Forecastle Festival hit Louisville, Kentucky this July, with a lineup of diverse artists spanning indie music, alternative rock, and a little bit of electronic vibes. From highlighting Louisville’s unique bourbon culture, to supporting conservation efforts in Kentucky and beyond – we knew this festival was one not to missed! But, were surprised to find that there was a little something for everyone at this festival… whether you were a high schooler getting down to remixed rap songs with your BFF’s in the Party Cove, or settling down on a blanket with your kids and some corndogs to enjoy some radio rock at the main stage. Thinking about heading to Forecastle next year? Here’s what to expect as you wander the festival grounds!

A Little Something for Everyone

This festival has an eclectic crowd, with people coming in for house and electronic acts, remixed rap, indie rock, and main stage favorites that play on the radio. This lineup is perfect for people who like to stage-hop and explore all types of music, but if you only like a specific artist or genre, it might be tough to find what you’re looking for beyond a few acts. Many people buy single-day tickets to see specific artists, while others buy 3-day passes to explore all types of genres. There’s definitely a lot to choose from! This diverse lineup is also fabulous for groups of friends with different musical tastes – because you can spend some time catching Cage the Elephant or Judah and the Lion at the main stages, then head off to listen to Sam Sneed or Griz’s secret late-night set at the Party Cove.

All Ages & Family Friendly

Forecastle is an all-ages event, so you’ll find everyone from parents blowing bubbles and playing with toddlers, to high schoolers flocking to the Party Cove, often taking selfies and sometime awkwardly eyeing each other like it’s a middle school dance. If you’re used to 18+ festivals, the younger crowd of party-goers who are just beginning to explore festival culture may be a bit of a shock. However, the open age attitude also means this is a very approachable festival, where you can bring your little sister and introduce her to festival culture without having a more party-oriented crowd. If you’re a parent, you can steer clear of Party Cove and hang out by the main stage and open areas to enjoy some of your kids’ favorite hits they’ve heard on the radio. For 21+ people who want a more relaxed vibe, you can find solace in the Bourbon Lodge, with flowing cocktails, air conditioning, and musical acts and talks throughout the day.

Easy Access Facilities

The entire festival set-up is really intuitive, and Forecastle has crowd-friendly elements that make the festival experience so much easier. There are shaded areas throughout the festival grounds for people to hang out at and relax, as well as tons of vendors to explore, refillable water stations throughout, and lots of port-o-poties. I barely had to wait in line at all while getting food, drinks, or bathroom access – or getting in to the festival in general. It was awesome to have such easy access, especially when needing a drink during a hot day!

Relaxing Down Time

Beyond the music, Forecastle had activities throughout the festival grounds – from their mini Kentucky Derby races, Bourbon Lodge, and lawn games, to more random encounters like costumed people walking around on stilts and even a pop-up drum circle mid-day at the party cove. Often, only two stages would be playing music at a time, so having extra things to do around the festival was the perfect way to pass the time if the music that happened to be playing wasn’t your cup of tea. With ample space to hang out between the stages, you’d often see groups of friends simply chilling out on blankets waiting for the next act to come on, or exploring the array of vendors rather than flocking to the stages. If music is typically the highlight of your festival experience, this down-time might not be ideal – but for those who want to relax and unwind, that little bit of respite from the music is perfect.

Dedicated to Conservation

Forecastle Festival is powered by the Forecastle Foundation, which works to protect natural biodiversity around the world. A portion of each ticket sold goes directly to conservation and education initiatives – and at the festival, you can stop by the foundation’s shaded tent to chat with some of these organizations, learn more about their efforts, and even bid in a private auction to help support their causes. Currently, Forecastle funds projects in Kentucky and Brazil – including preserving and maintaining Kentucky’s version of the Appalachian trail – and are looking to expand further in coming years. It’s amazing to know that when you head to Forecastle, you’re also supporting incredible causes that give back to our planet. The festival also has eco-friendly initiatives throughout the grounds to help reduce waste and encourage conservation – including tons of water stations throughout the grounds, and prizes for picking up litter.

Forecastle in 2018

Forecastle is a totally approachable festival with a little something for everyone. It’s the perfect place for groups of friends with diverse tastes who want to hang out and relax – parents who want to unwind while their kids play in the sun – and younger crowds who want to experience the festival vibe. If you’re a frequent festival-goer, this is the perfect place to introduce friends to the wonders of festival culture, without diving head-first into camping or libations. Family friendly, relaxing, and diverse is at the forefront of Forecastle, and we can’t wait to see who will be headlining in 2018!

All photos from Forecastle Festival