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It's Forecastle Festival Time! Here's What’s New This Year

Pedicab outside the Forecastle gates
Photo by J. Tyler Franklin

The 18th annual Forecastle Music Festival begins Friday at Louisville Waterfront Park. It’s expected to be another hot weekend at this year's festival and organizers have added some features to help guests stay cool.

Forecastle has expanded the number of free drinking water stations — so don’t forget to bring an empty water bottle.

They’ve also added more shade this year by spreading out the food vendors across the park and making more space underneath the interstate. There's also a new large shade structure called the Kentucky Bazaar that will include local beers, artists and businesses.

“Right now the weather looks fantastic, a little hot, but you know hydrate and wear sunscreen, loose fitting clothing, hats, sunglasses, make yourself comfortable," said Jeff Cuellar with AC Entertainment.

This year’s three-day festival lists more than 70 acts spread across five stages with headliners including The Killers, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals and The Avett Brothers.

But what about the bourbon? The festival has re-oriented the Hunter S. Thompson-themed Gonzo bar and expanded the bourbon lodge and will now have private tastings from more than a half-dozen distilleries.

Come for the music, stay for the whole hog barbecue and lobster rolls.

“Come down and explore, from food to beverages to shops and more. There’s a lot for people to do. I mean the focus is always the stages and the musical acts playing them, but there is a lot,” Cuellar said.

To learn what you can and can't bring to the festivities, check the Forecastle FAQ.

For a whole lot more on Forecastle and its after parties, check out the Do502 guide to Forecastle. And follow us on Instagram for updates from the festival all weekend.

Ryan Van Velzer is WFPL's Energy and Environment Reporter. Email Ryan at rvanvelzer@lpm.org.