Whether it's 200 people or 20,000, participants steer Forecastle Festival's success

Print
20,000 fans and more than 65 musical acts: it's quite a leap for the Forecastle Festival since its origin as a get-together for 75 friends eight years ago. This year's Forecastle Festival will be July 10-12 at the Riverfront Belvedere. (Read McKnight's thoughts on this year's Forecastle Festival at "Forecastle Festival founder, captain J.K. McKnight shares expectations for three-day event" and immerse yourself in the event at Louisville.com's special Forecastle Festival section.) The first Forecastle Festival took place in 2002 at Tyler Park after McKnight moved back to Louisville having lived in Charleston, S.C. "When I got back I just kind of felt disconnected a little bit from the local scene and what was going on," McKnight said. "This was a nice way to kind of bring a lot of people back together that I hadn't seen in a while and I hadn't corresponded with just to have a camaraderie event." McKnight estimates the inaugural Forecastle Festival cost $300 to produce, most of which went towards the insurance. While 75 to 100 people attended, they made an impact. "Really the festival has always been an event based largely upon the participants of it and the interactions that happen with them." As for the name "Forecastle Festival"? McKnight wanted a strong, bold name, adding, "I'm a total Aquarius in every way, so I was trying to get a ship involved in it too." According to Dictionary.com, forecastle (traditionally pronounced fohk-suhl) means "a superstructure at or immediately aft of the bow of a vessel, used as a shelter for stores, machinery, etc., or as quarters for sailors." "It's the place that everybody went after working nonstop above deck all day to come down and relax and talk," McKnight said. "The ship to me was a metaphor for music and art, the forecastle was the place where people came together over those things." Tickets for the Forecastle Festival are on sale at Ticketmaster's Web site, all Ticketmaster locations, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000 and select independent record stores (including Louisville's own ear X-tacy). Single-day passes cost $40.00 with three-day passes available at $100.00. Kick-off party, after-parties and VIP-package options also are available, as well as campground accommodations and on-site hotel rooms overlooking the festival site and the Ohio River. For more info: The Forecastle Festival isn't for another two weeks. Here are some fictional events you can attend in Louisville this weekend.
About Zach Everson
Travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, Eater, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveller, BlackBook, Curbed, Gridskipper, Deadspin, and Fox News. I also was the founding editor of Eater Louisville and the director of content and editorial strategy for Louisville.com.
More articles from Zach Everson