LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — As Railbird comes to a close this weekend in Lexington, those who took part in all of the fun might have seen a bit of a change from 2021.

So what changed?

After a hiatus in 2022, festivalgoers shed light on their experiences in 2023.

Courtney Paris from Floyds Knobs, Indiana, said this is her second year attending, but the last time she was here for Railbird, she saw people being golf carted out the whole weekend from dehydration and heat.

“The water field stations kept running out. The lines were like 30-45 minutes long. The heat was crazy. The lines to get any refreshments, especially nonalcoholic refreshments were like crazy. You had to wait in a lot of the beer lines just to get water,” Paris said.

After festivalgoers described 2021 as disastrous, festival organizers changed the venue from Keeneland to Red Mile. They added more shade tents, more water stations, and more medical tents.

Those new changes helped make the festival go smoothly, but the most important thing was guests could bring one unopened water bottle of up to 32 ounces as well as refillable bottles.

Catherine Schnier from Fort Thomas said, “All the water stations were great. There was a lot of shade. They had a lot of like ice drinks too, and like nonalcoholic options, which have been really awesome.”

Chris Battaro from Minnesota said, “I mean, it’s hot but the operations, the logistics at Red Mile have been fantastic. Like I said, water everywhere, plenty of helpful staff people. So, it’s really been a 10 out of 10.”

Officials told FOX 56 that this year’s music festival was one of the fastest-selling music festivals for 2023, and they also told me that Railbird is one of the hardest music festivals to get tickets for.

TJ Mazzoli from Connecticut said, “It’s actually very accommodating to see that you can do this on an infield here and you’re not walking as much as, you know, at Keeneland or a larger facility. So, you see the camaraderie, you see the people that are out here, they’re having such a great time.”

Even though festivalgoers enjoyed the move to the red mile with new accommodations, it was tricky for them to get back to their cars at Kroger Field.


Jason Parish from Nashville said, “The shuttle system works getting here, getting back to your vehicle, it does not work at all. We walked last night.”

Unlike Jason Parish, some people weren’t able to get shuttle passes. They sold out forcing people to walk from Kroger to Red Mile and back if they couldn’t find any ride-share options.