The Forecastle Festival and Summer Symposium + July 25th-27th, 2008 + Louisville, KY

The History of Forecastle

Historical footage documenting the 7-year history of this grassroots festival, from it's birth in 2002, to its current incarnation. Hundreds of photographs and performance footage examing each festival year, from 2002 - 2007.; The Forecastle Festival 2007; Historical footage documenting the 7-year history of this grassroots festival, from it's birth in 2002, to its current incarnation. Hundreds of photographs and performance footage examing each festival year, from 2002 - 2007. http://link.brightcove.com/services/link/bcpid1417325961http://www.brightcove.com/channel.jsp?channel=980547693

 

The first Forecastle was held July 20th, 2002, at Tyler Park in Louisville, KY. Located in one of the most scenic areas in the heart of the city, the 15-acre, Frederick Olmsted-designed park proved the perfect foundation for the festival's early years (Olmstead designed Central Park in NYC). The original concept was simple: a free, outdoor, summer festival, designed to celebrate the camaraderie of the Louisville music community. A 100% grassroots effort ~ all services donated, all talent performing for free ~ the festival cost less than $500 to produce. When the sun rose on the morning of July 20th, several hundred people showed up to see live performances by The Vixen Red, Fire The Saddle, Blue Goat War, and other local favorites. The vibe was progressive and positive, and encouraged 21-year-old festival founder JK McKnight to build upon it the following year.

Going back to the drawing table, in 2003 JK invited the local art community to join forces in making the event a more inclusive presentation. Mike Ratterman (Zephyr Gallery) headed that effort, and organized a campaign of thirty artists, who exhibited underneath the limestone bridge that bisects the park, to create a unique visual experience which correlated with the music. In addition to art, JK invited a dozen environmental and socially conscious organizations to set-up and participate, all of which embraced the opportunity. When Forecastle 2003 kicked off on July 19th, a distinct and equal representation of Louisville music, art, and activism was presented, and a new format was established: Music.Art.Activism.

Having tripled the attendance set the previous year, JK worked to regionalize the festival in 2004: booking bands, artists, activists, and journalists from across the Midwest and as far away as Boston, MA, to converge in one of Louisville's most scenic environments for an unforgettable day of music, art, and activism. While still an unsponsored, volunteer-based effort, JK and his crew worked relentlessly to begin building Forecastle into a major regional draw. The entire Louisville community volunteered their time and services, and the result was Forecastle 2004: the largest gathering musicians, artists, and activists in the state of Kentucky. The event combined eighteen bands on dueling East / West stages, thirty artists connecting the stages, and twenty-four bipartisan organizations and political campaigns along the perimeter. In a year that inspired the highest voter turnout since 1968, all three elements blended together cohesively, attracting wider demographics than they would have separately. JK and his crew quickly realized their new format worked (now protected by a US trademark). The incredible amount of grassroots support carried over to 2005, when JK hit the streets with a press kit and sponsorship package. Over the next 6-months, he raised over $60,000 to host his dream -> Forecastle 2005: the largest gathering of musicians, artists, and activists in the American Midwest, and the first festival in 10 years at Louisville's historic, 409-acre Cherokee Park.

Having outgrown Tyler Park, Forecastle 2005 moved into three sections of the 409-acre, Olmstead-designed Cherokee Park. In addition to being the first festival in 10 years at Cherokee, Forecastle 2005 was historic in being the largest gathering of musicians, artists, and activists in the American Midwest. For the first time, JK booked a national musical act to headline the West Stage, invited a record number of local and regional artists, and consolidated the activism to environmentalism and outdoor, active-lifestyle based activities. These would include an outdoor extreme sports park with rock climbing walls and a Midwest Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, highlighted by city tournaments. Forecastle was now a complete, regional attraction, drawing diverse demographics of fans from across the region, united in one of Louisville's most scenic environments. Forecastle 2005 set sail Saturday, July 30th, 2005, and attracted over 5,000 people ~ setting a park record by surpassing the attendance for The 1995 LRS Kentucky Derby Festival, remembered for showcasing up-and-coming British rockers "Bush" on their first American Tour. The festival was one of the top local and regional draws, outperforming better funded events while setting a new model for the Midwest. Intense media coverage spotlighted the event in weeklies, web blogs, and newspapers across the region, raising awareness of the momentum Forecastle was generating.

