|Mucca Pazza @ Forecastle 2010|
Here we go, this weekend marks the biggest music event of the summer. I went last year just for one day, The girl I was seeing wanted to see Beach House, and a very nice person donated a ticket so i could join her. In 2010 the Forecastle peeps were kind enough to give us press passes and we covered it extensively (day one review, Day two review, Photo review, as well as previews and spotlights) It was a lot of fun, and we all enjoyed running around playing Journalist. I really enjoyed the amount of local acts as well as evergreen acts like Devo and Cake mixed in with the popular acts you expect at a fest like Beach House, as well things like Bassnectar that i don't understand at all but consistently drew the biggest crowds. The best time for me was running into friends and getting to talk with our local music heroes. After all this is what a home town fest is all about. But those of us who have supported Forecastle over the years have seen many changes since the beginning (back when it was free and not $180).
as I mentioned in Memory Of A Free Festival I had a few issues with Forecastle in 2010. I mentioned things I really liked such the over 25 local bands playing that weekend, but wondered why they were exiled in the far reaches where many people didn't wonder into. I proposed why not make every stage a main stage where local bands could play along side headliners; which is exactly what Forecastle is doing this time, but the number of local bands is only about 1/5 of the 2010 line up.
I also thought the Art and Activism was all but non-existent. the following year Forecastle launched "The Forecastle Foundation." It's mission being "to preserve the final remaining areas of extreme biodiversity that are among the most threatened on the planet." The website says in 2013 they "will contribute to up to two global hot zones." we will have to see how this plays out, but it's good to know they are still keeping Activism somewhere on the map. As for Art, they have invited artists to design posters for individual bands and displaying them at the fest. The few I have seen (by Mad Pixel ) are pretty nice and I am looking forward to seeing this show, but I haven't seen any other Art events listed or off the wall events like they have had previously like Mucca Pazza or Cirque Berzerk.
But we might be kidding ourselves in thinking this a "Louisville" fest for us instead of for 'summer fest hoppers'. With the addition of AC Entertainment the focus has lead to more "Festival" type bands like String Cheese Incident and Flaming Lips, but there are still some great surprises on the roster that I am excited to see like Freakwater and Killer Mike.
Maybe it is time for me to come to terms that Forecastle is no longer a Louisville Fest but now a Fest in Louisville, and be happy about that. I am still surprised at the price gouging and lack of re-entry at the gate, but these are norms in the Big Time fest world, but JK seems to want to hold on to the original theory in some respects so who knows.. maybe next year they will take some of these concerns to heart too.