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While music gets most of the attention surrounding the Forecastle Festival, it's just one of the event's three pillars. In 2003, the festival's second year, Forecastle Festival Capt. J.K. McKnight added activism and art to the lineup. And they've been integral parts of the event ever since. As has been the case since 2005, activist activities will focus on the environment at the festival, to be held July 10-12 at the Riverfront Belvedere. The goal of the event's activism pillar is to bring together groups in the region that work on similar issues and foster collaboration among them. "That entire element is all based upon the groups that participate and getting them to network on issues that cross state boundaries and work together on them," said McKnight. While the groups participating at this year's festival concentrate on environmental issues, the event didn't always have that focus. "From 2003 to 2005 we pretty much accepted anyone and everything," McKnight said. "By 2005 it just became chaotic. It was beautiful down there [at the festival], no one would have seen the behind-the-scenes stuff, but there was just too many people involved." "The festival had made a big enough impression on people at that point that we could isolate it to one issue," McKnight said. "That's what we've done ever since." McKnight decided to concentrate on the environment, a long-time personal concern of his. "I've always had a keen interest in environmental issues going back to when I was 12 and 13 years old, writing letters to congressmen. I still have a letter at home from the Clinton Administration and from the U.N ambassador to Brazil," McKnight said. "I remember talking to him a lot when I was real young about ways Americans can be more involved in the preservation of ecologically sensitive habitat overseas." Activist groups participating at the eighth annual Forecastle Festival include
  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • The Sierra Club
  • Dogwood Alliance
  • Indiana Heartwood
  • Kentucky Heartwood
  • Ohio River Foundation
  • Citizens Action Coalition
  • Headcount
  • Eco-Garden
  • Urban Seeds
  • Growing America
  • Operation Brightside
  • Indiana Forest Alliance
  • Kentucky Waterways Alliance
  • Mountain Justice Summer
  • Green Energy Program
  • Enviro Eco-Culture
  • A Greener Indiana
  • Ohio Citizen Action
  • Bicycling for Louisville
  • Community Farm Alliance
  • Kentucky Resources Council
  • VISTA: Youth Venture Program
  • Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
  • Student Environmental Action Committee
  • Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance
  • Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
  • Louisville Sustainability Forum
  • Partnership for a Green City
  • Ohio Valley Creative Energy
  • Olmsted Park Conservancy
  • Earthsave International
  • Cultivating Connections
  • Breaking New Grounds
  • Generation Green Life
  • Riverworks Discovery
  • Protect Our Woods
  • Voter Registration
  • L.I.N.E
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: 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.

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About Zach Everson

I'm the travel news/travel buzz editor at MapQuest. Previously, I was a freelance writer, contributing to The Wall Street Journal, Air Canada's enRoute, 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.

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