This weekend, Forecastle Festival will set sail at Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville.
The music festival’s 13th year will be headlined by performances from Sam Smith, My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic. In addition to over 50 performers during the three-day festival, six late-night shows will be hosted by Louisville venues when shows on festival grounds have finished.
The festival will play host to a variety of genres throughout the weekend. Friday will begin with artists such as singer-songwriter ZZ Ward and indie rock band Cold War Kids. As the day turns to night, Bowling Green rockers Cage the Elephant will perform on the headliner’s Mast Stage before breakout English R&B singer Sam Smith closes the evening.
The second day offers many genre choices such as rapper iLoveMakonnen, garage punk band Desaparecidos, Americana rock band The War on Drugs and folk duo Shovels & Rope. Two Kentucky artists will close out the night: Jackson’s country revivalist Sturgill Simpson and Louisville’s alternative rock band My Morning Jacket.
Louisville local bands Twin Limb and White Reaper are given a spotlight Sunday afternoon on the WFPK Port Stage, hosted by the area’s independent music radio station 91.9 WFPK. National acts fill out the remainder of the day with artists such as electronic dance music producer RL Grime and alternative rock band Modest Mouse, which is returning to the road following an eight year hiatus. Forecastle will finish with a rocking performance from southern blues jam-band Widespread Panic.
Six late-night shows can be found around the city Friday and Saturday for those not ready to call it a night. Tickets to Forecastle Festival late-night shows are not included with general admission and can be purchased here.
Indie dance producer SNBRN will bring his party aboard The Belle of Louisville Friday, while house music producer Jamie xx follows suit Saturday. Los Angeles indie folk band Lord Huron will host the Headliners Music Hall late-night show Friday and garage punk rockers White Reaper and King Tuff will share the Headliners stage for a co-headlining event Saturday. Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli will offer his thoughtful rhymes at Mercury Ballroom Friday and electronic funk duo The Floozies will headline Saturday.
JK McKnight, a Louisville native, started the festival in 2002 after returning from College of Charleston in South Carolina as a way to reconnect with other local musicians. After the lineup was announced in February, McKnight told Live From The Internet what excited him most about the 2015 group of artists.
“When you look at our lineup, it may be very diverse, but it’s also very high quality from the top to the very bottom,” McKnight said.
Bourbon will be served during the festival at The Bourbon Lodge – a festival headliner all its own partnered with the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to serve drinks from Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Maker’s Mark, Woodford Reserve and more. The full list of participating selections can be found here.
In addition to The Bourbon Lodge, the festival will feature the Bourbon Cares program. The charity program joins bourbon brands with the festival’s performers to feature special single-barrel selections. Pairing members of My Morning Jacket with Old Forester, Houndmouth with Woodford Reserve, Shovels & Rope with Four Roses and Twin Limb with Wild Turkey, distillers will hand-select a barrel to be sold exclusively in the Lodge.
The program benefits The Forecastle Foundation, the festival’s sister environmental activism organization. One dollar from each Bourbon Cares selection purchased in the Bourbon Lodge and 50 percent of profits from Bourbon Cares bottle sales will benefit the organization.
Festival goers can also visit food trucks from around Kentucky. Louisville’s own Holy Molé Taco Truck and Tasty Tuxedo Treats will be among the locals serving their menus.
Weekend passes and single day tickets can be purchased here.