This weekend, July 13-15, marks the return of Louisville’s annual Forecastle Festival, one of our favorite regional musical events. From its humble beginnings in 2002, Forecastle has grown to become a national festival fixture, drawing tens of thousands of attendees each year to the picturesque downtown Waterfront Park, for three days of music, art, activism, and, of course, Kentucky bourbon. Boasting yet another impressive lineup, this year’s installment, an easy drive for Middle Tennessee residents and a no-brainer for Kentuckians, is one of our most-highly anticipated events of the season, and, per usual, we helped you prepare by ranking our most-anticipated performances of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If, like us, you’re making the pilgrimage from Music City (or if you’re just curious about our vibrant scene), we also wanted to make it easy to give our hometown talent some love, so, below, we’ve put together a list of all of the Nashville performers for 2018. Head here for day tickets or weekend passes if you still need ’em, and we’ll see you on the waterfront!
FRIDAY: DEVON GILFILLIAN
Friday | Mast Stage | 3:00pm
Pennsylvania born soul singer Devon Gilfillian has been a site favorite and a fixture of the local scene for several years now, finding increasing national attention since the release of his debut EP in 2016. Now signed to Capitol, he’s readying his first full-length, and given the main stage slotting at Forecastle and the strength of phenomenal new track “Troublemaker,” expect big things in the near future.
LISTEN | “Troublemaker”
WATCH | “Here and Now” (Official Live Video)
Friday | Boom Stage | 2:30pm
Though a relatively new act with only a handful of tracks to their name, dreamy lo-fi psych/indie rockers Arlie, made up predominately of Vanderbilt grads, are fast becoming one of Nashville’s next it-bands. Their groovy, retro-inspired, accessible style was thrilling to take in at their Bonnaroo debut last month, and we have a feeling that their inaugural outing at Forecastle will be no different.
LISTEN | “Big Fat Mouth”
WATCH | “Didya Think” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: CHRIS STAPLETON
Saturday | Mast Stage | 10:00pm
Born and raised in Kentucky, breakout country star Chris Stapleton moved to Nashville a number of years ago, fronting bluegrass group The SteelDrivers for a stint and finding success as a songwriter, before being met with massive acclaim for his Grammy winning 2015 solo debut, Traveller. The few years since have been a whirlwind, and Stapleton’s now a well-deserved star, and beacon of the genre.
LISTEN | “Broken Halos”
WATCH | “Fire Away” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: JENNY LEWIS
Saturday | Boom Stage | 7:15pm
Newly a resident of Nashville, Jenny Lewis dropped her stellar third album The Voyager back in 2014, shortly after she last played Forecastle. With new music in the works, it feels fitting that the beloved indie rocker and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman would return to the fest this summer, and we’re eagerly awaiting more of her breezy, earnest, and pleasantly timeless material to be played live.
LISTEN | “Acid Tongue”
WATCH | “Just One of the Guys” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: MARGO PRICE
Saturday | Boom Stage | 5:30pm
Nashvillians have been obsessing over Margo Price for a number of years now, but since breaking out with her 2016 solo debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Price has become an ever-rising star on the national stage too. Last year’s followup, All American Made, further cemented what we’ve known for awhile: Margo is one of the most talented, raw, and profound country artists of our generation.
LISTEN | “Hands of Time”
WATCH | “A Little Pain” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: BRENT COBB
Saturday | Boom Stage | 2:30pm
Georgia born eclectic country singer Brent Cobb first met his cousin, producer Dave Cobb, at 16, and worked with him more than a decade ago on his debut LP. However, the intervening years saw Brent shift to writing behind the scenes, before once again embracing a solo career a few years back, and making his second debut in 2016 with the critically-acclaimed Shine On Rainy Day and new followup Providence Canyon.
LISTEN | “Shine On Rainy Day”
WATCH | “King of Alabama” (Official Music Video)
Saturday | Ocean Stage | 3:30pm
What began as a mysterious local production and a remix project a couple years back, indie/electro/r&b duo Biyo (pronounced like bio) have been dropping futuristic-sounding original singles since mid-2016, coming out of the shadows with some seriously cool tunes. Going only by their first names, the band have amassed millions of streams and love throughout the blogosphere for their sexy, r&b and pop drenched style.
LISTEN | “Fantasies”
WATCH | “Moments” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: ELLIOT ROOT
Saturday | Port Stage | 4:45pm
Always a treat to see live, eclectic Nashville alt rock outfit Elliot Root formed in 2011, quickly drumming up buzz through a series of excellent early EPs, leading to spots at prominent events like Live on the Green. With last year’s full-length Conjure, the group further flexed their ranged and pushed genre-boudries, and with their engaging, polished live show, they’re a perfect festival act.
LISTEN | “June, After Dark”
WATCH | “Wicked Lies” (Official Music Video)
SATURDAY: DAPHNE WILLIS
Saturday | Port Stage | 3:15pm
With a solo career spanning over a decade, local alternative pop singer Daphne Willis is an artist we’ve had our eye on for a number of years. With her genre-bending, refined, hook-laden style, Willis has amassed millions of streams and viral success online, and, especially with unbelievably catchy new tunes like “Do It Like This,” feels primed to be Nashville’s next massive, breakout pop success story.
LISTEN | “Somebody’s Someone”
WATCH | “Do It Like This” (Official Music Video)
SUNDAY: JASON ISBELL AND THE 400 UNIT
Sunday | Mast Stage | 7:15pm
Alabama bred, Nashville based Americana singer Jason Isbell first rose to prominence with Drive-By Tuckers, but, for the last decade, has carved out an unbelievably profound, prolific, and progressive career both solo and with his backing band The 400 Unit, finding mass acclaim beginning with 2013 fourth album Southeastern, and continuing with 2015’s Something More Than Free and last year’s The Nashville Sound.
LISTEN | “Cover Me Up”
WATCH | “If We Were Vampires” (Official Music Video)
Sunday | Boom Stage | 3:15pm
51-year-old Dan Tyminski was previously known for some solo efforts, performing in Alison Krauss’s band, and contributing a song to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but found an unlikely second wind recently fusing EDM and country under the moniker Tyminski, prompted by a lucrative teamup with late EDM icon Avicii. His 2017 LP Southern Gothic seems to be striking a chord, thanks to its wholly unique sound.
LISTEN | “Southern Gothic”
WATCH | “Perfect Poison” (Official Music Video)
SUNDAY: COLONY HOUSE
Sunday | Mast Stage | 2:00pm
Hailing from just down the road in Franklin, indie rockers Colony House have become a certifiable Music City success story in recent years, transforming from promising young local band to nationally buzzed about artist with their 2014 debut, When I Was Younger, and major label act with their stellar followup, Only the Lonely. Their hypnotic indie sound is perfect for festal stages, so be sure to get in early on Sunday!
LISTEN | “You & I”
WATCH | “Silhouettes” (Official Music Video)
SUNDAY: RON GALLO
Sunday | Boom Stage | 1:45pm
Though he cut his teeth with Philadelphia group Toy Soldiers, local rocker Ron Gallo has been both cultivating an impressive solo career since relocating to Music City a few years back. After an exploratory first record, RONNY, Gallo found what has become his defining style, voice, and attitude with 2017’s absolutely phenomenal HEAVY META, and followed it up with satirical, meta EP, Really Nice Guys, this year.
LISTEN | “Young Lady, You’re Scaring Me”
WATCH | “Really Nice Guys” (Official Music Video)