Forecastle Festival at Waterfront Park

The stage backs right up to the Ohio River
The stage backs right up to the Ohio River

Here we are again approaching the middle of July in Louisville, and I am reminded of two things:  1) The temperature begins to rise…and  2) Forecastle Festival at Waterfront Park is upon us!  Each year music lovers and festival goers from all over the country come in and land on the Great Lawn at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville for three days of music, art, and activism.

Forecastle Festival was started in 2002 by Louisville local JK McKnight as a small local art and music festival at a small local park.  In addition to music and art, Forecastle also places a big emphasis on environmental responsibility and outdoor recreation.  A number of keynote speakers have graced the stage at past Forecastle events

A really cool art installation at Forecastle resembling the masts and sails of a ship
A really cool art installation at Forecastle resembling the masts and sails of a ship

from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of Riverkeepers, to Christopher Childs of Greenspace International.  Since its beginning, the festival has outgrown quite a few different venues including the Belvedere, another Ohio River oriented park  in Louisville’s downtown.  Now with FIVE separate stages it seems to have finally found its home at our city’s newest baby, the 85-acre Waterfront Park right on the Ohio River.  The Forecastle Festival has grown into one of the best festivals in the U.S. and is now co-produced by AC Entertainment, which is responsible for Bonnaroo and a few other festivals.

This year’s Forecastle lineup will feature performances by The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, The String Cheese Incident, Robert Plant, The Flaming Lips, Old Crow Medicine Show, Jim James, and many many more, all of which is set to take place July12th, 13th, and 14th.  They have also started including “after parties” or late night shows.  These late night shows will feature band performances and DJ performances, and they are spread

The Louisville Village is where you find a lot of art and local activism tents
The Louisville Village is where you find a lot of art and local activism tents

between two different venues:  1) The Palace Theater on Fourth street downtown Louisville.  2) Aboard the Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating Mississippi-style steamboat in the world.  All of these components add up to make the Forecastle Festival a one-of-a-kind experience!  With the Ohio River as a backdrop, and the Louisville skyline in the foreground, this truly is a beautiful sight!

Personally, I love music and I love music festivals.  A hometown music festival?  That’s a huge bonus.  But the fact that Forecastle Festival consistently brings amazing music, amazing scenery, and a super cool fan base each and every year is why I keep coming back.  Tickets can be purchased at http://forecastlefest.com/tickets/

See you on the ship!

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