Fore·cas·tle (f’ok_sol) n. ~ A superstructure at the bow of a ship where the crew is housed. Hard at work in the unruly sea, it is a place workers gather to unwind after a hard day of labor. Simply put, it is a place where people come together.
This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the Forecastle Festival with headlining acts: The Black Keys, The String Cheese Incident, and The Avett Brothers. Other noteworthy performers include: Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, The Flaming Lips, The Alabama Shakes, Houndmouth, and Jim James. The festival also features late night shows on the Belle of Louisville and Forecastle Bourbon Lounge – both guaranteed to make a splash.
Although the festival is now equipped with four stages anchored to the banks of the Ohio River, Forecastle Festival originally came from very humble beginnings. In 2002, J.K. McKnight designated a place and time once a year to bring people together. The plan was elegant: Invite the community to watch musicians perform in front of a backdrop that hosted socially and environmentally conscious activism and art. The first year was a single day affair where the bands played for free and most of the supplies were donated. I would list some acts for you, but I couldn’t find them and you wouldn’t recognize them anyway.
Since then Forecastle has not only hosted many nationally known acts but has stuck to its message of arts and activism that makes this festival so unique. Speakers including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Riverkeepers), Rob Caughlan (Surfrider Foundation) and Christopher Childs (Greenpeace International) all previously performed. In 2011, The Forecastle Foundation was created to help preserve the final remaining areas of extreme biodiversity that are among the most threatened on the planet.
This year Grateful Web will be talking with artists: The Wild Feathers, The 23 String Band, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Lion Named Roar, and Sarah Jarosz. Check back for more updates, reviews, photos, and follow me on twitter @GratefulWelp.
“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off… I quietly take to the ship.” – Herman Melville