Louder Than Life made its return in Louisville, Kentucky, this past weekend, September 23 to 26, 2021, at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center with a record-setting attendance of 160,000 people who enjoyed an expanded four-day weekend for the first time in the festival’s history.
Producer Danny Wimmer Presents reported that more than 98 percent of festival-goers arrived with proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID test–and others were able to receive convenient rapid testing onsite to access the event without delay.
Louder Than Life was historic for kicking off the partnership between DWP and Metallica, which is headlining two nights with two unique sets at each of DWP’s events this fall. Beginning at Louder Than Life, Metallica’s appearances featured a classic hits set on Friday, Sept. 24, as well as a performance of “The Black Album” back to front in its entirety on Sunday, Sept. 26, to commemorate the record’s 30th anniversary in 2021.
There were several other important milestones throughout the festival weekend including Judas Priest making a stop on its 50th anniversary tour and Anthrax celebrating 40 years. Ayron Jones also paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album offering a cover of “Breed” during his set.
Other memorable performances included headline sets from Disturbed and Korn–one of the first appearances back for guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer after recovering from COVID-19. In addition, Gojira debuted material from its album “Fortitude” in its performance. Many sets also featured guest stars, such as Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett making an unannounced appearance with Judas Priest, Tye Trujillo (son of Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo) appearing with his dad’s former band Suicidal Tendencies and The Hu on stage with Pennywise.
In addition to the 70 music acts over four days, with performances on three stages, festival-goers were able to enjoy award-winning bourbons, whiskey, spirits, craft beer, and the best food Louisville has to offer and sponsor activations that celebrated the bourbon culture and culinary heritage of this unique American city.
Louder Than Life has announced dates for 2022, to be held the weekend of Sept. 22 to 25, once again returning to the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center. Passes are available now for $10 down for a limited time at https://louderthanlife2022.frontgatetickets.com/.
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Photos courtesy of Danny Wimmer Presents/Steve Thrasher