Today I want to share some tips from my first music festival experience. Keep in mind that Forecastle takes place at Louisville’s Waterfront Park in the heart of downtown, so unlike other festivals like Bonnaroo, there is no camping on site.
In gathering my supplies for this weekend, I found that packing for Forecastle was a lot like packing for a day of hiking. Here’s what I took with me:
- Hydration pack (similar) to carry all your gear. Forecastle doesn’t allow large backpacks, but I was able to fit everything I needed in this pack.
- Water bottle, or the hydration pack bladder. Luckily, Forecastle provided free hydration stations to refill as often as needed.
- Sunscreen. If you’re out all day, you’ll want to reapply.
- Sunglasses and/or hat, to better see the stage!
- Deodorant. The travel size will do. After hours of dancing, it was nice to freshen up.
- Hand sanitizer, for before eating and/or after using the portables.
- Band-aids. While I fortunately didn’t use these, they’re good to have on hand.
- Money. For drinks and snacks. All the booths I visited at Forecastle took cash as well as major credit cards.
- Blanket or towel to sit on, if you get some down time.
- Schedule. As there were so many sets I wanted to watch crammed into three days, it was nice to have the schedule on hand so I knew when and where I needed to go. I used the festival’s app.
My last Forecastle-specific tip is that if you buy a general admission weekend pass, consider also investing in tickets to the Bourbon Lodge. While I wasn’t a bourbon fan, I bought ten tickets for $10, which got me admission to the lodge. Here you can grab a drink, bask in air conditioning, and use “real” bathrooms that are in trailers. If you love bourbon, even better! It was well worth the very little extra I paid to have these amenities at my disposal. I also started to like bourbon a little bit more (but only mixed with Ale-8-One.)