Louisville is cool. And hot. (And it’s generally pronounced Loo-a-vul by locals.)
I grew up in central Kentucky and have always had family in Louisville, but I don’t know quite when the city made the pivot to develop into what it is today. The founding of the acclaimed Actors Theatre of Louisville 50 years ago surely played a role in changing the national image of the sprawling city along the Ohio River, but I guess I’ll leave the speculation to those who know the city better than I do.
In 2014, I attended, photographed, and wrote about Louisville’s Forecastle Festival, which was founded in 2002 by JK McKnight, and I even got a Savannah Morning News column out of the long weekend. From modest beginnings, the festival is now a full three days with four stages in Louisville’s impressive Waterfront Park. I’m thrilled to be heading back to Forecastle again this year. (Maybe I’ll even find the energy and time to walk across the pedestrian bridge to Indiana.)
This year’s Forecastle Festival is headlined by Sam Smith, My Morning Jacket, and Widespread Panic. MMJ should be especially exciting in this hometown show, but I’ll admit that I’m mainly looking forward to a variety of acts slightly farther down the bill — Modest Mouse, Portugal, The Man, Gaslight Anthem, Tweedy, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, and on and on.
And a special shoutout to the excellent independent radio station WFPK for the quality of the acts on their Port Stage (one of the best places for spectators in 2014), including Parker Millsap, San Fermin, Speedy Ortiz, The Barr Brothers, Diarrhea Planet, Field Report, and King Tuff. Are you kidding me?
Forecastle isn’t just about the music on the riverfront — there will be the Bourbon Lodge, late night shows, food trucks, an impressive array of printmakers, and plenty of information about the ecology-focused Forecastle Foundation.
Here are some photos that I took last year: