Forecastle is Home

Written by Jennifer Fall

Photo credit: Brian Hensley Photography

You know that festival you call home year after year? The one you purchase the early bird tickets for without a lineup? Forecastle is the Midwest’s home festival for a reason! I have never been disappointed with the lineup, the crowd, or the artistic flair of this fest. Featuring LCD Soundsystem, Odesza, Cage the Elephant, and Griz, Forecastle hit the mark in 2017 with an eclectic lineup and a hometown vibe that will stay with you in the following weeks.  

Music Genre: Rock, EDM, Jam Bands, Hip Hop. There is literally something for everyone. Whoever choses the talent for this fest hits it out of the park EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Camping: No.

Capacity: Medium.

Crowd Type: All walks of life. Ravers, Metal Heads, Hippies, Mermaids.

Water Stations: Yes

For the First Timers:

Louisville is an amazing city. Forecastle is located on the river at the picturesque Waterfront Park. Shopping and hotels surround the area. This year we stayed at a Days Inn a bit further from the fest and Ubered there. Hotels typically should be purchased a few months ahead of time to avoid a rate hike, although it is not as difficult as a festival in New York, Florida, or Vegas. If you stay close to the waterfront you will be comfortable. The longest line for entrance is maybe 30 to 45 minutes.

Early bird tickets just dropped for next year, so if you have cash lying around, I highly suggest purchasing to decrease your cost for next year. This festival is that wonderful! Concert ticket prices, for 3 days of amazing vibes. It certainly doesn’t get better than that!

Visit for more info on planning your journey.


Standout Food:

Last year I had the best foodie experience of my life with the lobster rolls. This year I won’t even tell you how many I had, because I’m not even sorry.


Stage Layout:

Waterfront park is a spacious area to host a fest. There are 4 stages, Mast Stage  (Mainstage), Port Stage (obscure yet artistic), Boom Stage (for EDM), and Ocean Stage (think jam bands). All stages are set up with a concert style look. LCD Soundsystem had a massive video screen behind them as well as Weezer.


Musical Highlights:

PJ Harvey: I had never seen PJ Harvey before. She is one artist that continued to elude me for years since the 90s. What a treat to see her in person and hear her beautiful voice. I watched her with a wonderful gentleman from Kentucky who literally has been to almost every concert or music show imaginable since the 80s. We lovingly dubbed him Fest Uncle.

Griz: Played his best set to date! We met up with a fellow Festival Squad member who became family over the weekend. It was Alex’s first time seeing him, and I was so impressed with the set we were blessed with. After 8 magical times of seeing Griz, I can honestly say that any lineup he is on… I’m down to travel.

Odesza: I have been a huge fan, but unfortunately never made it to one of their massive shows. Let me just say, there were tears. Their set was one of the most magical sets I have seen in my life. Just incredible, and still leaves me without the proper words to describe the purity.

Phantogram: Who doesn’t love Phantogram? If you don’t know who they are, I highly suggest a listen. The musical journey they take you on is so groovy, you forget you aren’t living in the 70s for a moment.


Things to do: There are so many amazing eateries and bars in the area. We ate breakfast at Wagner’s Pharmacy and enjoyed a famous omelet that has been featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.  They actually have a restaurant pharmacy combo that hosts a store full of all types of Kentucky branded gifts. It was adorable.


VIP or Bust: VIP, although nice, is not worth it for this fest. It is not overly crowded at Forecastle, and for many sets we had mostly open air. Viewing areas are plentiful, so there is no need to worry unless you want a closer viewing spot for the set on the main stage.


The Culture:

The one aspect of Forecastle that keeps me coming back year after year is their ability to have an excellent, calm, beachy vibe in the middle of Louisville. Everyone is so accommodating and nice. No one is in a hurry to move to sets, everyone is polite, and environmentally friendly. The merchandize is no joke. They have a section just dedicated to festival fashion and jewelry, as well as a section for artist prints. I snagged a beautiful flower crown (like I needed another one) and a beautiful art piece for my new home. There are amazing and unique pieces here, and you almost can’t leave without one. I can’t wait to return for even more amazing memories next year. It is so special, if you are ever in the crossroads of America, definitely check it out.

I would love to hear about your Forecastle experiences! Send me an email at [email protected], Follow me on Facebook at Jennifer Fall, and Instagram @basicbitchery for travel updates!

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