice Cube is scheduled to bring his west coast flavor to the bluegrass state making up for the cancelled performance of 2018. Even while he is the acting commissioner of the Big 3 basketball league, Ice Cube still makes time to rock a crowd.
Knocked Loose’s “Mistakes Like Fractures” is a riveting example of their captivating sound:
04.-05.Knocked Loose (Day 2) and White Reaper (Day 3)
- Hometown hardcore heroes, Knocked Loose are lighting a fire under the hardcore scene and everything in their wake. Especially after the release of their second LP, A Different Shade of Blue. White Reaper, on the other hand, are gearing up for their next release, You Deserve Love, due later this year on October 18th. Their brand of garage punk rock has been rocking festival crowds for a couple of years. This is sure to be a heavy homecoming for both bands!
06.In this Moment (Day 3)
- Not much needs to be said about In This Moment except that their shows are full-on productions. From the costume changes, theatrics, and choreography, not to mention some of the biggest songs in metal, In This Moment shouldn’t be missed.
07.Fire from the Gods (Day 3)
- With blends of metal, melody, and some hip-hop, Fire From The Gods are a band that you may or may not have heard of. But they are quickly gaining eyes and ears with their energetic sets and unique sound.
Dude, you need to get acquainted with Fire From The Gods “Right Now”:
08.I Prevail (Day 1)
- I Prevail has popped up on the scene with a lot of other youngish bands in the last five years, but they don’t lack in the ability to write brutal breakdowns and catchy sing-along choruses. They will be on the “Degenerates Tour” with A Day To Remember and Beartooth this fall, who are also performing at Louder Than Life.
09.Sum 41 (Day 3)
- Canadian punk rockers Sum 41 have been putting in work for over 20 years, even through some serious trials and tribulations. Sum 41 burst into the rock world in the early 2000s with hits such as “Fat Lip,” “Still Waiting,” and “In Too Deep.” (All songs that have a nostalgic quality to them that transport listeners back in time.) With the release of 2019’s Order In Decline, these rockers from the Great White North are still producing in-your-face music for a new generation.
- Grammy-award winning Halestorm has seemingly been touring the world non-stop since the release of 2018’s, Vicious, and are bringing their one-of-a-kind show back to Kentucky. From the riffs to the songwriting and on-stage intensity, the Hale siblings and company put on a show that rivals any.
If you're as excited as we are, take some time to peruse some of the extensive line-up: