Forecastle Festival 2019: A List Of Not-To-Miss Bands

Summertime is an exciting time of year, but for many concert-goers it signals the start of festival season.  There are many festivals to get excited about, but one that has been gaining traction and popularity over the years is Forecastle Festival.  Taking place in Louisville, KY each July, festival-goers flock to the city’s 85 acre Waterfront Park for 3 days of a fun and an eclectic line up that spans 4 different stages.  Founded in 2002 by Louisville native JK McKnight, what started out as a small, community event has become one of the nation’s most anticipated summer festivals.  With a range of artists that span multiple genres, from larger, mainstream acts to smaller, local and emerging artists, the festival has something for everyone’s musical tastes.  With a scenic setting, food trucks, march tents and plenty of vendors that proudly focus on selling many of the bourbons that KY is known for, music lovers travels from all over the world to attend.  In addition to music, the festival has also placed a great emphasis on the environment and environmental preservation and activism through the work of The Forecastle Foundation.

“Our mission is to protect and connect the world’s natural awesome.  We do so by shining a light on biodiversity hotspots – the richest reservoirs of life”.

You can find out more about the festival, line-up, where to stay, where to eat and all other festival related information via the following links:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify Playlists

You can find out more about and follow The Forecastle Foundation via the following links:

Forecastle Foundation | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube


Here’s a list of bands to make sure to catch this year at Forecastle:

1) Sunflower Bean

Photo credit: Rebekah Campbell

Exploding onto the scene in 2013, NYC rock band Sunflower Bean has seen a steady rise in popularity and a quickly growing fanbase since their formation.  Consisting of Nick Kivlen (guitar/vocals), Jacob Faber (drums) and Julia Cumming (bass/vocals), the band has released three albums, 2016’s Human Ceremony, 2018’s Twentytwo in Blue and their recently released King Of The Dudes EP.   The band recently toured with Interpol and will be touring in August with Beck, Cage The Elephant and Spoon.  Make sure to check out their set on Day 3 of the festival-Sunday, July 15th!  They perform on The Mast Stage at 2:00 pm.  Check out my recent interview with the band HERE.  You can follow the band via the following links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube | Spotify | Bandcamp


2) Judah and The Lion

Nashville alternative rock band Judah and The Lion, comprised of Judah Akers (guitar/vocals), Brian MacDonald (mandolin/vocals) and Nate Zuercher (banjo/vocals), formed in 2011 and have generated critical praise and a passionate fan base from the start.  They released their debut full-length album Kids These Days in 2014, which saw them share the stage with Ben Rector and Matt Kearney.  Their second studio album Folk Hop n’ Roll, which was released in 2016, was a breakthrough for the band.  Having maintained more of a folk and bluegrass sound on previous recordings, this album saw the band blend together rock, folk and hip hop.  The album’s hit single “Take It All Back” reached #19 on the Hot AC Chart and #1 on Billboard’s Alternative Song’s chart for 3 consecutive weeks.  The band recently released their latest album Pep Talks, a personal album for Akers that deals with family issues of divorce and alcoholism.  Make sure to check out their set on Day 1 of the festival-Friday, July 13th.  They perform at 8:15 on The Boom Stage.  You can follow the band via the following links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | Soundcloud | YouTube


3) Calpurnia

Photo credit: Pooneh Ghana

Canadian indie-rock band Calpurnia formed in 2017 and has generated plenty of buzz in a short amount of time.  Consisting of Finn Wolfhard (vocals/rhythm guitar), Malcolm Craig (drums), Ayla Tesler-Mabe (lead guitar/vocals) and Jack Anderson (bass), the band started out playing cover songs before building up the confidence to write their own material. Wolfhard met Craig on the set of Canadian punk rockers PUP’s “Guilt Trip” music video.  They met Tesler-Mabe at a music summer camp and she quickly introduced them to Anderson, her close childhood friend and bassist, and thus Calpurnia was born.  The band released their debut single “City Boy” in March of 2018 and their debut EP Scout in June of 2018.  The EP was produced and recorded by Cadien Lake James of the band Twin Peaks.  In February of this year, Weezer featured the members of Calpurnia in their video for the track Take On Me (by the ’80s band A-Ha).   Make sure to check out their set on Day 2 of the festival-Saturday, July 14th.  They will perform on The Boom Stage at 5:00 pm.  You can follow Calpurnia via the following links: Website |  Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | YouTube


