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July 20, 2013

Forecastle turns in unforgettable weekend

Attendance reached 65,000 on Louisville waterfront



Aside from the bands that grace the stage at Forecastle, each year organizers continue to refine and improve the festival.

New features that need to come back for the 12th festival are large video screens on either side of the main, or Mast, Stage. It was great to actually be able to see the acts if you didn’t want to force your way up in to the first three rows.

The expanded Bourbon Lodge — three times the size of the previous year’s iteration — needs to return and maybe expand again.

A great feature that is wholly unique to the event, bourbon is “really going to be looked at as the fourth headliner of Forecastle,” said Forecastle Founder and “Captain” JK McKnight at a press conference Friday to kick-off the event.

The Bourbon Lodge also provided an oasis of good food, air conditioning and real bathrooms.


Overall, the festival excelled. But in discussing performances of the bands with other attendees, one complaint reverberated — it wasn’t loud enough.

Especially for the main stage, and during the headlining acts, people watching at the back of Waterfront Lawn had trouble hearing the music.

It may have been the wall of people the sound was hitting, or the outdoor elements dissipating the music. A second bank of speakers by the sound board would go a long way to having those who didn’t push their way up to the stage, enjoying the full experience of the festival and its acts.

The other thing about which little can be done is festival prices. Keep the local food vendors in, keep the generic vendors out and maybe add some more local options.

And, just like with bourbon, let’s give attendees some local beer options.

— Editor Shea Van Hoy contributed to this report.

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