First and foremost, let’s get something straight: it’s not LEWIS-VILLE, it’s not LOUIE-VILLE, it’s pronounced LOU-A-VULL, okay? Okay.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to why you’re really here, this weekend is Forecastle Music Festival in Louisville, KY, home of the Kentucky Derby, birthplace of Muhammad Ali, and, legend has it, the location of the first high-five. The festival is three days of music, art, and environmental activism from July 15th-17th. Past headliners have included Outkast, Jack White, Modest Mouse, and more. The festival also puts a focus on sustainable living and environmental activism, showcasing a curated art exhibit considering these themes as well as inviting activist groups such as Earth First! and the Sierra Club to speak and contribute. Located in Louisville’s Waterfront Park festival goers can get spectacular views of the Ohio River behind each stage as well as even more spectacular views of a giant Hunter S. Thompson puppet which dances across the park during the festival and poses for pictures.
This year’s festival has a lineup that does not disappoint. Headliners include everyone’s favorite folk rock band, The Avett Brothers, followed by the blues rockin’ Alabama Shakes, and to round out the weekend, the kings of indie love and heart beats, Death Cab For Cutie. Other popular artists that are on the list include Ryan Adams, Danny Brown, Washed Out, Big Gigantic, and many many MANY more.
If you want my opinion (and I hope you do since you’re this deep into this article) here are a few acts that I will definitely be front and center for and a few that am very curious about.
First, the act that I would travel galaxies to see live, Sylvan Esso. This dreamy duo is a collaboration between Amelia Meath of Mountain Men and Nick Sanborn of Megafaun and Made of Oak, and their eponymous debut album is not one to miss.
Second, a band that I have seen over five times that has yet to leave me hanging, Saintseneca. The folk pop/folk punk band hailing from Columbus, OH is fronted by the brilliantly ginger and brilliantly genius Zac Little in collaboration with Steve Ciolek (The Sidekicks), Jon Meador, Maryn Jones (Yowler and All Dogs), and Matt O’Conke. Each show is a definite foot-stomper and usually features an impressively wide array of instruments including a dulcimer and sitar.
Finally on the list of favorites, Death Cab For Cutie. I saw them live for the first time when I was thirteen, and I plan to relive that part of my life again during their set. Hailing from Washington State, a favorite of Seth Cohen of the O.C. and active since 1997 Death Cab For Cutie has been fronted by Ben Gibbard (Postal Service) in collaboration with Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr. The band released their first album in 4 years in March of 2015 entitled Kintsugi, a name taken from the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery that includes a philosophy of treating breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
A few acts I’m curious about are, Femi Kuti and the Positive Force, Speedy Ortiz, and Danny Brown.
Femi Kuti and the Positive Force is an afrobeat band from Lagos, Nigeria fronted by Femi Kuti, eldest son of renowned afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti. Femi Kuti has collaborated with artists such as Common and Mos Def and has toured with alternative rock band Jane’s Addiction.
Speedy Ortiz’s debut album Foil Deer is a visceral pop grunge gem amongst other 2015 album releases. Originating as a solo project in frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’s Massachusetts bedroom, the band has toured with bands such as Thurston Moore, The Breeders, and Ex Hex.
Danny Brown is an American rap artist from Detroit, MI and I once heard a story of a friend who saw him live and had to crowd surf out of the mob that formed by the stage.
As with any festival, you will never be disappointed, wandering from act to act you are sure to find something that is just your vibe, but if you want to plan it out you can find the full list here.