Forecastle has released the daily schedules for its upcoming festival, so you can start obsessively arranging your three days on Waterfront Park hour-by-hour. The festival kicks off on Friday, July 12 at 4:45 p.m. with folk-rockers Roadkill Ghost Choir (sounds like: Radiohead channels Gram Parsons) on the Boom Stage and American bass pioneer Salva on the dance-oriented Ocean Stage, then wraps at 11 p.m. Sunday, July 14, with closing headliners The Avett Bros.
For the lukewarm-on-jam-bands contingent, the news that Houndmouth will play Friday at 10:45 p.m. on the WFPK Port Stage will come as a welcome alternative to the String Cheese Incident headlining set.
Saturday’s Mast Stage lineup is a strong one for the AAA crowd — Shovels & Rope, Dawes, Alabama Shakes and Jim James in a row, with Black Keys anchoring the evening. But Saturday evening is also spoiled for choice, with The Joy Formidable and Freakwater both up against Alabama Shakes, and later, Matt and Kim take the Flaming Lips head-on.
Sunday gets going early with a tough choice — Dan Deacon or Tift Merrit? — but otherwise settles into a nice rhythm of staggered sets. One of the best things about a festival the size of Forecastle is how easily you can move between stages, making it a cinch to catch the first half of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals before sidling over to Animal Collective.
More exciting Forecastle news: the bourbon offerings have expanded. Last year’s small bourbon tent hosted four bourbons for tasting. This year, the 9,000 square-feet Bourbon Lodge experience will offer twelve brands with more than 30 bourbons selections — a more fitting demonstration of Kentucky’s affinity for its native spirit to visitors. Master distillers will be on hand to discuss their work, a mixology station will create cocktails (though most tastings are still available neat or on the rocks) and Chef Edward Lee will partner with Jim ‘n Nick’s Barbeque on Smoked, a southern soul food bourbon-inspired pop-up culinary experience.