The Forecastle Festival – Louisville’s premier event for music, art and environmental activism – has forged a partnership with AC Entertainment, producers of The Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Moogfest, Big Ears, and more than 750 concerts and events throughout the country.
In addition to the partnership, Forecastle Founder JK McKnight has joined AC Entertainment as Director of National Sponsorships. In his new role, McKnight will split time between Louisville and Knoxville, Tenn., the headquarters of AC Entertainment.
While the new relationship benefits Forecastle, it also promises future expansion in Louisville. One of the first joint endeavors will be to bring new event concepts to Louisville, as early as late summer. Details to be announced.
“AC Entertainment brings a wealth of experience and resources, and opens an exciting new chapter for Forecastle and for Louisville,” said McKnight, a Louisville native who has nurtured Forecastle from a small, community gathering to one of the largest events in the region. “This is big for us, but it’s bigger for Louisville. AC shares my vision and passion for creating breakthrough festivals and events. Together we’re going to create some amazing things, both here and abroad.”
“We’re very excited to welcome JK as a part of our team,” said Ashley Capps, AC Entertainment’s founder and president. “From the moment we met, it was clear that JK’s extraordinary vision and creativity were an ideal match for AC Entertainment. JK has created something very special here in Louisville and we’re looking forward to working together with him on Forecastle and more.”
“This partnership is great news for Louisville,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Music and arts are important to Louisville’s vitality, appeal, economic growth, and city branding. JK and Forecastle help represent Louisville’s creative, entrepreneurial, forward-thinking spirit. The new partnership with AC Entertainment recognizes and builds on that spirit.”
At a press conference held at the Galt House today, McKnight said the 10th Anniversary of The Forecastle Festival will be held in the summer of 2012 at Waterfront Park, with the 4th annual “Halfway to Forecastle” festival July 8 – 9, 2011, at a new downtown, indoor / outdoor venue to be announced shortly. The event will expand greatly upon the footprint of previous Halfways (usually hosted in the winter) while adding key elements of the summer festival. Halfway has grown significantly since its inception in 2008, selling out for three consecutive years, attracting fans from throughout the region, while continually upgrading to larger venues.
“With all the transitions taking place right now between here and Tennessee, we decided the best move was to take our time with Forecastle and make sure our vision is perfect,” McKnight said. “The 10th Anniversary is extremely important to me, and we need time to do it right. In the meantime, we’re planning a very unique, multi-day and multi-stage Halfway festival this July. I have every certainty that revelers will find it well worth the wait.”
Forecastle, named one the “Top 15 Festivals in the Country” by Outside Magazine, is held at Louisville’s 85-acre Waterfront Park. In addition to hundreds of artists and organizations who have participated throughout the years, the festival has featured past performances from The Smashing Pumpkins, The Flaming Lips, Widespread Panic, The Black Crowes, DEVO, Cake, Spoon, The Black Keys, The Avett Brothers, De La Soul, GZA, Girl Talk, Band of Horses, Sleater-Kinney, Bassnectar, Z-Trip, and more.
Bonnaroo, held over four days each June on a 700-acre site near Manchester, Tenn. – was named by Rolling Stone as one of the “50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll.” Many of the biggest names in entertainment have performed during the festival’s history, including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, the Police, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band, and Louisville’s own My Morning Jacket. The 2010 lineup included Stevie Wonder, Jay-Z, John Prine, Kings of Leon and dozens of other music and comedy acts.