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Louder Than Life, Bourbon and Beyond bring in millions of dollars for Louisville

Both festivals are expected to bring in $20 million in economic impact for Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — You may not even be there, but there's a chance depending where you live, you'll hear some of it.

Louder Than Life is underway, the heavy metal and rock concert here in Louisville.

It's called the world's largest whiskey and music festival, and it's coming off a record breaking weekend from their other festival: Bourbon and Beyond.

There have been hundreds of thousands of concert goers in Louisville over the last two weekends, coming from all over the globe.

"We've waited on several people from out of town, a lot of Californians, Michigan. A couple from Sydney, Australia. We've had some Europeans," said Wayne Sweeney, the general manager for Merle's Whiskey Kitchen.

With both Bourbon and Beyond and Louder Than Life in town this month, economic impact is a huge plus for the city.

Sweeney says they've been seeing record-breaking numbers.

"The busiest week in the history of the restaurant last week with Bourbon and Beyond, you know, 140,000 people in town," he said.

Officials with the festival say between the two, $2.65 million went to local staff, $4.55 million went to local restaurants and $350,000 were donated to Kentucky-based charities, amongst other spending.

Zack Davis with Go To Louisville says the overall impact is even more.

"We expect nearly $20 million in direct economic impact for both festivals," he said.

Davis said events like these help open Louisville up to a much broader audience.

"Nearly 60% of all the attendees for these festivals come from outside the state and are really greater than 100 miles, which means they're staying in hotels or staying longer," he said. "They're checking out the attractions and restaurants."

Those visiting said they're looking to get into the community.

"We're gonna most definitely go and see some culture and spend some money and some local dives. And that's the whole point," said a concert goer.

Concert goers like Kassy Iliff from Indiana said their focus this weekend is to shop and spend locally.

"Very important. I own a cafe in a very small town. So I support local versus big box stores," Iliff said.

Sweeney said he's is excited for the future of what these festivals will do for the city.

"My hope is that the city embraces it," he said. "Just like they have festivals in the past, the art festival that's right around the corner. Those are things that make our city special and people travel from all around the world to come see."

Everyone said they're just happy to see these festivals making their way back to Derby City.

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