4) Lucius

Indie-pop band Lucius, which consists of lead vocalists Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, Dan Molad (producer/drums) and Peter Lalish (lead guitar), as well as Josh Dion (drums) and Casey Foubert (guitar) for live performances, have been creating a steady buzz over the past several years. Wolfe and Laessig met at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003, forming Lucius in 2005, though the band as it is now didn’t come together until they moved to New York four years ago.  They released a self-titled EP in 2012 and and the full-length album Wildewoman in 2013, praised by outlets and magazines such as Rolling Stone, Consquence of Sound and The Guardian for it’s eclectic mix of musical styles such as retro pop and reflective folk.  They have shared the stage with a wide range of bands and artists including Jack White, Tegan and Sara, The Head and The Heart, Sara Bareilles, Andrew Bird and City and Colour.  Wolfe and Laessig have worked with big name artists such as Mavis Staples, Jeff Tweedy (both solo and with Wilco), David Byrne and Roger Waters.  They released their second album Good Grief in 2016, as well as a two-song 10 inch vinyl recording entitled Pulling Teeth, and a compilation album entitled Nudes last year.  Make sure to check out their set on Day 1 of the festival-Friday, July 13th.  They will perform on The Boom Stage at 4:30 pm.  You can follow Lucius via the following links: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud | Bandcamp | YouTube


5) Yungblud

Photo credit- Mitchell Wojcik

21 year old British rock musician Dominic Harrison, better known by his moniker Yungblud, exploded onto the scene in 2017 and became an overnight sensation.  With influences that range from Marilyn Manson, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Arctic Monkeys, Harrison is a socially conscious artist who writes genre-bending protest songs.  He has found an immediate connection with his ever-growing fanbase, many of whom are part of the disaffected youth that are fed up with the many issues plaguing their generation and the politicians who show no willingness to address them. His style has been described as “the spitfire suburban poetry of younger Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T, fused with a healthy touch of ska and hip-hop spirit”.  He released his debut album 21st Century Liability last year to critical acclaim and praise, collaborated with artist Charlotte Lawrence for a track on the Netflix hit show ’13 Reasons Why’ and recently released a song that features Halsey and Travis Barker.   Make sure to check out his set on Day 3 of the festival-Sunday, July 15th.  He will perform on The Ocean Stage at 2:45 pm. Check out my recent interview with Yungblud HERE.  You can follow Yungblud via the following links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud | YouTube


6) Hop Along

Philadelphia indie-rock band Hop Along started out as an acoustic freak folk acoustic project known as Hop Along, Queen Ansleis in 2004, when Frances Quinlan (vocals/guitar) was a senior in high school.  In 2005, she released the album Freshman Year.  Although she performed an acoustic solo act for several years, she later recruited a band that consists of her brother Mark Quinlan (drums), Tyler Long (bass) and Joe Reinhart (guitar).  Never defined by genre, the band features elements of grunge, folk, punk and power pop in their songs.  The band released the EP Wretches in 2009 and the critical acclaimed and highly praised full-length Get Disowned in 2012, with the album’s breakout  single “Tibetan Pop Stars” being described by Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus as “the most painfully beautiful song ever”.  They signed with Saddle Creek Records in 2014, and in 2015 released the album Painted Shut.  They released their most recent album, Bark Your Head Off, Dog in April of last year, on which they added strings, more intricate rhythms, lush harmonies (featuring Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian) and a momentary visit with a vocoder.  It’s their most textured and dynamic record yet.  Check out their set on Day 1 of the festival-Friday, July 13th.  They will perform on The Mast Stage at 2:00 pm.  You can follow Hop Along via the following links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | Soundcloud | Bandcamp


7) The Midnight

Synthwave band The Midnight, comprised of Georgia-born and NY-based musician Tyler Lyle (singer/songwriter/vocals/guitar) and Danish-born and LA-based musician Tim McEwan (singer/songwriter/producer/synth/electronic drums), was formed when the two musicians met during a co-writing workshop in LA in 2012.  Inspired partly by the growing retro synth genre that emerged around the release of the movie Drive, the duo released their debut EP Days Of Thunder in 2014.  They released their debut full-length album Endless Summer in 2016, followed by Nocturnal in 2017.  Nocturnal spent several weeks as a best seller on the music distribution website Bandcamp and reaching #17 on Billboard’s dance/electronic charts October 2017.  The band explores the lighter, more pop side of synth wave and have gained thousands of fans worldwide since forming.  Make sure to check out their set on Day 1 of the festival-Friday, July 13th.  They will perform on The Ocean Stage at 4:15.  You can follow the band via the following links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify | SoundCloud | YouTube



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