Forecastle 2006 introduced a multi-day format, in which the festival effectively doubled in size, moving to the massive, 350,000 sq. foot Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center ~ the first major festival ever hosted there. The event boosted the highest amount of musicians, artists, and activists in Forecastle's 5-year history. Highlights include finale performances from influential, all-female trio Sleater-Kinney and pop masterminds The Apples in Stereo. Sleater-Kinney's performance was especially noteworthy, given the band's decision to choose Forecastle as one of its final appearances. In June of 2006, the band announced that after twelve years, they would disband after the festival ~ news that thrust Forecastle into the national spotlight. In the weeks that followed, feature articles by CNN, The New York Times, MTV, VH1, Billboard, and others emerged as tickets were being sold from Washington to Rhode Island. In July of 2006, SPIN Magazine highlighted Forecastle as "One of the Top 101 things to do in America." In addition to national headliners, live performances from twenty-five emerging Midwest bands with exhibits from fifty-seven arising artists fueled the festival's reputation as one of the Midwest's top independent showcases. More publications began covering the event, with photographers and journalists traveling in to document it.

With national sponsorship, and having outgrown Louisville park system and Mellwood Art Center, Forecastle 2007 moved to the Riverfront. The event took place July 27th-28th, 2007, at The Riverfront Belvedere ~ part of a scenic, $60 million dollar waterfront investment which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year. Outdoors in the heart of downtown Louisville, organizers built the festival around (10) Midwest participating cities, who contributed equally to the Music.Art.Activism format. Heavy promotions and media sponsorships in each city attracted the largest audience ever to the Midwest's most exciting new festival / symposium. Having learned the lessons of years past, and grown faster than any regional event, Forecastle 2007 expanded and enhanced the established format, while adding new cultural and educational elements for an unbeatable multi-day experience. Highlights include Grammy-award winning hip-hop trio De La Soul, indie phenomenon Girl Talk, and West Coast rock / jazz / electronica pioneers Particle. In addition, the event combined dueling East / West stages, a regionally curated art exhibition, fifty environmental organizations, panels, speakers, films, an outdoor sports park, eco-business expo, and plenty more along the mighty Ohio. As captured on film by The Village Voice (and posted online in 17 major US Newspapers), the festival had clearly reached a new pinnacle and destination, opening an exciting new chapter, and creating a wave that carried Forecastle to the national level.

On Sept 19th, the readership of LEO Weekly voted Forecastle the "Best Festival in Louisville" behind The Kentucky Derby and St. James Art Fair.

Forecastle Veterans (02' - 07'):

music.
  • Aloha (2007)
  • AM Sunday (2005)
  • The Apples in Stereo (2006)
  • Arch (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Band of Horses (2008)
  • Black Diamond Heavies (2007)
  • Bloom Street (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Blue Goat War (2002)
  • Cabin (2005, 2006)
  • Captain of Industry (2007)
  • Catfish Haven (2008)
  • Cass McCombs (2008)
  • Cheer-Accident (2007)
  • Chicago Afrobeat Project (2007)
  • Chinese Fingertrap (2007)
  • The Children (2004, 2005)
  • The Cobalt (2002)
  • Coltrane Motion (2007, 2008)
  • COWBOY (2007)
  • D. Biddle (2006)
  • De La Soul (2007)
  • De Novo Dahl (2005)
  • Digital Wolf (2007)
  • DJ Harry (2007)
  • DJ Jesse Jamz (2007, 2008)
  • DJ Jon Doe (2007)
  • DJs Taradactyl, B-Rex, and Bad Animal (2007)
  • D.W. Box (2006)
  • Early Day Miners (2007, 2008)
  • Elephant Micah (2006)
  • Erin & Drew Wilson (2004)
  • Ferdinand Fox (2008)
  • The Features (2007)
  • The Fervor (2007)
  • Fire the Saddle (2002, 2006)
  • Follow The Train (2005, 2006)
  • Geoff Koch (2007)
  • Ghostfinger (2007)
  • Girl Talk (2007)
  • The Glasspack (2006, 2007)
  • Glue (2007)
  • Gracer (2006)
  • The Harry Pickens Band (2007)
  • The Hiders (2007)
  • Honey Roy (2007)
  • How I Became the Bomb (2007)
  • The Hotpipes (2007)
  • IAMIS (2006)
  • The Impossible Shapes (2007)
  • The Indicators (2007)
  • Irina (2003, 2005)
  • Is What??!! (2004, 2007)
  • Jamie Barns (After The Panic) (2004)
  • Janitors of the Apocalypse (2002)
  • JK McKnight (2003, 2004)
  • Joe Manning (2005)
  • John Boy's Courage (2007)
  • Kelley McRae (2007)
  • Kurtis Hort (2004)
  • L&N (2004)
  • Lucky Pineapple (2007)
  • Margot and the Nuclear So and So's (2005)
  • The Merediths (2005)
  • The Middle Men (2003)
  • The October (2006, 2007)
  • Paradigm (2007)
  • The Pennies (2007)
  • Mucca Pazza (2007)
  • Murder Your Darlings (2005)
  • Noizejoi (2007)
  • Odawas (2007)
  • The Old Ceremony (2007)
  • Parlour (2007)
  • The Phantom Family Halo (2006)
  • The Photographic (2005, 2006)
  • The Ladybirds (2006)
  • Tristen Shields (2005)
  • Particle (2007)
  • Pinata Me (mem. Second Story Man) (2004)
  • Pine Club (2002, 2003)
  • Pocketfox (2004)
  • Nasty Nate & Mischief (2004)
  • Noizejoi (2008)
  • Red-Taled Hawk (2003)
  • Ron Whitehead and Sarah Elizabeth (2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Ronnie Mack (2005, 2006)
  • Scaramongo (2004)
  • Scourge of the Sea (2007)
  • Second Story Man (2006)
  • Shipping News (2005)
  • SKL (2004, 2006, 2007)
  • Sleater-Kinney (2006)
  • Spectacular Fantastic (2005)
  • The Stephen Simmons Band (2007)
  • The Swell (2005)
  • Stephen Simmons (2005)
  • Todd Coyle (2007)
  • Tyler Ramsey (2008)
  • Your Black Star (2003, 2006)
  • Your Highness (2006)
  • Valley (2004)
  • VHS or BETA (2008)
  • Wax Fang (2006, 2007)
  • Wolverine Brass (2006)
  • Ultra Pulverize (2007)
  • The Vixen Red (2002, 2003)
art.
  • Albertus Gorman (2006)
  • Aron Conaway (2004)
  • Arron Raymer (2003)
  • Art Sanctuary (2005)
  • Audria Radmacher (2005)
  • Bart Herre (2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Bob Pierre (2003, 2004)
  • Brad White (2003)
  • Braylin Stewart (2005)
  • Chad Cully & Luke Ebner (2007)
  • Chad McConnell (2005)
  • Chris Chappel (2004)
  • Christopher Daniel (2007)
  • Christian Hansen (2007)
  • Corie J. Cole (2004)
  • Courtnee Bennett (2007)
  • Cynthia Reynolds (2007)
  • Dave Bibelhauser (2006)
  • David Keator (2004)
  • David Metcalf (2006, 2007)
  • Dennis C. Baker (2007)
  • Devin French (2004, 2005)
  • Elizabeth Guipe (2007)
  • Emily Buddendeck (2007)
  • Emily Trick (2006)
  • Emily Wrinkles (2003)
  • Garth Paquin (2004)
  • Gregory Martin (2004)
  • Hallie Jones (2004)
  • Ian Pollock (2005)
  • Jake Heustis (2006)
  • Jared Landberg (2007)
  • Jarrett Hawkins (2007)
  • Jason Crigler (2005)
  • Jeff Gaither (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Jenny Pellerin (2005, 2006)
  • Jenny Wuest (2005)
  • Jerome Kennedy (2007)
  • Jimmy Angelina (2004, 2005)
  • Joe Welsh (2003, 2004)
  • John Oh (2005)
  • John King (2005)
  • Kathy McQuade Olliges (2003, 2004, 2005)
  • Karen Latona (2005)
  • Kristen Shelor (2004, 2005)
  • Lisa Merida-Paytes (2007)
  • Letitia Quesenberry (2006)
  • Mary Williams (2004)
