Walking into Forecastle Festival, the sensory overload immediately hits you. The ground vibrating, the sculpture installations, it smelled like sunscreen and sweat. It’s held right on the riverfront in downtown Louisville, so the beautiful Ohio river is the backdrop for three out of the four stages – it was like the park was built for music festivals.
We stayed nearby at the Gault House, which was walking distance from the festival grounds. The rooms there are perfect for groups, which worked out great because we had five people. Our room was stocked with bottled water, granola bars, Gatorade, snacks, and some Zima we picked up on the way down – with Jolly Ranchers of course. Once we all applied our contraband aerosol sunscreen, we walked the two blocks to the entrance.
I quickly got used to drops of sweat trickling off my face. There’s no fighting it, so you just have to embrace it. As I said in one of my day-by-day recaps, the frozen bandanas were my saving grace. That, and the heavenly Bourbon Lodge.
The Bourbon Lodge is the beautiful partnership between the festival and The Kentucky Distillers Association. They serve some of the best whiskey and bourbon in the world, all available at our thirsty fingertips. The $30 tickets included an Eco Vessel steel mug, fifteen drink tickets, access to the air-conditioned lodge, air-conditioned bathrooms, and an outdoor patio area just for bourbon lodge members. Knowing that there was always air conditioning available, or a picnic table on the patio was refreshing.
Especially refreshing since the grounds were unusually dry this year. Weird, considering how much it rained Thursday night. While sitting on the halfway dead, scratchy grass, I kept thinking “I’m definitely bringing something to sit on next year.” I guess it’s been a dry summer in Kentucky. Although scratchy, the grounds were very clean. They have volunteers cleaning up the grounds throughout the festival, not just at the end of the night each night. I appreciate that about Forecastle because I have been to festivals where the ground is just a landfill of cigarette butts and empty beer cans by day three. This is not that festival.
I was particularly excited for this year because it was an anniversary year, so I was expecting big things. Last year there were fireworks for no reason at all. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have a special anniversary thing they did. If anything, it feels like they had a little LESS stuff going on this year. But, the puppets were awe-inspiring as always. Colonel Sanders is always a crowd favorite, but I personally prefer the Hunter S. Thompson. There were also giant fish on stilts and light-up jellyfish puppets. Performance wise, I gotta give it to the fish; not only did they walk around a music festival on stilts for three days, but they also danced. Props to them.
Overall, it was an unforgettable festival. I danced to LCD Soundsystem, I cried to Conor Oberst, and I drank some delectable bourbon. Cheers to Forecastle for putting on one of the most incredible and well-organized festivals I’ve ever been to. We can’t wait until next year!
25 thoughts on “Forecastle Festival 2017: Full Recap”
This festival looks amazing! I have never heard of it before! The Bourbon Lodge sounds especially nice lol
It really is <3 Hope you get the chance to check it out someday!
$30 for 15 drinks! Great deal. Your blog got me dreaming of Louisville 🙌
Well, fifteen tickets. All the good drinks were more than one ticket lol. But either way, a GREAT deal, definitely worth the money.
I’ve never heard of this festival before reading this post. It sounds amazingly fun! I will need to check it out someday 🙂
It’s one of my favorites for sure!
Never heard of this festival, but now I gotta go! Sounds like a blast.
I hope you can make it to Forecastle one day! It’s worth it!
I love festivals, and I think every one is fun and brings people together, I have yet to experience Forecastle Festival and visit Ohio river, lovely blog. I enjoyed your take on this.
Thank you! It’s easy to write about such a great festival!
Great recap! Sounds like you had a wonderful time.. I like the fact that the organizers have really made it a point to have volunteers cleaning the grounds throughout the festival.. It makes the festival more enticing to people…
Live music at such festivals really gets you into a different zone, doesn’t it? It seems like you really enjoyed your bourbon too. Must have been a great experience.
The combination of bourbon, good music, and good company made it an unforgettable weekend!
With my husband being fro Kentucky I always enjoy reading about happenings there. Looks like you had a great time at the festival!
The festival seems so energizing and vibrant. I didn’t know about the forecastle festival, heard of it the first time from you. I like it’s vibes. When I plan my trip to this part of the world, I will try to coincide it with the festival to be able to witness it in person.
Definitely worth the trip!
Forecastle festival sounds so much fun 🙂 I really want to experience this!! Doesn’t matter if the grass is wet or dry 😛 but who cares when you have such visuals entertaining you!!Great post 🙂
Thank you! The whole weekend was an awesome experience!
Sounds like you guys had a great time there!
We did! Thank you!
the Forecastle Festival sounds like a blast. I should really should try visiting a music festival next year.
Definitely! I always recommend music lovers try at least one!
I have never heard of this festival but it looks like a lot of fun. Festivals are great when the weather co operates and you are out there with good friends. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reading!
Your post drips with excitement, though I wish there some more photos. I guess you are the only brand ambassador of this festival and I hope the Festival organizers take note of your energy.