Forecastle Festival 2022 was held at the Waterfront Park in Louisville, Kentucky from May 27 to May 29. It was a weekend full of music of a variety of genres on three different stages with food and drinks. The musicians I covered this weekend were Charlotte Sands, Indigo De Souza, Duckwrth, COIN, Clairo, Jack Harlow, LEON, Chelsea Cutler, Quinn XCII, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Mob Rich, KennyHoopla, Fletcher, and Dayglow.
Forecastle shares on their website, “Kentucky marks the spot when it comes to bourbon – seriously, 95% of the world’s bourbon is produced here! As a result, Forecastle is about much more than just the music. It’s a celebration of unrivaled local eats, drinks, and Kentucky flair! As you cruise around the grounds, sip on some bourbon, soak in the waterfront views, and shop from some of the best in the Commonwealth.”
The first day of the festival was met with intermediate rain throughout the day. The rain and mud did not scare people away and neither did it deter me. As soon as the gates opened, people ran towards the stages for the opportunity to situate themselves close to the stage. Several of these festival goers were preparing to camp out there for Jack Harlow. This was a common theme for day two and three as well. I was granted media access but with no photo pass so therefore I was camping for the last two days. I was amongst a very enthusiastic crowd at each stage.
On day two, I chose to camp in front of the Mast Stage where artists like Phoebe Bridgers and Tame Impala were set to perform. As Phoebe Bridgers left the stage, there was a wave of people that pushed themselves towards the front. Unable to properly move or even breathe, I called out to security for help and one hero managed to help me over the front barrier to escape the crowd. I wish I could say this is not a common occurrence but as a music photographer, this is normal. I have a high appreciation for the security guards at this festival. Fortunately, water was distributed throughout most of the artist’s sets which made life easier for those camping out under the sun. As I waited for each artist, I would make friends with the security team as well as some small conversations with the people around me. The last day of the festival arrived quicker than I could process. It was the hottest day of that weekend. I situated myself in front of the Boom Stage where artists, Mob Rich, Fletcher, KennyHoopla, and Dayglow were set to perform. I was not familiar with any of these artist’s music prior to the festival therefore I was excited to discover new music. Not a single one of these artists disappointed. I am also happy to report that no harm came to this photographer during these sets.
Each artist brought something unique to the festival. Jack Harlow’s set was a full production. He started the night at the very top of the stage. No, literally. At the very tip top of the stage. Leaving me to wonder how he was propped up there. COIN placed a giant ladybug in the front of the screen behind them. Clairo was met with intense rain during her set but that didn’t stop her from performing. She put on a plastic rain cover and finished her set. Quinn XCII brought Chelsea Cutler on stage with him for his last few songs. If you know Phoebe Bridgers, then you know the stage would be decorated in her usual dark whimsical style. You also know that she and her bandmates would be dressed in their skeleton wardrobes. KennyHoopla engaged with the crowd in every way. He would jump off the stage, throw himself in the crowd, and of course, surf through the crowd. These are only just a few examples. Therefore I’ll let my photos speak for themselves.
Although some moments were intense for this photographer, what I witnessed was people having the time of their lives with their friends, listening to their favorite artists, dancing and singing along to their songs. This festival was top-notch.
We can’t wait to see the news for Forecastle 2023.