We did it! We made it through a weekend full of sun, music, fried chicken, and more. We saw people carrying around Hunter S. Thompson puppets, walking on stilts and wearing fish costumes, and we saw mermaids from Party Cove. It was a weekend to remember at Forecastle Festival 2016 in Louisville, KY.
This year’s festival featured lots of old favorites from more mainstream hipster country, soul, and rock artists as well as underground and electronic acts for all to enjoy. The weekend arced from the Avett Brothers on Friday, Alabama Shakes on Saturday night and was rounded out with Death Cab For Cutie and Ryan Adams on Sunday. Here’s our list of all the good stuff and our tips and tricks for next year’s festival in the Derby City.
Six Must Listens:
Based in Los Angeles, Grouplove is a collaboration between Hannah Hooper, Christian Zucconi, Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen, and Ryan Rabin. Their performance was full of energy and great for dancing. Plus, front woman Hannah Hooper was wearing a full body leopard print unitard and if that doesn’t sound like a recipe for a great show I don’t know what does.
Wild Child brought an astounding performance at the WFPK Port Stage. Front woman Kelsey Wilson’s voice in tandem with backing from Alexander Beggins, Sadie Wolfe , Matt Bradshaw, Tom Myers, and Chris D’Annunzio bring an extraordinary experience to any listener.
Speaking of Kelsey Wilson, she and Shakey Graves rounded out his set by performing “Dearly Departed” (originally recorded with Esme Patterson) to round out his show on the Mast Stage. Before the Americana crooner performed in a one-man-band set up, providing his own drum beat with a bass drum just behind him. His debut album Roll The Bones is not one to miss.
Sylvan Esso brought an amazing performance and is not one to miss live–front woman Amelia Meath will keep you (and herself) dancing for the whole show. The pair played several new songs, which makes us wonder if there is a new album on the horizon.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is much more of a jam band than I had anticipated. Their entire set was punctuated with drum and piano solo’s. Performing at Forecastle’s Ocean stage, the American and New Zealand-based band kept my fingers snappin’ and my feet tappin’.
For final performance of the weekend, Ryan Adams performed on stage amongst oversized Fender amplifiers, arcade games, and cardboard cutouts of his cat and spoke in lyrical anecdotes in between songs. He even performed an entire song adlib directed towards an audience member who heckled him about playing songs from his Taylor Swift cover album 1989.
5 Tips and Tricks for next year’s Forecastle:
- Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated – Staying in the hot sun all day isn’t good for anyone, make sure you keep drinking water! It is worth it to carry a water bottle even if you’re trying to pack as light as possible.
- Prepare yourself for glitter and bass at the Ocean stage – located underneath a highway overpass, the Ocean stage is home to Forecastle’s electronic and hip hop acts bring some glitter and get ready to rumble.
- Camp out next to the WFPK Port Stage – Louisville’s indie, rock, jazz, and alternative station records all the performances at this stage and invites each band to perform. Each act on this year’s lineup was excellent, if you’re ever at a loss of where to go next, this stage is a fantastic option when in doubt!
- Try the food – I had my first doughnut fried chicken sandwich here, at first I was skeptical but then I was in heaven.
- Get there early or hang out in the back for the headlining acts on the Mast Stage – Show goer’s who want to be as close to the musicians at the top of the lineup will camp out for the whole day to do it. If you can’t get there in time you will have an equally enjoyable experience farther from the stage, stretch out on a blanket under the stars, or enjoy all of the room you have to dance farther back.
Whatever you do, wherever you go, a music festival is always a memorable experience. We hope that if you ever make it to Louisville for Forecastle you have just as much fun as we did and make sure you stay tuned to WIUX for coverage of all things awesome in the world today.