The Forecastle Festival is a three-day event featuring world-class music, art, and activism. It takes place every year in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2009 it was named one of Outside Magazine's "Top 15 Festivals in the Country," and it has also been selected as one of Rolling Stone's "Coolest Festivals."
The festival first began in 2002 in Tyler Park as an informal gathering of local musicians. It was structured as an event where arts, music, and activism were equally represented.
Over the years, it has grown into a massive event that attracts the best musicians and performers from all over the world. Over 75,000 people attend the festival every year, and it has an economic impact of over $20 million annually.
In 2005, the festival was shifted to Cherokee Park to accommodate the ever-growing crowds. In 2006, The Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center became the venue for the event, followed by the Riverfront Plaza/Belvedere in 2007. It was moved to Waterfront Park in 2010. Load up your crew in the RV and camp nearby this music adventure in Louisville.
Fans from all over the country and a dozen different nations flock to Louisville Waterfront Park for the event. The Black Keys, Beck, Jack White, Outkast, Sam Smith, Widespread Panic, The Avett Brothers, Alabama Shakes, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and Arcade Fire are some of the artists who have performed at Forecastle Festival in the past.
Forecastle Festival tickets are split into tiers like general admission, Yacht Club, and VIP. They range in price from $145 for general admission three-day passes to $450 for VIP three-day tickets. You can also choose to buy single-day passes, which start at around $80.
Once you purchase your ticket, you'll receive a wristband with a uniquely coded RFID chip embedded in it. Your wristband will be scanned when you enter or exit the venue. Take a look at the official festival website for more information on tickets and pricing.
I-65 runs north and south through Louisville with the festival just to the west. A major highway that travels east and west through the city and sits just north of the venue is I-64. Louisville is a driver-friendly city with few occasional traffic delays. Navigation apps can help alert motorists regarding construction and current traffic conditions near the festival. One benefit to driving in this area is the view of the Ohio River.
Parking directly at the venue is not available. However, paid parking is available within walking distance of the festival grounds. These are affordable, convenient, and user-friendly. Some nearby options even offer facilities like 24-hour security, flat tire repair, jump-start of dead batteries, and other motorist assistance. Accessible parking spots are available for patrons with disabilities. RV parking may vary with some lots and based on the size of your rig.
Public transportation in the Greater Louisville area is provided by the Transit Authority of River City (TARC). You can get to the venue by bus. Check online for current bus routes and schedules. You can also get to the festival grounds via private hire ride options. Convenient drop-off points are located at the site.
Camping on the festival grounds is not offered. So, you'll need to choose from a campsite or RV park nearby.
You're sure to find a well-equipped RV park within 15 to 30 minutes of the festival grounds. Many of the campsites in Louisville are close to other RV trip attractions like Churchill Downs, the venue of the Kentucky Derby. At the local RV parks, you'll find spacious sites, laundry facilities, WiFi, open spaces for kids, and other amenities.
You can get around the venue on foot, and bikes are welcome as well. There are several pathways throughout the park which you can use. However, skateboards and inline skates are not allowed in Waterfront Park. The venue is wheelchair accessible, and there are restricted viewing areas for patrons with disabilities.
The overall vibe at the festival is pretty casual so most people will be dressed in comfortable summer clothing. You can't go wrong with shorts and a t-shirt or a flowy dress. Make sure you wear a pair of comfortable shoes since you're likely to be on your feet all day. It's a good idea to carry a light jacket in case it gets chilly at night.
Small purses, backpacks, and empty hydration packs will be allowed into Forecastle Festival. Large bags will not be permitted. Make sure you carry a few essentials like sunblock, sunglasses, a hat, and a lightweight blanket. You can also take in a sealed bottle of water or an empty one to refill.
Free, filtered water will be available at two hydration stations present at the Waterfront Park. Make sure you drink water frequently to avoid getting dehydrated. Avoid excessive sun exposure at this outdoor venue. Protect your skin with plenty of sunscreen and reapply it often. Weapons, Illegal substances of any kind or glass containers will not be permitted.
RV parks in the area will allow you to cook on the stove in your vehicle. However, rules regarding open fires and the amount of gas you can have on hand differ from campsite to campsite. Make sure you check what's allowed at your RV park in advance. Cooking or bringing in outside food into Waterfront Park will not be permitted.
Louisville is considered one of the culinary capitals of the south. There are several popular classic restaurants that locals flock to near the festival site as well as new ones that have quickly made a mark. Don't miss out on authentic southern comfort food like beer cheese and pulled pork and finish your meal with a delicious slice of pie.
Guests will find a number of vendors and trucks selling delicious food at the venue. Apart from the usual festival classics like hot dogs and burgers, you'll be able to experiment with different cuisines at your leisure. There will also be some indulgent desserts on offer and a range of juices, cocktails, beer, and wine.
Security personnel will be present at the entrances, and all bags will be checked before entry. They will also be making rounds, and anyone seen breaking the festival rules will be escorted out of the venue. A list of prohibited items is available on the festival website. Make sure you go through this before packing your bag. Alcohol, glow sticks, umbrellas, non-service animals, and coolers are among the items to leave at home.
If severe weather conditions do occur, measures are in place to safely evacuate guests. Many patrons choose to head to a nearby restaurant to wait out the storm. It's a good idea to carry some rain gear with you to avoid getting wet. A few music sets have been interrupted by rain in the past, but this is not typical.
Two medical tents will be located at Waterfront Park, and these will be clearly marked on the festival map. Medical teams will be present at the various staging areas. If you require immediate assistance, you can flag down a member of the security staff or an event organizer. An access center will be set up for patrons with disabilities.