This weekend, July 14-16, 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 10s 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 want to help you prepare with daily rundowns of our can’t-miss acts. Head here for day tickets or weekend passes if you still need ’em, and check out our 10 most-anticipated Saturday Forecastle performances below (and our Friday picks here)!
#10: CASHMERE CAT
Saturday | Ocean Stage | 6:15pm
Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat has had a crazy couple of years, skyrocketing in recognition after co-producting Kanye’s “Wolves,” and bagging huge names like Ariana Grande, Selena Gomez, Francis and the Lights, and The Weeknd to appear on his debut album.
LISTEN | “Mirror Maru”
WATCH | “Trust Nobody” ft. Selena Gomez & Tory Lanez (Official Music Video)
Saturday | Boom Stage | 4:45pm
Though her debut, Life As a Dog, only dropped in 2014, K.Flay has spent more than a decade crafting her unique sound, which blends hip hop and indie pop in equal measure. She’s earned fans in big names like Taylor Swift, and further honed her sound this year with a second LP.
LISTEN | “Make Me Fade” ft. Sol & Buddy
WATCH | “Blood in the Cut” (Official Music Video)
Saturday | Boom Stage | 3:15pm
Portland folk trio Joesph, made up of three sisters, have seen a steep rise in prominence since their 2014 self-released debut, Native Dreamer Kin, and with last year’s I’m Alone, No You’re Not, perfected their sound and captured a sweeping, poppy masterpiece.
LISTEN | “Cloud Line”
WATCH | “White Flag” (Official Music Video)
Saturday | Boom Stage | 8:30pm
New York electro rock duo Phantogram have experienced an inspired new wave of energy with their buzzy latest LP, Three, and their sweeping, energetic, dazzling, and confident live show makes them incredibly well suited for festivals.
LISTEN | “When I’m Small”
WATCH | “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” (Official Music Video)
#6: *REPEAT REPEAT
Saturday | Port Stage | 1:00pm
A local favorite since their very earliest days, surf-tinged, infectiously poppy, indie rockers *repeat repeat recently bagged an exciting record deal with Dangerbird, and are gearing up to release their highly-anticipated new record Floral Canyon. Doing Nashville proud.
LISTEN | “Chemical Reaction”
WATCH | “Plugged In” (Official Music Video)
#5: STURGILL SIMPSON
Saturday | Mast Stage | 7:15pm
One of Nashville’s biggest breakout acts of recent years, Sturgill Simpson’s unconventional and refreshing take on country earned him multiple Grammy nods (and one award) for his 2016 masterpiece A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, one of last year’s best albums.
LISTEN | “Turtles All the Way Down”
WATCH | “All Around You” (Official Music Video)
#4: LUCY DACUS
Saturday | Mast Stage | 2:15pm
Virginia indie rocker Lucy Dacus wowed us with her incredible 2016 debut, No Burden, and her breezy, emotional style makes her one of the year’s most compelling new acts. Dacus was a highlight at Bonnaroo, and is sure to impress at Forecastle too.
LISTEN | “Strange Torpedo”
WATCH | “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” (Official Music Video)
#3: BEACH SLANG
Saturday | Port Stage | 8:00pm
Forecastle is typically light on the punk (save for the Replacements a few years back), so the inclusion of Philly’s Beach Slang, whose earnest, raw sound has catapulted them to critical recognition in recent years, feels especially exciting and essential.
LISTEN | “Punks in a Disco Bar”
WATCH | “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” (Official Music Video)
#2: VINCE STAPLES
Saturday | Ocean Stage | 8:30pm
It’s been a huge year for great hip hop, and yet Vince Staples, with his new sophomore LP Big Fish Theory, has crafted a contender not jut for album of the year, but for one of the best hip hop records off all time. The Ocean Stage feels too small to contain him.
LISTEN | “Big Fish”
WATCH | “Norf Norf” (Official Music Video)
#1: LCD SOUNDSYSTEM
Saturday | Mast Stage | 9:30pm
They’ve been making festival laps since reuniting last summer, but that doesn’t change our elation for the fact that LCD Soundsystem are really, truly back. With a new LP finally on the horizon, and after two unbelievable new singles, they’re one of the most important bands in the world again.
LISTEN | “Call the Police”
WATCH | “Drunk Girls” (Official Music Video)