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Forecastle 2011 Festival Canceled…

February 12, 2011

Which would you like first, the good news or the bad news?

I’m the bittersweet type so I’ll drop the negativity first.

The stages at Tyler park will not emit any sweet sounds this July, but rather power up for what is promised to be a "bigger and better event" in 2012.

JK McKnight, founder of the Forecastle Music & Arts Festival, announced on Thursday that the event has been canceled for 2011, what would have been the festival’s 10th anniversary. The annual event, which takes place in mid-July at Louisville’s beautiful Tyler Park, has grown steadily since it’s 2001 inception, selling out the last three consecutive years while drawing its highest attendance in 2010.

Last year’s lineup flexed its muscle with big-name acts such as Cake, the Flaming Lips, Smashing Pumpkins, Minus the Bear, Bassnectar, Spoon and even an invigorating reunion of indie rock pioneers Cap’n Jazz, fresh off their 15-year hiatus. McKnight even displayed foresight in snagging breakthrough acts such as Margot and the Nuclear So-and-So’s, Foxy Shazam and Wax Fang.

JK McKnight has delivered Forecastle lineups that span time, inviting 1980s British rockers Modern English in 2010. Guitarist Gary McDowell offered a smiling toast to Hot Hot Music's coverage of the 2010 Forecastle Music Festival last July.

Now for the good news…

McKnight has teamed up with Ashley Capps, President of A.C. Entertainment and co-founder of the highly popular Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, to return live music to Tyler Park in 2012. Capps has proven to be one of today’s greatest live music promoters and event planners, drawing up to 80,000 attendees to Bonnaroo annually, all while organizing other festivals, such as Big Ears and Vegoose.

Capps shed a glimmer of light on the partnership via his Twitter account as early as Wednesday, noting, “Louisville, Kentucky, sure is a happenin’ town!”

While Forecastle sits on the bench during its 10th anniversary, Bonnaroo will be celebrating its own decade-anniversary in June, in what is expected to be its greatest ensemble of artists ever.

Louisville fans need not plug in their headphones for the summer, however. Music fans will be treated to a “Half-way to Forecastle” event downtown, according to Mayor Greg Fischer. Details of the event have yet to be released.

Needless to say, Forecastle will be missed this July. It is a truly unique festival experience, with numerous boats, yachts and whatever will float lining the Ohio River, which provides a breathtaking backdrop to the stages and tents. McKnight has also proven that music festivals don’t have to be all about music. Last year, Forecastle featured an extreme sports exhibit, symposiums for environmentalists, 3-D art and regional and national non-profit activism groups.

While Tyler Park rests this summer, one thing is for sure, with McKnight and Capps teaming up, there is no limit for what Louisville can accomplish in 2012.

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