ASHLAND, Ky. — More beers, more bands, more vendors and more people — the 2019 Firkin Fest had more of everything compared to past festivals, an organizer said.
“Year after year it keeps growing. Last year we had record attendance and this year it seems even bigger,” said Ashland in Motion director Whitney Lowe. “That’s encouraging to us, the Ashland in Motion board and the Firkin Fest committee, to keep making it stronger every year and keep expanding.”
Figures provided by AIM, the downtown revitalization organization which hosts the festival, show a record 1,265 tickets sold. That is nearly double the 750 sold in 2015, the first year of the festival.
Ticketholders had their choice of 152 brews, also a record — there were 100 in 2015 and the number has grown steadily since then.
The increase in brewer participation reflects the exposure they receive from Firkin Fest, according to one brewery owner. “It’s very well attended and it gets the word out well,” said Brady Barlow, one of four co-founders of West Sixth Brewery in Lexington.
The event also drew six food vendors and 14 retail vendors, both records and part of a steady upward trend. “All the food, retail and artisans were local and regional. We try to be thoughtful about our vendors and have a selection that is unique and eclectic,” Lowe said.