Forecastle Festival Will Dock at Waterfront Park Through 2019

January 26, 2015

Forecastle Festival, the nationally-recognized event held annually in Louisville, is here to stay.  Mayor Greg Fischer joined Waterfront Development Corporation president David Karem and Forecastle Festival Founder and Captain J.K. McKnight to announce Forecastle Festival’s five-year commitment to Louisville Waterfront Park. Under the commitment, the festival will take place in the award-winning park until at least 2019.   

Forecastle, a 3-day festival celebrating the best in music, art and environmental activism, is one of Waterfront Park’s largest events. The homegrown festival was founded in 2002 by  McKnight in Louisville’s Tyler Park, and is now produced by AC Entertainment Inc. The Festival has been hosted in Waterfront Park since 2010.

See the first wave of 2015 performers at Forecastle.

“Louisville’s Waterfront Park is truly a one-of-a-kind venue, with beauty and amenities that play so well into the experience we create each July,” said McKnight, director of partnership development, AC Entertainment. “Forecastle celebrates the best that Louisville and Kentucky has to offer, and we’re committed to long-term growth here, and a continued economic and cultural impact on the city. We’re so proud to call Waterfront Park our home.”

Forecastle has demonstrated significant and calculated growth over the last three years, bringing a sustained high quality experience to the consumer. In recent years, Forecastle has attracted more than 60,000 attendees per year from 49 states and more than 10 foreign countries. Roughly 58 percent of attendees hail from outside of Louisville. An economic impact study revealed a more than $14 million economic impact on the city.

“The energy and activism of Forecastle is a perfect fit for our award-winning and world-class Waterfront Park, both keep getting better year after year,” Fischer said. “The result is a festival and venue that have increasing impact on our local economy and quality of place and showcase Louisville as the kind of progressive city that highly engaged and motivated young professionals want to live and work in.”

“Every year this event demonstrates one of the most creative uses of space within Waterfront Park,” said Karem. “Attendees from Kentucky and all over the nation and world can experience world class performances and the finest Kentucky Bourbons, food, craft beer and wine in an award-winning urban setting.” 

Since 2002, the festival moved from humble beginnings in Tyler Park, to Cherokee Park and then to Mellwood Arts Center. Prior to moving to Waterfront Park, the festival was held at the Louisville Belvedere, also managed by Waterfront Development Corporation.

About Louisville Waterfront Park: Waterfront Park is an award-winning 85-acre public park on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The park enjoys more than 2 million visitors each year for concerts, festivals, charity walks and other organized events, and walks over the Ohio River on the Big Four Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge. For more information on Waterfront Park, visit

About AC Entertainment: AC Entertainment is recognized as one of the foremost independent promoters in the United States. Founded in 1991 by Ashley Capps, the company books, markets and presents over 1,000 events per year. In addition to the Forecastle Festival, AC Entertainment is the force behind internationally renowned events including Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival® and Big Ears. For more information on AC Entertainment, visit