7 stories (and photo sets) from LEO’s archives that will make you nostalgic for Forecastle

Like pretty much every fun thing, Forecastle Festival was canceled this year because of COVID-19.

In another reality, on July 17, 2020, we’d be sardined into the front row of the Boom stage, sweating, waiting to see Low Cut Connie and looking forward to Jack Johnson in the evening. 

Now, that sounds more like a death trap than innocent fun. 

The Forecastle Foundation is still holding an event, albeit a smaller one. at Logan Street Market on Saturday, raising money and entertaining with live music, art and a raffle.

We’ve got another way to capture the magic of Forecastle without actually going — read our coverage of past fests. 

“No Festivals! Economic Pain Is Deep And Wide”

OK, before you try to forget about the hell-scape that is 2020 by reading our past coverage, here’s why Forecastle getting canceled is really a big deal economically for the musicians, behind-the-scenes staff, bartenders, local restaurants and all of the other people and businesses who depend on Forecastle for part of their income. Read the story here. 

“7 Memorable Louisville Festival Sets In The Past Five Years”

LEO Editor at Large Scott Recker attends Forecastle Festival every year. Here are his favorite sets from over the last five years.

Photos: Forecastle Throughout The Years

Every year, LEO photographers scatter throughout Forecastle to document the most notable sets. See what they captured in 2019 (including GRLwood, Anderson.Paak and The Free Nationals, Tyler Chiders) 2018 (Modest Mouse, T-Pain, Arcade Fire), 2017 (Cage The Elephant, Run the Jewels, Weezer), 2016 (1200, The Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes) and 2015 (Dr. Dundiff and Friends, My Morning Jacket, Portugal. The Man).

“The ‘Other Forecastle’ Is Selfies, Dancing (And Lots And Lots Of Teens) At Party Cove, Ocean Stage”

Party Cove and the Ocean Stage seem like a different world than the rest of Forecastle. DJ sets draw hordes of teenagers, who treat it like a high school reunion/house party. Read about what this “Other Forecastle” looked like last year here. 

“A Conversation With The Squallis Puppeteers At Forecastle”

If you’ve attended Forecastle, you’ve seen the giant puppets of Kentucky icons like Hunter S. Thompson that wander through the crowd. In 2018, LEO contributor Syd Bishop interviewed one of the puppeteers who controls them. Find it here. 

“Down By The River At Forecastle 2017”

WFPL DJ Kyle Meredith reflects on his celebrity encounters and favorite moments covering Forecastle 2017, including run-ins with JD McPherson, Joshua Ostrander, and Brit Daniels. Read about them here. 

“The Jerseys Of Forecastle”

Fashion is an important part of festival culture. A subset in a field of snazzy dressers are what I like to call the “Jersey Boys” (and girls) who don their best, most obscure basketball jerseys. In 2017, Andrew Kurtz documented his favorites, found here.