Sunday, July 15, 2018

Review: It's The End Of The World (Forecastle 2018 Day Two)

If Friday at Forecastle 2018 was a harbinger of the stark new reality of Festival Culture, Saturday was the dead reckoning.   This morning's headline from the Courier Journal read 'The Crowd Goes Hard While Trying To Stay Cool', an understatement; Poor planning, technical difficulties, extreme heat, and Party Cove lawlessness pushed Forecastle to its limits. 

In yesterday's review, It's A Brave New World, we wrote about the technical and genre changes at Forecastle this year; namely the moving and shrinking of the WFPK Port Stage by 2/3s, and the expansion of Party Cove by 2/3s. Throngs of tiny short & half shirt clones spilled out of the packed Party Cove and Ocean Stage area into the rest of the fest with outlandish displays of sex, drugs, and no concern for rock n' roll as EDM and MDMA fueled the day. 

3pm at Party Cove

One third of the park is now reorganized to house the wild Coachella kids, and one third at the opposite end of the park holds the all local music WFPK Port Stage and the lackluster AAA/Adult Contemporary Boom Stage, with the Mast Stage only coming alive for the headliners such as Modest Mouse and Chris Stapleton (and local heroes Houndmouth) right in the middle.

Houndmouth with Aaron Cracker Photo: Marife Bautista 

The War On Drugs Photo: Marife Bautista
Hiss Golden Messenger Photo: Marife Bautista
Margo Price Photo: Marife Bautista
DJ Samosa Photo: Marife Bautista
With this new polar split with Adult Contemporary for the older folks (Margo Price, Hiss Golden Messenger, The War On Drugs, Jenny Lewis) on the Western edge and EDM madness on the Eastern Edge (DJ Samosa, Glittertitz), the only truly eclectic and wide ranging music for the totality of Saturday was the WFPK Port Stage, curated by Louisville Orchestra Conductor Teddy Abrams, with standout acts being the Forecastle Symphony and the West Louisville Showcase hosted by Jecorey '1200' Arthur. 
With an amazing ode to the West End by poet Lance Newman to start and a continual parade of this city's best talent such as Wheatley Elementary's Young Prodigies, AMPED, River City Drumcorp, and Kentuckiana Idol's 1st winner, Chanson Calhoun, the West Louisville Showcase was easily the most entertaining experience on Saturday; except maybe headliner Chris Stapleton who managed to rock the Mast stage despite major technical difficulties that delayed the set for nearly an hour.
Lance Newman

Young Prodigies of Wheatley Elementary School

Chanson Calhoun

River City Drumcorp Photo: Marife Bautista

River City Drumcorp
 The largest congregation of LMPD Police Officers of the entire weekend that I saw was at the West Louisville Showcase, with no less than half a dozen officers at any given time, which I initially chocked up to extremely poor taste until the events that proceeded next. 

six cops and a Colonel Sanders at the West Louisville Showcase 
'I Eat Pussy For Free' homemade shirt at Party Cove
As soon as the West Louisville Showcase ended at 7:30 I walked directly over to Party Cove to see local favorite James Lindsey but instead found a horrific scene at the Party Cove entrance of an unconscious boy covered in vomit with two girls pouring water on him and three other boys standing in front trying to hide the situation from passers by.   

7:30 at Party Cove

 I asked them why they hadn't gotten the EMTs to help and they told me to leave. I looked all around Party Cove for a First Aid Station or a Police Officer and found none, , as they all seemed to be patrolling the West Louisville Showcase, leaving an entire 1/3 of the fest without a medical tent or security. When I told the kids I would go get help they started dragging this kid further into Party Cove.

Party Cove Entrance
 I had to run all the way over the Mast Stage First Aid Station and waited for an EMT to become available due to the large amount of fest goers needing assistance. By the time the EMTs and I made it all the way back to Party Cove the kids had vanished. I asked the EMTs why there wasn't a First Aid tent in Party Cove and they replied that they were too shorthanded.   I don't know what became of this kid, but later 2 of the kids that dragged him off found me, pushed me up against a barricade and demanded I erase the photos on my phone. It wasn't until I managed to take their photographs and told them I was going to show the photos to a police officer that they left me alone. Obviously there was no Police in Party Cove to the show the photos to but it finally got them to stop screaming at me while pinning me up against the wall.
 These kids were so nervous about anyone finding out what they were up to at Party Cove that they were willing to put their friend's life at risk. The fact that there was virtually no oversight at Party Cove allowed thousands of teenagers to put themselves at extreme risk. The 'Festival Culture' that has emerged over the last few years has completely taken over Forecastle at the expense of everyone involved. And the management's plan to maroon these kids far away from everyone else as well as without basic medical and security services is completely unacceptable. As the prevailing Music Fest in our beloved city we need to demand changes as lives are being put at risk for the sake of making a dollar.
And that was Day Two!

Chris Stapleton Crowd Photo: Marife Bautista

Chris Stapleton Photo: Marife Bautista

ACAP Hour with Daphne Willis Photo: Marife Bautista

West Louisville Showcase Photo: Marife Bautista

West Louisville Showcase Photo: Marife Bautista

Forecastle Symphony Photo: Marife Bautista

Photo: Marife Bautista

Read our Forecastle 2018 Day One Review, 'It's A Brave New World', Here


Anonymous said...

So what you're saying is that people at music festivals are doing drugs, over drinking, and dressing too scantly?? I guess the world has gone to hell, so different from the clean, family friendly days of Woodstock I guess. No drugs, booze, sex, or nudity back then! Darn kids these days!!

Anonymous said...

I want Art and Activism! Not sure how many "music festivals" you've ever been to outside of church but they're seldom any different than what you saw at Forecastle. I do agree, however, that cutting the local stage is weak AF. Relegating the rolled out little spunions to Party Cove is a good way to keep the rest of the festival goers from being overtly mortified, but don't hate the music too much-- it ain't my scene either, but I refuse to submit to the hands of time carrying me into the realm of "when I was young music was GOOD!" type of BS. Again, I want art and activism, not a half painted boat repainted again in continually more lack luster fashion than the year before while we sponsor the fest with Redbull and plastic water bottles while saying this is Arts and Activism.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I was about to write the same thing. This guy sounds like a grumpy old man. Let the kids gave fun! No one died and hopefully they learned a lesson. We've all been there.