Friday, July 12, 2019

Editorial: Why We Aren't Covering Forecastle 2019

For over a decade 37FLOOD has had the privilege of being the longest running web-based  independent media outlet to cover  Forecastle. We were never afforded the flashy backstage and photo passes that larger media outlets got; but we held our own covering the ever changing, ever expanding Louisville summer festival. We covered the good, the bad, and everything in between, from the move from a free fest to a ticketed fest at the Great Lawn, to the addition of Party Cove.

In the early years rumors of journalists getting their press passes revoked for criticizing logistical problems surfaced; but despite that, when we felt the need to voice concern for the safety of the patrons we did. In 2010 we wrote about the lack of mist tents, the no re-entry policy, as well as not allowing people to bring in water bottles. And the following year the policies changed, making it safer for music fans to enjoy the fest. 

Last year we saw the expansion of Party Cove, but remarked that their wasn't a medical tent or police officers like at the other stages. We also talked about the large amount of passed out teenagers baking in the sun without getting medical attention. We also wrote about how myself and a 37FLOOD photographer were bullied and thrown against a fence by some teenagers who demanded we erase photos we had taken of a crowd dragging a limp boy covered in vomit.

We had been told by some other members of the press that the rumor was we wouldn't be allowed back; even though we were only reporting on issues that put ticket holders in danger. That said, we were not even going to to apply for press passes this year, but a month ago we received an email from Forecastle asking us to apply; which we saw as an amazing gesture on their behalf.  But our confirmation never came; thus ending our 12 year run of covering Forecastle.

We very much enjoyed our time working with Forecastle, and we are saddened that such a line in the sand could be drawn because we raised our voice about issues that we felt needed addressing; and would rather speak up when we feel people are in danger, rather than be pressured to keep quiet under threat of not being asked to return.

Even as such, we would consider returning to Forecastle if the event organizers are willing to let hurt feelings aside and realize we all want the same thing: a fun and safe summer in Louisville, and we hope all of readers who are attending Forecastle this year also have a wonderful and safe experience.

1 comment:

cfab said...

John, I saw something similar happen in the Infield at Derby. Some poor kid had gotten fucked up too much, and passed out in a stall in one of the infield latrines. Some shithead fratboys thought it would be funny to drag him out into the blazing sun so all the folks could laugh at the poor dude, which they did. Thankfully, EMTs and Popo showed up and helped the guy. It is amazing the amount of cruelty that humans feel empowered to inflict on each other, no?