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    When it comes to music festivals, especially ones as big as Forecastle, it's easy to only see a few of the really great acts that come through. While you enjoy your day in anticipation of your favorites, there are so many great and exciting acts to make the weekend worth your while and expand your musical experience. To make it easy on you, we've rounded up the performances we're most looking forward to this year.

    Alabama Shakes

    Blues rockers Alabama Shakes are off of a hot streak this past year, after their second album “Sound and Color” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard, received six Grammy nominations (including album of the year) and winning four, including Best Alternative Album and Best Rock Performance. The band’s smooth instrumentation and unparalleled vocals by leading woman Brittany Howard ensure that Alabama Shakes will be one of the most soulful acts of the weekend.

    Ryan Adams

    Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams has an incredibly varied career. Since 2000, he has released fifteen studio albums, ranging from genres like country and rock to metal and pop. His most recent release is a song-by-song cover album of Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning "1989," which some of us consider to be the superior "1989."  Adams’ crisp vocals, subtle songwriting and extensive discography should make for an interesting time.


    Big Gigantic

    Big Gigantic is one of just a handful of groups pioneering the genre frequently referred to as livetronica. Mixing the best of funk, jazz and electronic dance music with performances involving pre-produced beats, as well as live instrumentation, there is, frankly, going to be nothing else like it at Forecastle.

    Glass Animals

    This British indie group exploded onto the scene in 2014 with their debut album “Zaba,” which featured the hit singles “Gooey,” “Hazey” and “Black Mambo.” Employing a minimalist sort of psychedelic R&B as their primary sound, along with some ridiculously catchy melodies, Glass Animals will likely be one of the most entrancing acts of the festival.

    Danny Brown

    Despite a handful of critically acclaimed albums, including his latest, “Old” in 2013, Brown remains relatively outside of the limelight. Regardless, his high-energy performances and production make for a can’t miss act. He’s also one of the only hip-hop acts at the festival this year.


    The Arcs

    The Arcs is a band formed by Dan Auerbach, one half of the blues rock juggernaut and former Forecastle headliner The Black Keys. Instead of blues, The Arcs takes a more psychedelic and garage rock sound. It's a fun project that’s a nice change of pace from the usual rock and roll.


    If indie pop group Grouplove had a mantra, it would probably be something along the lines of “shut up and have fun.” With multiple warm and peppy hits under their belt, Grouplove will easily be one of the more feel-good sets of Forecastle, as well as one of the easiest to dance to.

    Shakey Graves

    After making his major label debut with “And the War Came” in 2014, Austin-based artist Shakey Graves solidified himself as one of the primary voices in Americana. His charismatic stage presence and one-man-band set up will likely result in an enjoyable and intimate performance.

    Local Natives

    Critically acclaimed indie darlings Local Natives are making a pit stop at Forecastle before heading off on a tour to support their third album “Sunlit Youth” that drops later this year. The glossy folk sound the band is known for will provide some nice chill time in what will no doubt be a tiring weekend.

    Brandi Carlile

    This singer-songwriter has a voice that channels the greats like Loretta Lynn — If Loretta Lynn had grown up far from the Van Lear coal mine, influenced not only by gospel and country music, but also by rock and R&B. Carlile’s sound touches on many genres, sweet melodies and high energy making her a distinctive artist and one of our most anticipated acts of 2016.


    Unknown Mortal Orchestra

    Don’t let the enigmatic name fool you. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is as chill and accessible as any band at Forecastle. Their lo-fi, slick sound also makes for one of the most unique pieces of the lineup.

    Pokey Lafarge

    There are no other acts at Forecastle that quite capture the core sound of American Roots quite like Pokey Lafarge. At this performance, be prepared for a nosedive into nostalgia, with music reminiscent of a different time.

    White Denim

    White Denim’s discography is all over the place. The band takes pointers from indie, garage rock, prog rock, psychedelic, experimental arrangements and even jam band in some aspects. If you’re looking for a set that would be unpredictable, this would be the one to check out.


    One of the only hip-hop acts at Forecastle this year also happens to be a local one. Jecorey “1200” Arthur, a Louisville native, is not only a musician of talent, but of experience, despite his age. He is heavily learned in music, being a music educator, and also incorporates classical music into his own.

    Teddy Abrams and Friends

    Teddy Abrams, the conductor of the Louisville Orchestra as of 2014, has been working diligently to expand the orchestra’s reach throughout the community. In what he dubs The Forecastle Symphony, he plans on creating a celebration of the local musical spirit with over twenty musicians and several special guests in a set that will cross genres from rock to rap to bluegrass.


    Cover Image: Houndmouth at Forecastle 2015 (Glenn Hirsch)

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    About Aaron Hartley

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