Ahoy, Matey! Forecastle Festival 2012 Preview
- By Nick Rhodes
- Published on July 05, 2012
|Photo Courtesy of Forecastle Festival|
The nautically themed 2012 Forecastle Festival is set to sail this July 13 to 15 in the unique setting of landlocked Louisville, Kentucky with the best in music, art and activism.
More than your average big-time, socially conscious event, Forecastle is curated by soulful hometown rockers My Morning Jacket and aims to create a familial atmosphere, highlight the city that houses it and bring an eclectic mix of rock, fuck and electronica to the masses.
For their 10th anniversary, the festival is expected to draw 30,000 people to the Louisville Waterfront to catch performances from Bassnectar, Wilco, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, Atmosphere, A-Trak, Galactic, Bonobo, Beats Antique and many more. It’s a far cry from the 50 attendees who came to the first, free Forecastle.
[FIND more information, the full lineup and ticket prices on Forecastle's official website.]
The festival prides itself on being an educational experience – but makes sure to tie it in unobtrusively and organically.
We chatted with the “First Mate” of Forecastle, Holly Weyler, who runs media relations, oversees vendors and is in charge various other festival operations, about the event’s identity, what to expect for 2012 and the beauty of Louisville.
Headstash Magazine: What sets Forecastle Festival apart from other big-time music festivals
Holly Weyler: Forecastle Festival was and is a truly community-fostered event. We started in a small park as a free event over ten years ago and through the years have grown organically into a three-day event drawing folks from across the country and around the world.
|Grace Potter at Forecastle 2010 - Photo Courtesy of Forecastle Festival|
[FOLLOW Forecastle Festival on Facebook.]
The community of Louisville has really helped to foster this growth. I've heard time and time again about the unique experience that Forecastle provides – one that is truly familial for attendees.
Not only that, we have an absolutely stunning site at our disposal. Waterfront Park is part of an 85-acre development nestled between the city of Louisville and the Ohio River. We've found a lot of ways to move into this site and make it truly our own, while playing off of the natural beauty of the location.
HM: What do you consider to be Forecastle’s identity?
HW: Forecastle Festival is a nautically-themed festival in landlocked Louisville. It’s a unique experience that blends entertainment and education and inspires people to reconsider their world view. Our Midwest/Southern location draws people from all over and unites them with the common bond of not only loving music, but also helping then environment.
We try to make the educational components of the festival fit in unobtrusively with the music, adding value to the experience, and not taking away from it.
HM: The festival is being “curated” by My Morning Jacket. What does this mean for the event?
HW: The city of Louisville has a lot of love for My Morning Jacket, and so do we. We've been asked for years why our "hometown" band has never played the festival. To be honest, the stars have just never aligned until now. We wanted to find a way to make the 10th anniversary truly special and this seemed like the perfect way to do it.
After taking 2011 off to refresh and regroup, once the idea for the collaboration with MMJ came about, it seemed to all come together simply and beautifully.
[FIND complete lineups, ticketing information and analysis of all your favorite festivals via our 2012 Festival Guide.]
The band has helped with a number of areas of the event including helping us select some of the lineup and collaborating on some of the special, uniquely-Louisville features of this year's event like The Louisville Village, The Bourbon Lodge, the visual design elements and also with the charitable component of the event.
|Photo Courtesy of Forecastle Festival|
HM: Talk about that lineup you’ve created. You really pull from a lot of different genres.
HW: Forecastle has always had a pretty eclectic lineup, and we're constantly evolving. We really wanted to create a lineup that’s diverse yet cohesive, and hitting on acts that we feel are getting better as time goes on – bands that are innovating and improving.
HM: You mentioned taking a year off last year, how did that help you guys to get back into it this year?
HW: Even though we didn't produce the full three-day festival last year, we were definitely not resting on our laurels. We hosted a huge "Halfway to Forecastle" event with Pretty Lights, Big Boi, RJD2, Twin Shadow and about five other acts that drew a huge crowd.
But taking off last year was the right thing to do. We wanted to be sure that our first full event with AC Entertainment on board was done flawlessly, and under the time crunch, we couldn't have put out our best work. The Halfway event definitely satiated fans and got them excited for the next festival.
HM: You’re a nautically themed festival, yet Louisville is landlocked, so what is it about the city that really makes it the right place for this event.
HW: We're convinced that Louisville is the best city on earth. It’s an odd mix of North and South and it has an identity all its own. It’s the kind of place that people come to not knowing what to expect and leave blown away by the tremendous culture of the city, a wealth of independent businesses, award-winning restaurants sourcing their food locally, arts, music, you name it. We're super friendly to boot!
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My Morning Jacket’s Jim James said it best:
"Louisville is a place with no labels. It’s not the South, it’s not Chicago and you don’t think of it as you think of New York or L.A. It has some Southern romanticism to it, but also a Northern progressivism – this weird urban island in the middle of the state of Kentucky that has always provided a fertile, often dark, bed. For us, Louisville and the surrounding areas are the center of massive creativity and massive weirdness."
HM: What’s the biggest challenge in organizing an event of this magnitude?
HW: I compare creating a festival to building a small city for three days and then imagine all of the challenges that comes with that. We work year-round to build the experience that fans have for those three short days in July. That being said, it's a labor of love – when you love something as much as this and see the whole picture, all of the challenges seem smaller and more manageable.
The 10th edition of Forecastle Festival takes place this July 13 to 15 in Louisville, Kentucky with My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, Atmosphere, A-Trak, Galactic, Bonobo, Beats Antique and many more set to perform. For more information and ticket prices, check out the event's official website.