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9 Can’t Miss Acts at Forecastle Festival

From Forecastle 2013, via moon_taxi | IG

From Forecastle 2013, via moon_taxi | IG

This weekend thousands will flock to Louisville’s waterfront for three days to see talented musical acts from across the country perform at the 18th annual Forecastle Festival.

One of the most exciting weekends in the Bluegrass, it’s impossible to have a bad time at Forecastle (unless you forget to drink water; bring refillable bottles for the hydration stations to stay in the game). I am in no way shape or form a music expert, but I dabble. Like many others, I do not have the time, energy or funds to traverse the country for dance festivals. Forecastle brings the acts to me, and this year there are a few I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time.


I’m not the biggest fan of purely electric music. That’s exactly why I love the falsetto that defines Jungle’s (Ocean Stage, 8:30) groove. Like Busy Earnin, most of their videos are one-cut choreographed wonders. If their shows are anything like their videos, it’s going to be a thrill.

Chromeo (Boom Stage, 6:15) is not too different in genre. You’ve probably heard Jealous at some point, but I think their grooviest song is Old 45s. After their Friday evening show, they’re hopping on the Belle of Louisville for a midnight DJ-set on the Ohio River.

Judah The Lion (Boom Stage, 8:15) and Portugal. The Man (Main Stage, 7:15) are the final warm-ups before The Killers take the stage at 9:30. Who would’ve thought when Mr. Brightside debuted ten years ago it would be a favorite amongst high schoolers?

Between you and I, Friday is the weakest sauce. Things kick into fifth gear for Saturday and Sunday.


The greatest band in all the land will grace the Main Stage at 5:15. From Cosmic Charlie’s to the NFL Draft, I’ve never had a bad time at a Moon Taxi show. It’s hard to pick a favorite song — the Whiskey Sunsets/Blinded by the Light mashup probably takes the cake — but I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it whenever they get saxy.

It will still be pretty Hot in Hurr when Nelly takes the Boom Stage at 6:45. Even though I didn’t hear the greatest reviews when he went to Whitaker Bank Ballpark, you can’t miss the chance to stomp in your Air Force Ones.

A bucket list group will be checked off my list when Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals take the Main Stage at 9:30. A combination of jazz, funk and hip-hop, I can never pick one song, so I typically just throw on their Tiny Desk, one of the most watched NPR YouTube videos of all-time. It’s not as cool as the video for Bubblin, which turns a ‘What If’ into reality.


Things get a little more twangy on Sunday. CHVRCHES (Boom Stage, 8:30) and Anderson East (Boom Stage, 4:30) provide a little something different away from the Main Stage, but you can’t go wrong with Dawes (Main Stage, 5:15).

Our fearless leader’s favorite musician will get a chance to shine in front of a massive audience. I’m fully prepared to drink the Tyler Childers Kool-Aid when he begins picking away at his guitar on the Main Stage at 7:15.

The final act of the weekend is one that will get you off your feet. I need a good Avett Brothers show every three or four years to inject the life back into me. An exciting brand of bluegrass, they also like to throw in an electric guitar and really tear things up. Listening to an album isn’t the same as seeing them live. Like their old Tiny Desk, they go from nice and easy to 100 mph real quick.

These are just a few suggestions. Not everybody shares the same taste in music, but now you’ll know where to find me before I depart for SEC Media Days. Click here for a complete schedule of concerts and prepare yourself by listening to Forecastle’s Spotify playlist.


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

22 Comments for 9 Can’t Miss Acts at Forecastle Festival

  1. BluemanGreen
    5:11 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    The lineup this year other than a very small handful of acts is pure shit. plain and simple

    • thatCat
      5:20 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink


    • King_tucky
      10:33 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

      Wanna a festi that will change ur life, come to the Farm peeps. In Harrodsburg Ky. Terrapin Hill Farm host 4 festi’s a yr from April to Oct. This weekend is the “Family Reunion” Fest. And that’s what the people are for me, Fam. Avett Bros is Okay, I ll chose my Boys from Cinci any day, Dem Rumpke Mountain Boys n their original brand of Grass that is like no other, “Trashgrass”. Look em up on you tube, dey sum hippies, but they are masters at their craft. All 4 sing, so it’s a new feel each song. They headline each fest at the farm. And never the same show or song played the same. I recommend “Low Me”, “fEeLinG gOooOd”, “Green Grass”, “Love Sick”, “Cinci Moon”, or anything they cover from The dead, Dylan, Osborne Bros, Monroe, Hartford, Leon Russell plus many more. A huge song list they can perform in a instant cuz their is no set list ever. They are named after their Mountain in Cinci, the Rumpke Mnt, or the Rumpke Landfill. Its Trashgrass Honkeyz!!
      Other acts include brass bands like Galactic, hard hitting sounds from Fat Box, Maybe a hippie version of Hip Hop by DJ spark plug which is ok for the lil chitlens, try sum G.Dead funk by Hyrider, or a blend of blues/smooth rock/Jazz/funk by Rumpkes own J.D n his band the J.D Westmoreland Band. He grew up living with Al Green n bleeds his master craft on stage. As Mr. Jones says ” Need me sum Substanace”. Turn off ur phone n put on ur dance shoes or no shoes, cuz dem R.MntBoys dont stop till sun comes up every night.
      Go check out the electric T-pee, that will seat 20+. Go thru the labyrinth maze, swim in water hole, eat great Ky, country, soul food, that is all organic n comes from the farm.
      Come join us, bring the kids, yep its kid friendly. Try sumin new, a lil different n maybe outta ur comfort zone, bet u have no regurts doe. Become fam n den I ll see u at next festival 1st week of Sept, Harvest Fest. N then my Fav is A Halloween fest called Snuggleween. Bring sum friends or make new 1s to snuggle with n make a snuggle puddle while listening to great tunes that make
      you wanna shoot a FM radio in da face n never turn it on again.