  • Mason Cowell (2005)
  • Matt Weir (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Matilda Paulin (2005)
  • Megan Olliges (2004)
  • Miatta (2005)
  • Michele Glasnovic (2004, 2005)
  • Mike McCoy (2003, 2004)
  • Mike Ratterman (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Mo McKnight (2005)
  • Monica Mahoney (2006)
  • Noah Church (2005)
  • Owen Leitche (2005)
  • Patricia Gaines-Mills (2007)
  • Radiokiller (2004)
  • Raymond Graf (2007)
  • Rebecca Norton (2004)
  • Rene Blansette (2005)
  • Renee & Johnny (2004, 2005)
  • Samantha Griffith (2005, 2006)
  • Sarah Tangel (2005)
  • Scott Boyer (2006)
  • Scott Hall (2007)
  • Scott Hisey (2007)
  • Sean Griffin (2005)
  • Shannon Stelzer (2004)
  • Siouxziey (2004)
  • Terrance L. Williams (2005)
  • Thea Lura (2006, 2007)
  • Thomas Browne (2005)
  • Will Renda (2005)
activism.
  • The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (2007)
  • AOH (2003, 2004)
  • Artfulcility (2007)
  • Audubon Society (2005, 2006)
  • Bicycling for Louisville (2007)
  • Bike Courier Bike Shop (2007)
  • Bioneers (2005)
  • Blue Earth Alliance (2007)
  • Brick House (2005)
  • Buckeye Forest Council (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Caldwell Eco-Center (2007)
  • CAPA (2004)
  • C-SAW (2003)
  • Center for Sustainable Living (2007)
  • Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation (2007)
  • Coalition for the Peoples' Agenda (2004)
  • Community Action Program (2004)
  • Community Farm Alliance (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Cultivating Connections (2006, 2007)
  • Digital Peasant (2004)
  • Dogwood Alliance (2007)
  • Earthsave International (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
  • Earth First! (2005, 2007)
  • Fairness (2004, 2005)
  • Global Community Monitor (2006, 2007)
  • Global Village Foundation (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Good Oil Boys (2006)
  • Green Thumbs (2005, 2006)
  • Habitat For Humanity (2005)
  • Heartwood (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Hoosier Environmental Council (2007)
  • Indiana Forest Alliance (2005, 2007)
  • Indiana Heartwood (2007)
  • KAIRE (2007)
  • KCADP (2005)
  • Kentucky Humane Society (2003)
  • The Kentucky Resources Council (2006, 2007)
  • Kentucky Waterway Alliance (2006, 2007)
  • Kentucky Writer's Coalition (2003)
  • Kentuckiana Air Education (2006)
  • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (2005, 2006)
  • Kentucky Solar Partnership (2005, 2006, 2007)
  • LAVA (2003, 2004)
  • Lexington Environmental Action Project (2006)
  • Louisville Arts Council (2005)
  • Louisville Media Reform (2005)
  • Louisville Nature Center (2005)
  • Louisville Sustainability Forum (2007)
  • The Louisville Zoo (2006)
  • Missouri Forest Alliance (2007)
  • Mountain Justice Summer (2005, 2006)
  • MVFR (2005)
  • Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center (2007)
  • Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (2007)
  • Ohio Citizen Action (2007)
  • Ohio River Foundation (2007)
  • Ohio Valley Creative Energy (2006, 2007)
  • Olmstead Park Conservancy (2006, 2007)
  • Operation Brightside (2006)
  • Partners for Family Farms (2005, 2006)
  • PEACC (2005)
  • Peak Oil Group (2007)
  • Portland Historical Society (2005)
  • Presbyterian Hunger Program (USA) (2007)
  • Protect Our Woods (2007)
  • Rainbow Blossom (2005)
  • Reclamation Art (2006)
  • Rainbow Blossom (2006)
  • Save the Cumberland (2006, 2007)
  • Sierra Club Cincinnati Chapter (2007)
  • Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter (2007)
  • Sierra Club Louisville (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Sister's Squad (2004)
  • Slow Foods Bluegrass (2007)
  • Southern Energy Conservation Initiative (2007)
  • Southern Energy Network (2007)
  • Student Environmental Action Coalition (2007)
  • Students Producing Organics Under the Sun (2007)
  • Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Recycling (2007)
  • Sustainable Agriculture (2005)
  • The Ohio River Foundation (2006)
  • The Olmsted Park Conservancy (2006)
  • Urban Sisterhood (2007)
  • West Jefferson Community Task Force (2006)
  • Valley Watch (2007)
  • Voter Registration (2004)


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