Today was day one at Forecastle Festival in Louisville, Kentucky. The festival I dream about all year. This year is an especially awesome year, because it’s an anniversary year. Also adding an extra dash of special? This year my boyfriend and I are bringing two of our best friends to join us. (Pro tip: Festival tickets make great Christmas presents!)
This is my second year at Forecastle, and I am more impressed each year. Forecastle is just one of the most organized, thought-out festivals I’ve ever been to. Getting into the festival was quick and easy, since we got our wristbands at the kick-off party yesterday. I felt fabulous walking into the festival. I looked cute, I had on a healthy coat of sunscreen, and I was excited for the weekend.
Everything was perfect, except maybe the weather. Today was a SCORCHER. A line by Hunter S. Thompson (appropriately, a line about Louisville) came to mind, “The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath.” It wasn’t the heat as much as it was the humidity. It had just rained all day the day before, so now 90 degrees felt like 110. I have never appreciated the free water station more. My saving grace was the Forecastle frozen bandannas. For $5, you can buy a Forecastle bandanna (more of a buff, really) that you can take to a tent and dunk it in ice water throughout the weekend. I dipped mine about fifteen times today. Best $5 I’ve ever spent. I started enjoying the festival way more once I was cooled down.
This year we also got Bourbon Lodge passes, which gets you access to the air-conditioned lodge, an Eco Vessel steel mug, fifteen drink tickets that will get you some of the best bourbon in the country, and a bunch of other perks. This was our first year getting the Bourbon Lodge passes, and we both thought it was well worth it. The air conditioning ALONE. The band in the lodge had a 1930’s, “Andrews Sisters” type of vibe. The music plus the bourbon – it felt like we stepped into a time machine.
Highlights of today were definitely John Moreland, Cage the Elephant, and Run the Jewels. Honorable mentions were Mondo Cozmo, whose cover of Bittersweet Symphony was stuck in my head all day. I was unfamiliar with Chicano Batman, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved their set.
We enjoyed John Moreland’s set exactly how one should: sitting on a grassy hill, sipping the bourbon we brought over from the Bourbon Lodge. It was one of those times you just take a deep breath, look around, and think “life is good.” Cage the Elephant reminded me of a 1960’s Rolling Stones performance, complete with fire and a shirtless front man. They know how to get a crowd excited, and they did. When Run the Jewels hit the stage, the air filled with smoke. Lights were flashing, everyone was dancing, all while the sun was setting behind them. I was dancing like no one was watching their entire set. It was the perfect was to end the evening.