Full-length Forecastle Festival is back again in July

Katie Baird

Music aficionados across the nation rally around music festivals like Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Bonnaroo;  this year, Louisville is yet again hosting its own, locally famous Forecastle Festival from July 13–15.

Forecastle was founded in 2002 and was first staged at Tyler Park.  Every year the festival grows larger, and this year organizers plan to have the biggest turnout yet, with a festival featuring big music names like Bassnectar, Girl Talk, Atmosphere, Wilco, and Louisville’s own My Morning Jacket.

Last year, the event was called “Halfway to Forecastle,” and only lasted for one night rather than three. It still, however, brought in a steady flow of concertgoers and revenue.

Christina Arnold (12) attended last summer’s festival, and said it was the best night of summer 2011. “You could feel the bass under your feet and your ears ringing constantly,” she said. “Hundreds of sweaty kids ate up the atmosphere as they continued to fist pump, head nod, and drop it low.”

Along with satisfying the Louisvillians, the festival brings in many out-of-state travelers. Holly Weyler, a Forecastle “first mate,” or organizer, appreciates the Festival’s benefits for the city. “We like to hope that it has a positive effect on the city and that we’re able to provide a unique experience for residents,” she said. “We also bring a lot of tourism to the city, people that may not otherwise come here, so it’s nice to show off the city we call home.” According to Weyler, about fifty percent of the Forecastle audience is from out of town, including visitors from every state and even several countries.

Festival organizers hope to improve crowd flow by switching up the staging of the event a little bit. The Main Stage will be located on the Great Lawn, and the second stage will be on the Wharf, which is closer to the water, offering a view of the Ohio River.

Tickets for the 2012 Forecastle Festival are now on sale for $145–$160 at Forecastle’s website.