Churchill Downs Incorporated is placing its bets on bringing in more revenue with the three-day Hullaba LOU Music Festival that kicks off Friday, and it could be a hit if ticket sales meet expectations. So far, more then half of the 90,000 tickets it hopes to sell have been purchased online and organizers expect most of the rest to come in just before or over the weekend.
Churchill Downs announced the three-day festival last fall and now has lined up 65 bands to play five stages at the track starting Friday. Headliners include Bon Jovi, the Dave Matthews Band and Kenny Chesney.
Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs Entertainment, says ticket sales are close to meeting projections.
“Our advance sales actually have gone well,” Sexton says. “We said from the onset that if we could achieve 90,000 people over the three days we’d be very pleased. We’re on track to come close to that.”
Sexton says tickets have been sold to people in 47 states and that the festival is part of a wider business plan.
“Our plan is to create large-scale revenue generating events at our venues and around the country,” he says. “So, these will be events that may take place at our facilities but may take place at other venues and the first one we thought was best to launch at our flagship track.”
Sexton says the company has planned amenities to make it easier to navigate the festival.
“We’ve got taxis, shuttles, remote parking lots where people can park and just be shuttled in to make it easy,” he says. “And we’re hopeful fans will see it as the tremendous outdoor show that it can be.”
He says there will be more than music with places to cool off and other attractions including 22 food booths and a festival marketplace with work by juried craftspeople.