The Moonshiner’s Ball 2023

The Moonshiner’s Ball 2023

OCTOBER 12-15, 2023


Stick it to the dry county Debbie Downers at the Moonshiner’s Ball, a 4-day funk and folk festival in rural Kentucky.

Folk by day, Funk by night. That’s the unofficial tagline of The Moonshiner’s Ball, a small but eclectic music festival held each year in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest

If anything, this is a distinctly American affair: the music festival is hosted by the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, a moody and modern Appalachian string band, while the headlining funk-jam band Galactic, joined by vocalist Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph, hails from New Orleans. Sierra Hull’s smooth lullaby bluegrass is reminiscent of early Alison Krauss, whose voice defined a generation of newgrass music. 

Part of the music festival’s agenda is to put not-yet-known local groups on the map. In an interview with No Depression, organizer Travis Young explained, “A big part of what we seek to do is support the local music scene, to shine a spotlight on the great artists we know. We bring in national acts, the recognized names — the idea is to put Kentucky bands side-by-side with them and help lift up these amazing local bands.”

There’s a reason it’s called The Moonshiner’s Ball — Rockcastle is a dry county, so the festival doesn’t offer alcohol for sale. However, the festival enthusiastically encourages BYOB, so get ready for that homemade hooch. 

Since 2018, the fest has been held at Rockcastle Riverside, a secluded private concert venue with plenty of sweet camp spots where you can jam and drink into the night. The venue borders its namesake, the Rockcastle River, so if you want a break from the music, you can ride your own kayak or inner tube. 

Day-time workshops are also in abundance: Begin your morning with yoga, learn how to make instruments or herbal tonics, and make new friends on a group hike. This festival is particularly family-friendly (looks like kids six and under can attend for free), and TBH, I’d even stop by the kids’ tent. They have scavenger hunts, halloween crafts, glitter, and that parachute game you’ve been yearning to play since you left 5th grade. 

The Specs 

  • Each year, 1200-1500 music-loving folks attend this intimate festival. 
  • A Full Weekend Pass (Thursday – Sunday) costs $185. Daily passes run $25-70. Check out all of the ticket options here.
  • En route to The Moonshiner’s Ball, swing through Lexington, KY, where you can see how bourbon is made. 


What is the closest airport to The Moonshiner’s Ball?

Fly into Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport (LEX, about 1 hour southeast), then rent a car to drive to Rockcastle Riverside.

What is the exact address where the music festival is held?

Rockcastle Riverside is located at 4211 Lower River Rd, Livingston, KY 40445

How far is Atlanta from Livingston, Kentucky?

Atlanta is 323 miles away from Livingston.

It’s my first time attending. What should I expect?

Here’s how the music fest describes itself on its website: “It is four days of moonshine-soaked jam, rock, Americana, and bluegrass hosted by The Blind Corn Liquor Pickers in Livingston, KY, at a pristine outdoor venue where the sounds from the main stage ring out across Appalachian hills, where your kids can romp and stomp and pluck crawdads out of creeks and where we all gather to celebrate the art music, and poetry of the area, dancing, singing and drinking under clear starry skies.”

Is there camping? 

Unlike many other music fests, all Full Weekend Passes and Saturday/Sunday passes include free tent camping (first-come, first-serve, and you must be willing to walk your gear in). Car camping is available for an additional $75 (RV spots are sold out at this time). Check out location details and options here.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes – well-behaved, well-socialized, leashed dogs are allowed. You must purchase a separate ticket for them. Find more information here

I need ADA access. Who should I contact?

Send an email to [email protected] with your questions or concerns, and they will be happy to assist you. 

Which artists are on the lineup?

Expect a mix of bluegrass, Americana, funk, rock and beyond. The lineup includes Galactic, Neal Francis, Sierra Hull, Adia Victoria, Thumpasaurus, Brothers Comatose, Larry Keel Experience, Kelsey Waldon, The Rumble featuring Chief Joseph Boudreaux Jr., Magnolia Boulevard, Sunny War, Boulevards, Good Morning Bedlam, Vintage Pistol, Hot Brown Smackdown, Mama Said String Band, Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, Happy Landing, Eric Bolander, Jeremy Short, Houseplant, Brother Smith, Driftwood Gypsy, Jake Kohn, Sarah Kate Morgan, Them Lasses, Hunter Flynn, Taylor Shuck, Matt Fassas.

Where can I buy Moonshiner’s Ball tickets?

Check out the link above in the yellow box.

2023 Poster



BY Katherine James