From The Courier Journal, Louisville KY
And while I loved artists such as Green, Lynn and Dwight Yoakam, my favorite moment was completely unexpected. On Sunday, I wandered by the Bluegrass Stage just as Hog Operation was beginning. Only a handful of people were there, and none in the paddock directly in front of the band, so I headed down for solidarity. As the band began playing the Grateful Dead's "Friend of the Devil," I found myself enjoying the festival in a way I so far hadn't. The whole thing had been a blur of deadlines and tweets and blisters, but as Steve Cooley, John Hawkins, Larry Raley and Mike Schroeder strolled through the song I knew I wasn't going anywhere for the next hour. I wasn't the only one, as people on their way to the infield stopped and listened. By set's end there were maybe 100 people watching - including John Asher, vice president of communications at Churchill Downs - and I had a warm feeling that had nothing to do with the sun baking my tender head. I'm looking for more of the same next year.
Reporter Jeffrey Lee Puckett