By Monday afternoon — less than 48 hours after Billy Ray Cyrus left a stage in front of around 8,000 fans in Radcliff — Jason Basham already had talked to two people about plans for next year’s Bourbon and Blades event.
“Putting something like this on in Radcliff is a pretty big deal,” said Basham, one of the organizers of Saturday’s event. “...It probably couldn’t have gone any better than it did.”
Cyrus, known for his No. 1 smash hit “Achy Breaky Heart” in 1992 and a host of other songs that hit the music charts, headlined the free show, which also featured children of country music royalty — Allie Colleen, daughter of Garth Brooks, and Ben Haggard, son of the late Merle Haggard.
Basham said it’s estimated there were between 10,000 and 12,000 people on the grounds throughout Saturday at Red Hill Cutlery and Boundary Oak Distillery along Joe Prather Highway on the south end of the city.
“It was great to put on an event that had no issues and it was safe event, and that’s what you want for people who support it,” Basham said. “It was a good crowd when you consider you have COVID looming over you. When you take everything into consideration, that’s a pretty good number.”
Basham said plans are “locked in” for Sept. 10, 2022, for the next show. He said he talked last week with two “heavy hitters” about possibly performing at next year’s Bourbon and Blades.
The weekend went so well in every aspect that the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown, which begins this week, is acknowledging Bourbon and Blades as a kickoff to its event, Basham said.
“It’s great news for Hardin County and great news for Radcliff,” Basham said. “We’re making sure this is the marquee event in Radcliff every year.”
Basham said future acts likely will be from the country music genre.
“It’s about putting butts in seats,” he said, “and country music is the king of radio and everything else follows.”
He said the type of acts that Bourbon and Blades can attract depends heavily on the event budget and schedules for artists.
“It’s about who is the best act that you afford for the money that you have,” Basham said.
He did say the goal is to stick with acts who have Kentucky connections.
Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1404 or firstname.lastname@example.org