302 Southland Drive | Lexington, KY
Turning Dream to Reality
More than ten years ago, began a dream of a music festival on Southland Drive. Over time, this dream named Tahlsound – a name derived from its location – spread from one individual to another. There was a growing desire to bring a of day live music to the neighborhood’s best kept secret, the Oleika Temple Great Lawn. Finally, in 2017 the dream came to life. Four friends – Gareth Evans, Seth Murphy, Brandon Pittard, and Chris Smith – with aid from dozens of their friends and neighbors collaborated to bring Lexington the inaugural Southland’s Tahlsound Music Festival.
Why Southland Drive?
One of Lexington's oldest shopping districts, Southland Drive, connects a thriving array of local, regional, and national businesses to a loyal, neighboring populous and constant flow of patrons. Also, dubbed “Lexington’s Music Row” in 2010 by former mayor, Jim Newberry, it just so happens to have a robust musical tradition.
The recent home to music venues Willie’s Locally Known and Big Hair HQ – each of which brought a ton of talent to the neighborhood – Southland, for short, also features multiple bars and restaurants along its corridor, that are themselves no stranger to live music. Countless area musicians have visited the more than half-dozen or so music and instrument stores that have or do operate on Southland to purchase first guitars, sheet music for learning new tunes, tuba rentals for marching band, spare drumsticks, pianos, replacement strings, bows, microphones, distortion pedals, etc. Sadly, Carl's Music Center, Chuck's Guitars, and DW Sound are now gone, but still rocking are Don Wilson Music, The Drum Center of Lexington, Doo-Wop Shop, and Willcutt Guitars (which sits on Rosemont Garden at Southland’s end). From spring to fall the Southland Lexington Farmers Market consistently hosts local musicians picking strumming bowing, and singing for a tip or just for fun. Southland Drive hosted The Southland Jamboree for nearly a decade, every week, all summer. Although it has moved to Beaumont’s Moondance Amphitheater, it remains a Lexington favorite, and is gearing up for its 2019 season.
Southland Drive’s musical tradition needed a music festival. Southland’s Tahlsound (pronounced tôl-sound) Music Festival is not a festival for the ages; it is a festival for the neighborhood, for the families that attend the Jamboree so faithfully, the folks enjoying a picker or two busking nearby as they purchase some local produce at the Farmer’s Market, and a festival for Lexington that seeks to spotlight showcase talented, area musicians to a local audience on a green space with artists and vendors in a family friendly environment.
To celebrate, elevate, and recognize our neighborhood's musical and artistic vibrance through an inclusive festival with emphasis on artists from surrounding communities.