    • jr
      10:41 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

      Not a great lineup to say the least! I’ll be curious to see how much there is in attendance!

    • King_tucky
      10:51 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

      Is this JR foreman?

  2. Dolla Bill
    5:30 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    Every song is straight pollution and contributing to global warming. Wish I could get that last 3 minutes of my life back

  3. RealCatsFan
    5:33 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    I’m more of a B&B kind of guy – when it’s not raining. The Mrs is a Forecastle junkie – it’s her Superbowl every year. I went with her last year on a last minute whim just to see Chris Stapleton. I would consider going to see the Avett Brothers this year – their show several years ago in Rupp was fantastic. But there is not a lot of other bands on the slate that interest me enough to fork out a C-note and stand around in the heat.

  4. StuckinLville
    5:49 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    The biggest fact is that the majority of the bands there have and always will suck.

  5. DelrayCat
    6:25 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    The Romp festival in Owensboro is the best in KY. Terrapin Hill farm events are awesome too.

    • nocode96
      8:46 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

      Absolutely. Unfortunately, there’s a big hole at Romp this year. RIP Jeff

  6. JASUN74
    6:35 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    The Avett Brothers are awesome. Besides them, I want a refund for listening to that stuff !! Do you actually hate your readers that much? Worst attempt at playing music I’ve ever experienced!!

    I honestly think you have caused them to lose ticket sales. Should’ve just let people show up and be disappointed. Maybe you was trying to help your fellow man. Ahh yes!! Nicely done! Lmao.

  7. brb_skywalking
    6:47 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    A buddy of mine is playing Forecastle on Sunday afternoon; his band is Bendigo Fletcher. They’re a great band and he’s an even better person. I definitely recommend giving them a listen if you haven’t already!

  8. RealCatsFan
    8:55 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    To be honest, some of these groups you just have to give a chance. Sometimes there are some really good up and coming bands mixed in that we haven’t heard of yet. And for the most part, at least it’s mostly real musicians using real instruments to play actual music, and most of them actually sing. Unlike a lot of the artificial, electronic drumbeat, autotuned crap that some call music these days.

  9. suppie
    9:12 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    you want bigger acts? move to a bigger city.

    forecastle pulled some good ones this year.

  10. The Original WTF Guy
    9:43 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    I’m not sure what a ticket costs, but it’s worth it to see Tyler Childers alone. His new Sturgill Simpson produced disc is dropping in a couple of months.

    Add in the fact that you get to see The Killers, who a couple of weeks ago killed it on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, and your money is already well spent.

    Avett Brothers are good, if not generic.

    Be sure to take some uppers before Dawes lest you fall asleep about 2 songs in.

    • King_tucky
      10:50 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

      Dark Star festival!! Dats a goodin too. DarkStar Orchestra is Original n what music is suppose to be about. Changes u the 1st time u hear it.

  11. zoupman
    10:43 pm July 10, 2019 Permalink

    Over priced, way over priced. No thank you.

  12. Lee Durham Stone
    12:29 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

    Nick: “Between you and me” is the correct form.

  13. BCO
    6:17 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

    Forecastle lineup minus Tyler is trash.

    Yall want good festivals, check out Master Musicians in Somerset, Kickin it on the Creek in Irvine, or the Cumberland Mtn Fall Festival in Middlesboro.

    • King_tucky
      10:45 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

      Great to see some good recommends. I just went to trash bash for the 4th in Livingston. Going to Terrapin this weekend. Rumpke n sum trashgrass. My fav place in the world. I’m from Irvine, home of…Kicking it on the creek. It’s okay. Only if Childers is burning the stage down .Wooks put on a goodin to close it out tho. Birds of a Feather fest is suppose to be a goodin, going to dat 1 this yr. I Missed Romp n Billy Strings, n my Rumpke boys. Next yr fo sho. I need Sturgill’s hippie ass at Terrapin 1 time, maybe with a special guest like Larry Keel. N ohhh I cant forget our Very own Restless Leg String Band from Lexington. Ishi Wooton, Joe Bass, Cupp, Bramel, n Casey tear it down. Always at burl or cosmic’s. Sum bad mofos. Come on peeps open urself up to some real music. Go check farm out FR.

  14. King_tucky
    10:57 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

    Billy Strings, Greensky bluegrass, Infamous string Dusters, Restless leg string band, Keller Williams, Larry Keel, Rumpke, go see Rumpke!! Mama Said string band, Da Wooks, Moriah Haven, Nick Giese, Fly By Night Rounders w/spoon Lady, Dead South, Devil Makes 3, Many great bands that are so underrated.

  15. King_tucky
    11:00 am July 11, 2019 Permalink

    U can Miss all 9 of deez Acts n never feel a notta.