My Morning Jacket to Headline Forecastle

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Ashley Capps, founder of AC Entertainment, Forecastle’s J.K. McKnight, MMJ drummer Patrick Hallahan and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Ashley Capps, founder of AC Entertainment, Forecastle’s J.K. McKnight, MMJ drummer Patrick Hallahan and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

While still a few months away, the annual Forecastle Festival has announced its headlining act, and what an act it is.

This year, to celebrate Forecastle’s 10th anniversary, the festival will be headlined by Louisville’s own My Morning Jacket.

Billed as one of the “Top 15 festivals in the country” by Outside Magazine, Forecastle has grown from a small gathering of about 200 people in Tyler Park to hosting more than 30,000 people at Louisville’s Waterfront Park. This year’s event is expected to draw about 40,000 fans over the July 13-15 weekend.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer led the announcement, saying “It (Forecastle) is a lot more than just putting bands on stages. These are wonderful, good moments for the city.”

Unveiled Jan. 24 at a media event in The WFPK studios, J.K. McKnight, festival founder, said Forecastle was inspired by Louisville and Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed the city’s park system. “He wanted the parks to showcase music and arts.”

MMJ’s frontman, Jim James, and drummer Patrick Hallahan were on hand during the announcement saying conversation about MMJ headlining started last fall, and that this was something the band has wanted to do for years.

“Our schedule had been full, but the stars and moon aligned for the 10th anniversary,” said James. “This is something we’ve been trying to do for a long time, but our schedules never lined up and now they did, and we’re very excited,”

McKnight said MMJ was important to Forecastle, with its original lineup being local.

“This is something everyone in the city asked me about and wanted to happen for years. This is a band that understands the importance of local music,” McKnight said before introducing MMJ’s James and Hallahan.

This year’s Forecastle will be “collaborative,” with MMJ consulting with festival organizers on every aspect of the show from its lights, sounds, audience experience as well as chartable aspects.

With its latest album, “Circutial,” MMJ has been featured on The Late Show With David Letterman and Light Night with Jimmy Fallon in addition to playing sold out shows across the country.

The festival’s full lineup won’t be unveiled for another 4-6 weeks, and a limited number of advance tickets will go on sale Jan. 27 at noon for $100.

Regular tickets and day passes will go on sale at a later date, and will range from $100-$159. This year the festival will offer a special VIP package, which includes a three-day pass, special VIP entrance and viewing area, private bars, bathrooms and food vendors. This package is $350, and all sales are final.

New this year, there will also be separately ticketed late night events on The Belle of Louisville as well as the newly-renovated Ice House. In all, more than 75 acts are expected to perform at this year’s event.

Forecastle, which started in 2002, is a three-day festival featuring music, artists and both environmental and outdoor recreational organizations. Last year, Forecastle entered into a partnership with AC Entertainment. The group that promotes and organizes the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Moogfest and more than 750 concerts and events throughout the country.

Forecastle began as a small venture for local artists to perform at Louisville’s Tyler Park and quickly outgrew its digs with attendance more than tripling. After moving to a larger park, Forecastle moved to Louisville’s Waterfront Park in 2010.

For more information on Forecastle, and to purchase tickets, visit www.forecastlefest.com.

Contact writer Jim Hines at jhines@voice-tribune.com.