Wednesday, July 15, 2009


This past weekend the fellas and I were able to work out a last minute trip up to Louisville, Kentucky for the Forecastle festival. Even though it was pretty last minute, the plans couldn’t have worked out better. We were able to get a suite at the hotel right on top of the festival grounds. The Galt House was actually the official headquarters of the festival and we could walk in and out of the festival site right from the hotel. This festival was great, not too big to be overwhelming, but big enough to get some big time acts. Of course the big draw for us was Widespread Panic, but we were also very happy to see the Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, Backyard Tire Fire, and several others.
The Ohio River from the hotel.
Here is the view of part of the festival site from our hotel.

The location of the event was really cool. It was in a city park in downtown Louisville and was overlooking the Ohio River. It was pretty neat to see the barges and big riverboats cruising up and down the river while enjoying the festival. Also, the weather couldn’t have cooperated any better. On Saturday, it was warm and sunny but with frequent clouds to help with the shade and on Sunday it was pretty much overcast all day, which made the temperature cooler. As with any large gathering of people, it provided great people watching. There were some crazy sites and I am sure the people who were in the area for something else besides the festival were a little freaked out. I can assure you, the Presbyterian Women’s Council won’t book their annual conference the same weekend next year. I assure you they were not prepared to have the hotel where their conference was taking place to be overrun by all the hippies. But it made for some interesting elevator rides!

Here is the view of the hotel from the festival site at sunset.

Sunset on the second night.
As usual the music was the star of the weekend. We arrived on Saturday so unfortunately we missed the bands that played Friday night. But the line up on Saturday and Sunday made up for missing Friday. The Black Crowes played a strong set and got the crowd geared up for Widespread Panic who didn’t disappoint. The boys from Athens played two solid sets, which were highlighted by “Climb to Safety” and “All time low” in the first set and “Greta”, “Chilly Water”, “Ain’t Life Grand” and “Love Tractor” in the second set. They only played one song in the encore due to the time, which was “Action Man” but they said they would make up for it the next night and boy did they!
The Black Crowes rocking it out!

The next day we were in and out of the festival all day and were able to catch more bands than the previous day. We saw a great set by Umphrey’s McGee and Yonder Mt. String Band. Also, we saw a fantastic set by the Avett Brothers. Those guys put all they got in their music and you should definitely check them out if you haven’t heard of them. On to the headliners for their second night of rocking downtown Louisville where they kept their promise from the night before and played on long, jam packed set and a longer encore. The highlights from night two were “Fishwater”, “Time Zones”, “Blue Indian”, “Up All Night”, “Blackout Blues”, and “Porch Song” in the long set. Then in the extended encore they busted out “Space Wrangler” and “Give”.
The Avett Brothers!

Widespread Panic jamming out!

It was a great weekend of music, fun and friends. The drive back was pretty tough but that is the price you pay for the fun you have on the weekend. I hope Forecastle stays true to itself and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. There are already enough huge festivals that are too overwhelming to enjoy. If Forecastle keeps it up, we will definitely go back again next year!

Rock and Roll!

1 comment:

kristi said...

sounds fun..........your wife must be great! sure jeff wishes I was :)