My, how it’s grown. This year’s Forecastle Festival—the 9th—truly is the biggest one yet, with acts such as She & Him, Devo and Cake sharing the air with headliners (The) Smashing Pumpkins, Widespread Panic and The Flaming Lips. Nine years in, though, the potential logistical headaches for festivalgoers have grown. Here’s how to find your way around Forecastle and spend your time doing other things—like deciding whether to see The Flaming Lips or Against Me! (playing at the same time Sunday). Decisions, decisions…
Getting there, getting around, find a place to stay:
If you’re local, great! Hop TARC, which is still a great deal at $1.50 each way. Daring to drive? Stake your claim at the Galt House—or ride your bike and leave it with a trusted valet from Bike Couriers Bike Shop (no charge, but tipping is nice).
If you’re coming in for Forecastle Fest, welcome! Blow in a day early if you can and find a home base. Then do as the locals do—TARC (public bus transportation), bike or pedicab (from Louisville Pedicabs, 338-0877) to the front door, as it were. Find out more at
If you’re coming in from out of town and haven’t figured out where to stay yet, you may have some trouble finding lodging at conventional places such as hotels. But don’t despair—a limited number of camping spaces are available, with continually running shuttles to and from the fest. Visit
http://forecastlefest.com/lineup/lodgingto make a reservation. (At the time of this article, Craigslist housing postings are pretty slim pickings, although we did see
a professional tattoo artist offering to trade ink work for two tickets.) Which brings us to…
Tix are still available viaTicketmaster, but you may also be able to find people willing to sell or trade on
Craigslist, like the aforementioned tattoo artist. Who knows—you may even make some new friends. (As always, use common sense.)
Who’s playing when:
Highlights include Drive-By Truckers and Widespread Panic on Friday. Can’t get into Panic? Try The New Deal. On Saturday, stake out a spot on the West Stage area and park it there all day for Umphrey’s McGee, Cake and Devo. Or get an early start and regale the kids (free if they’re 6 or under) with tales of high school while listening to Modern English on the radio (and onstage). Still standing Sunday? Chill out with the marvelous Dar Williams, get funkified with Minus the Bear, then rest up with She & Him before gearing up for Spoon and The Flaming Lips. For a full schedule, go visit
Getting in, staying comfortable, peace and love:
Be patient, wear comfortable shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, keep calm and carry on. But what can you bring? Leave the food and drink at home—there’ll be plenty available, including organic goodies and water—as well as alcohol and “illegal substances” (ditto?), recording devices, video cameras, detachable lens cameras and of course anything sharp and pointy or violent. You are welcome to take in blankets, backpacks and lawn chairs, but be aware that you may be asked to open up your gear for inspection. And, please leave your dog at home.
And don’t forget the sunscreen, bug repellent and rain gear—
there’s a chance of the wet stuff, so unless you’re a big fan of mud, plan ahead and be prepared.
Be aware that this year the reentry policy has been scaled back substantially, so unless you have a medical problem (hopefully not) or a kid in tow, plan on sticking around.
Other cool stuff:
Forecastle is artsand activism, so if doing rather than watching is more your thing, there are plenty of speakers and workshops throughout the weekend focused on making our little corner of the world a better place to hang out in. Explore issues such as mountaintop removal, renewable energy, conscious consumerism and local food consumerism. Or look within and move your body with yoga or belly dancing. There’s even stuff for kids, with activities such as face painting and programs from the Louisville Science Center on such kid-friendly topics as bugs and “You Are What You Eat.” Again, you can check out the schedule and plan your day at
Anything and everything else:
Let’s see…lodging, transportation, food, schedules, weather, blah blah blah… Yep, that should be it. If there’s anything else you want to know about, go over to
Contact the author at