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Forecastle Fest 2014 Will Be On a Bigger, Higher Level Than Ever Before, Founder J.K. McKnight Says

The 2014 Forecastle Festival, which starts Friday, will cover more space than it ever has before, founder J.K. McKnight told WFPL on Wednesday.

The three-day music festival at Louisville's Waterfront Park features acts including Beck, Outkast, Jack White and dozens of other performers. (Here'smore information from the festival.)

Last year, Forecastle drew about 65,000 people.

On Wednesday, McKnight stopped by WFPL studio to speak with Jonathan Bastian about what fest-goers can expect this weekend. Here's an edited version:

How are the preparations going?

We're using more real estate this year than we've ever used before. The production level is on a much higher level this year. Everyone who sees our main stage right when they walk in, they will see that immediately. It almost looks like a spaceship landed in the middle of the great lawn.

When you're driving over (Interstate) 64, it just shoots way up into the air. It's incredible. It's really on a different level on a lot of aspects.

What are some new features going on this year?

One cool thing, of course, is we're doing this Gonzo bar—this Hunter S. Thompson-themed bourbon bar, which is something we've wanted to do for a long time. We finally found the right community partner here to work with to make that a reality. Big thanks to White Clay Consulting, the group that's been helping us put that together. It's really amazing. I think if Hunter could stare down and see it, he would be very impressed.

 Some big name acts are coming, including Beck and many others, who you are especially excited to watch this year?

I definitely blocked out a big chunk of my Saturday to see Lord Huron play. Of course, Sharon Jones is playing. Want to see her. Band of Horses has been here, I think it's been four years. Spanish Gold will be playing their first complete show here, which is exciting. It's really loaded from top to bottom if you look at every day. 

Last year, we talked about the creation of the Forecastle Foundation.What are some of the new initiatives or projects the foundation is working on right now?

Forecastle is the largest platform we have throughout the whole year to get our message across. We have an 85-foot exhibition that's going on the great lawn. It's the largest in the entire festival next to the Bourbon Lodge. We'll be talking to people on site, we have a huge art wall, a bunch of interactive activities and engaging things going on to get people to understand what we're trying to do. Not just all of the world, but especially relevant what we're doing in Eastern Kentucky right now.

How are ticket sales? Are you expecting a massive crowd?

Absolutely, yeah, we're definitely going to break all the records we've had previously. Hoping it will be a sell-out. It's getting there right now.