Long have I dreamed of a music festival where you could stay on boats, where you could party on boats, where you could even LISTEN TO MUSIC ON BOATS. And little did I know that this amazing DREAM FESTIVAL exists in real life — in fact, has been existing, nay, flourishing, for 10 magical years in Louisville, Kentucky. Every year of my life that I haven’t been attending Forecastle Festival has been a wasted year. Friends, for those of you who, like me, have been living in darkness, here’s an overview. Forecastle is a three-day, five stage outdoor event that takes place this year in Louisville’s beautiful Waterfront Park. It started off in 2002 as a free neighborhood fest honoring the local music community and grew into a 70-band FUNSTRAVAGANZA, planned in part by hometown heroes My Morning Jacket. Forecastle offers bands, environmental activities, EXTREME SPORTS, art installations, fine dining, and AN AFTER PARTY ON THE HISTORIC BELLE OF LOUISVILLE STEAMBOAT. Press material includes this gem of a line: “Those wishing to “dock up” for the weekend may also purchase a very limited number of “Captain’s Club” VIP boat slips, which are located at the festival site.” So yeah, basically Forecastle is what it’d be like to attend a music festival in the Cloud City from Empire Strikes Back, except for with boats instead of clouds.
Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Boats? BAH. Who cares about boats. I love LAND. And BANDS. I want to hear about BANDS.” But first, let me tell you about how Forecastle offers a ticket payment plan option, for those who’d like to buy GA or VIP weekend passes over a period of four installments. This is the nicest thing ever. It warms my gin-soaked yacht captain heart. Additionally, the Forecastle Festival’s nonprofit Foundation will receive a small portion of each ticket purchase to use in their charitable work with local education and international environmental efforts. All that AND you get to spend a weekend in lovely Louisville, listening to the likes of My Morning Jacket, Bassnectar, Wilco, Girl Talk, Andrew Bird, Sleigh Bells, Atmosphere, Neko Case, Clutch, A-Trak, Galactic, Flying Lotus, Beach House, The Head and the Heart, Stax! Soul Revue, Dr. Dog, Deer Tick, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires, Beats Antique, Real Estate, Justin Townes Earle, Washed Out, Walk The Moon, Dean Wareham Plays Galaxie 500, Wye Oak, Atlas Sound, Fruit Bats, Daedelus, Ben Sollee, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo, JEFF the Brotherhood, The Features, Mike Doughty, Tanlines, Zion I, Sleeper Agent, Floating Action, Wick-It The Instigator, James Vincent McMorrow, Wax Fang, Daniel Martin Moore, King’s Daughters & Sons, Houndmouth, Cheyenne Marie Mize, The Ravenna Colt, Rachel Grimes, Nerves Junior, Cabin, Scarlet Smile, and Lydia Burrell. Boat or not, you’ll be floating away on a sea of musical bliss.
• Forecastle Festival: http://forecastlefest.com