Forecastle 2018: A Fest I Will Not Soon Forget

Forecastle was a truly amazing time. From the moment we got to Louisville on Friday until the moment we left on Monday, I had a blast! The city itself is fantastic and really knows how to throw a festival. Whether it was the entertainment on the river or whiskey row, Louisville is a fun place to be. There were plenty of activities to keep us busy during the day before the fest and at night afterward. I would highly recommend the Bourbon Lodge package when buying a forecastle wristband. The lodge had stands highlighting the bourbon that comes from the state of Kentucky as well as bourbon and whiskey from all over the world. The lodge is also air-conditioned, which was crucial on Saturday when the high temperature reached 98. There were plenty of other drink options around, though bourbon is king. One of the booths I frequented was the Tito’s stand. They had vodka paired with strawberry lemonade, it was delicious. Beer and wine were also available around the fest and was not crazy expensive like some other festivals I have been to. The food at Forecastle was incredible! Everything I tried was too good to believe I was eating it at a music festival.  Lastly, the music was incredible. From the assortment of bands to the way the stages were set up, Forecastle 2018 will be one of my favorites! Here are some of the bands I liked best:

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

I want to preface this by saying; I am not a country music fan. With that being said, this Sunday evening set was one of my favorites. For not knowing any songs or lyrics, I jammed to this band for the entire hour-long set. Jason Isbell is a great singer and guitar player. The song “White Man’s World” was an eye-opener, and for some reason, it really stuck with me. That song along with “Never Gonna Change” had to be my favorite. “Never Gonna Change” is a cover by his old band the Drive-By Truckers. If you ever have the chance to catch Jason Isbell, do it. Even if you don’t know him or his music, I’m pretty sure you will enjoy yourself! 


Louis The Child

Forecastle offers late-night shows on one of the Belle of Louisville steamboat and one of those happened to be Louis The Child. The duo did have an hour-long set during the festival as well, but the late night show was the better of the two. I did happen to catch a few songs from their festival set under the bypass. (Oh yeah, there was a dope stage under the freeway at Forecastle. It housed most of the hip-hop and EDM acts over the weekend.) The festival set was pretty fun, but it seemed as if they were waiting or saving themselves for something else. I was thrilled that I got to see that something else. The late-night set was beyond excellent. The festival ended at 11:00pm, and the late-night set started around midnight lasting until about two in the morning. It was a night full of electronic dance music with some drum and bass and trap music thrown in. They even had fellow Forecastler Jai Wolf come up and perform with them. It was a great time, and I would for sure recommend seeing a late-night show at this festival. It will almost always be a rager! 


 The main reason Glitertiz is on this list is due to where they played. They were performing Saturday evening at the Party Cove stage. This stage was interesting, to say the least. It was an old boat turned stage for some of Louisville’s up and coming hip-hop and electronic artists. It was pretty wild every time I wandered over to the Party Cove, but it seemed especially “lit” during Glitertitz set. Most of their music sounded like remixes they have done of other popular electronic songs. I can’t say for sure if they have any of their own music, but I loved what they were doing. The Party Cove also offered a few local merchandise tents and a free haircut booth. If you are not a fan of young kids and house music, you would probably want to stay away from the Party Cove, for all others, you will love it!


Father John Misty

This is the second time I have written about Father John Misty this summer after a music festival. The first was after the Homecoming festival in Cincinnati, which was the first time I had seen him. This second time was even better. I don’t know how a man can sing and dance in a full suit in 90-degree weather, but he makes it look easy. From the opening song to his encore, everything was a show. He danced and sung his way through his songs with ease. A lot of his songs have sad and depressing names and lyrics, but Father John Misty turns those songs on their heads with the happy music. It is genius! He is also a genuine person. He stopped his set near the end when he noticed a fan was not doing so good and called for the medics. He then professionally finished the song and gave the crowd one more for good measure. Again if you have never seen Father John Misty do yourself a favor and get to one of his shows ASAP!


Arcade Fire

 This was the reason I got a ticket to Forecastle. When this lineup came out, this was one of the only North American dates for Arcade Fire, and it just happened to be three hours away. It was like destiny, I had to go. From the beginning to the end of their two-hour set, I was mesmerized. They go through their music with such a fun attitude; it really makes for a fun show. They started the night with new hit “Everything Now” and ended it with their hit “Wake Up.” Everything in between was just as good, if not better than I expected it to be. I was delighted to hear songs like, “The Suburbs,” “Ready to Start,” “Intervention,” and “Afterlife.” They also played four or five songs off of their newest album Everything Now. My favorite of the new songs had to be “Put Your Money On Me.” The first time I heard it was when I watched them perform it on Saturday Night Live, and I instantly fell in love with it. I was really glad I got to hear it live. I loved every moment of the Arcade Fire show, and I hope that I can see them again sometime very soon!


All in all, I had a great time at Forecastle, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a new festival journey. This is not a camping festival so you will need to find a hotel or Airbnb. We stayed at the Galt House which is the only hotel in Louisville right on the water. It was about a ten to fifteen-minute walk to and from the venue. Forecastle 2018 was a time I will never forget, thanks Jess!!!