BY EVAN ALBERT
After taking a breather in 2011, Forecastle Music Festival is coming back to Louisville’s scenic Waterfront Park. The Festival spent 2011 as a building year, hosting the Halfway to Forecastle Festival last July and joining forces with the Bonnaroo organizers. This year’s event is being promoted as a collaboration between Forecastle and Kentucky’s hometown heroes My Morning Jacket (click here for our interview). This will be the festival’s tenth year, and organizers aren’t skipping out on the hors d’oeuvres. This year they have prepared quite a spread for us, with everything from EDM to soul, and everything else in between.
The time off and new friends have paid off with an impressive lineup that can compete with other festivals like Summer Camp in Illinois and All Good in Ohio. Forecastle is not quite staged at the same level as the gargantuan Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN, but maybe this is a good thing. Bonnaroo is more of an experience of survival: braving the hundreds-of-thousands large crowd while being either microwaved by the Tennessee heat or taking refuge from a raging storm. The blissful waterfront atmosphere and availability of nearby hotels at Forecastle makes for a slightly more comfortable festival atmosphere. You will not need a survivalist mindset to enjoy Forecastle.
Not only is Forecastle taking a spot among the top music festivals in the midwest, but it is reflective of the powerful energy of music fans in Kentucky. I spoke with Trevor Turndrup of Nashville prog-rock group Moon Taxi who will be playing the festival on Sunday. Trevor spoke of how Kentucky has always been an amazing state to play music in. “Some of the fondest memories I have when we were first playing outside of Nashville was playing this place called The Fishtank in Lexington [the former club was at the corner of Woodland and Euclid.] And they would just have the craziest people throw the craziest parties.” Trevor continued with a recommendation for other musicians. “I would say to any band in Nashville or just starting out: There is definitely love in Kentucky.” Hopefully the musicians playing Forecastle will experience some good Kentucky love and keep coming back.
The festival showcases a powerhouse lineup this year with many of the biggest groups on the festival circuit, and some interesting up-and-comers. Here is a taste of which groups to look out for this year.
My Morning Jacket- Louisville hometown heroes who are also the “curators” of this year’s festival. Get ready for some good ol’ rockin’. Rumor has it they have something big planned for their set…Click here for My Morning Jacket on iTunes.
JEFF The Brotherhood- Like the Mario brothers, but play a special breed of garage rock unique to Nashville, TN. If you want a taste of what is getting hot in underground music, you will not want to miss these guys. Click here for JEFF The Brotherhood on iTunes.
Girl Talk- The king of mash-up music and a sworn enemy of major record labels. If you like pop music on your pop music and shirtless dudes, this is the show for you. Click here for Girl Talk on iTunes.
Moon Taxi- These Nashville progressive rockers have been shaking things up lately. Fresh off of Bonnaroo, they ought to bring out the big guns with their fresh sound at Forecastle. Click here for Moon Taxi on iTunes.
Bassnectar- Over the years Bassnectar has become somewhat of the standard when it comes to American dub-step. The dude practically sells out every gig he plays around the country and people go absolutely nuts when he is behind the decks. You should probably leave the kids at home for this one. Click here for Bassnectar on iTunes.