|Location(s)||Louisville Waterfront Park
|Years active||2002 to present|
|Founded by||JK McKnight|
The Forecastle Festival is a three-day music, art, and environmental activism festival held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2002. The festival originated as a small gathering of local musicians in Louisville's Tyler Park, and steadily grew into a national attraction that now includes major touring acts, national art collectives, outdoor industry partners, prominent speakers, environmental workshops, and more. Forecastle was selected in 2012 as one of Rolling Stone's "Coolest Festivals" and has an annual attendance of over 75,000 fans at Louisville Waterfront Park. Past artists and speakers include The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, My Morning Jacket, The Flaming Lips, Widespread Panic, Robert Plant, Wilco, Band of Horses, The Black Crowes, Sleater-Kinney, Tortoise and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Derived from the nautical, maritime term forecastle, Forecastle began as a small, community event in 2002 by JK McKnight at Tyler Park. Structured as an equal representation of music, arts, and activism, the event grew quickly and audience expanded regionally. To accommodate increasing crowds, the festival moved to Cherokee Park in 2005, followed by The Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center in 2006, Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere in 2007, and Louisville Waterfront Park in 2010. The festival's name, format, and concept were trademarked in 2007. Forecastle was named one of Outside Magazine's "Top 15 Festivals in the Country" in 2009
Forecastle has showcased over 450 bands and many genres of music, focusing primarily on the rock and electronic categories. The event has multiple stages, all with maritime themes. Some previous musical guests include The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, The Flaming Lips, The Smashing Pumpkins, Widespread Panic, Wilco, The Black Crowes, Bassnectar, Spoon, Devo, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, Band of Horses, Pretty Lights, Andrew Bird, She & Him, Sleeper Agent (band), Tortoise, De La Soul, Sleater-Kinney, Dean Wareham, Big Boi, Gza, Z-Trip, Umphrey's McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, Del McCoury Band, and Del the Funky Homosapien.
The festival celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 with a collaboration with local musicians My Morning Jacket, who curated the event with festival organizers AC Entertainment and The Forecastle Festival. The lineup included such acts as Wilco, Bassnectar, Girl Talk, Sleigh Bells, Andrew Bird, Beach House, Sleeper Agent (band), Neko Case and many more.
The 2013 Forecastle Festival lineup includes such acts as The String Cheese Incident, Old Crow Medicine Show, Big Boi, The Black Keys, The Flaming Lips, Alabama Shakes, Dawes, The Avett Brothers, Robert Plant and more.
Forecastle has featured over 100 local, regional, and national artists, contributing a variety of installation work, as well as 2-D, 3-D, and mixed media. Each year's exhibition is commonly centered around a theme of sustainability. A panel of curators designs the exhibition from artist submissions.
Forecastle has exhibited over 150 environmental non-profits and outdoor recreational organizations. Previous participants include chapters of The Sierra Club, Earth First!, Citizens Action Coalition, Dogwood Alliance, Community Farm Alliance, Peak Oil, Student Environmental Action Coalition, The Ohio River Foundation, Earthsave International, Blue Earth Alliance, and more. Previous speakers include Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Riverkeepers), Rob Caughlan (Surfrider Foundation) and Christopher Childs (Greenpeace International).
In 2011, Forecastle founder JK McKnight created The Forecastle Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit environmental organization, dedicated to re-building "the world's natural awesome."  The organization focuses specifically on areas of extreme biodiversity that are among the most threatened on the planet.
Lodging and camping
The "Official Hotel & Headquarters" for the festival is the Galt House, which is Louisville's only riverfront hotel and features 1,300 rooms. Other nearby options include 21c Museum Hotel, Courtyard Marriott, and Ramada Downtown. American Turners has been used as a campground the past three years. The riverfront property includes a bar, pool, showers, outdoor sports, and other amenities for campers. During the festival, a shuttle bus is usually provided to and from Forecastle Festival.
Halfway to Forecastle
"Halfway to Forecastle" is an annual mini-fest hosted each January to celebrate the "halfway" point to the festival. The event typically benefits a charity or non-profit, with recipients including Surfrider Foundation, Kentucky Waterways Alliance, and many more. Previous headliners include Pretty Lights, Big Boi, RJD2 and Kid Sister.
- "History of Forecastle". Forecastle Festival. Archived from the original on 2008-06-08. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
- "Forecastle Festival Success". Rolling Stone Magazine. July 2012. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- Fernandes, Matt (July 10, 2008). "Louisville's Forecastle Fest blends music, art & activism". stltoday.com. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, LLC. Retrieved December 4, 2009.[dead link]
- Lidman, Melanie (June 2009). "The Best Summer Music Festivals". Outside Magazine. Marriah Media, Inc. Retrieved December 4, 2009.
- Forecastle Festival to Partner with AC Entertainment (Bonnaroo, Moogfest, Big Ears)
- "2009 Lineup". Forecastle Festival. Archived from the original on 2008-07-30. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Jordan, Matt (Feb 29, 2012). "Forecastle announces lineup: MMJ, Wilco, Sleigh Bells, Girl Talk + more!". YouAin't No Picasso. Retrieved Feb 29, 2012.
- "Art Show Submissions". Forecastle Festival. Archived from the original on 2008-08-04. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- "The Forecastle Foundation".
- "Forecastle starts non-profit Foundation". Business First. Retrieved November 15, 2011.[dead link]
- "Forecastle Lodging Downtown". Forecastle Festival. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Ikenberg, Tamara (December 4, 2009). "The Buzz: 'Halfway to Forecastle' mini-music fest". The Courier-Journal. Gannett. Retrieved December 12, 2009.