Pools, ice cream cones, and sunburns all have in common that they are Classic (with a capital C) summertime activities. But Waterfront Wednesdays, held at Louisville’s waterfront park at the Big Four Lawn and hosted by WFPK radio, epitomizes the summer vibe on a whole different level. Food trucks, beer tents, people sprawled on blankets on the grass, and live music come together to create a relaxed and happy vibe. 

Waterfront Wednesdays is a popular and iconic Louisville summer event. Some people sit in folding chairs bobbing their head to the music while others lay on the grass reading a book. Still others sit chatting in groups while holding a small container of Food Truck food. If you enter between 5pm and 6pm, the bar will be serving half-priced beer and cocktails for happy hour. 

Waterfront Wednesdays occur on the last Wednesday of each month from April to September. Lasting from 5:00 pm to approximately 10:30 pm, this free (yes, FREE) event hosts a different grouping of artists each month. Tonight’s artists include The War and Treaty, Haley Heynderickx, and Dave Ernst and the Early Favorites. August’s line-up includes John Paul White Devon Gilfillian, C2 and the Brothers Reed while September’s hosts Josh Ritter, Amanda Shires, and Shake Anderson. 

Haley Heynderickx

The summer energy is evident in the milling people around the grass and the smiles that seem to leapfrog continuously from face to face. It’s hard to beat a free, outdoor concert that takes place by the Ohio River under the summer sun.

Samara Angel is a freelance writer for xpLouisville. A rising junior at Yale University, she has had fiction published in campus publications and recently was a recipient of the Wallace Prize for fiction. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Samara is spending the summer in Louisville, and is passionate about the arts and outdoors.