On the opening night of this year’s Forecastle Festival, a severe thunderstorm swept through Louisville, Kentucky, causing Sam Smith to cut his headlining set short and the entire festival crowd to be evacuated from the grounds. The other two days of the festival was greeted with near 100 degree heat that had festival attendees melting away. While I’ll never forget the erratic weather, the final summation of the past weekend will be the extensive talent from the bands and artists and how smooth everything ended up going.
As expected, local hometown heroes My Morning Jacket closed out Saturday with an all-inclusive two-and-half hour set (maybe longer) while Widespread Panic jammed the festival to the finish line on Sunday — both were superb. However, for Michael Powell and myself, our personal top picks were somewhat of a surprise, but that’s the magic of any music festival. There are the must-see sets and then there are those that come out of nowhere and take your heart — we prefer the latter.
With a fully packed bourbon lodge, the Ohio River gently moving in the background, and the multiple Hunter S. Thompson’s running around, there was no better reflection of Louisville’s soul and spirit. Once more, Forecastle Festival proved to be one of the best music festivals in the nation and another big weekend for the beautiful Southern city.