Large puppets, crowds and mermaids fill Waterfront for Forecastl - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Large puppets, crowds and mermaids fill Waterfront for Forecastle

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - With the River City as the backdrop, mermaids and giant puppets all around along with a well chosen lineup of up-and-comers and headliners it's hard to get much better than Forecastle.

Friday night the Waterfront was full of music lovers of all ages enjoying the festival of music art and activism.

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“It's a really great variety of you know folk and blues and alternative it's awesome,” said festival goer Kim West.

And there's an added bonus for the 2014 kickoff.

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“It's Hunter S. Thompson's birthday actually today so celebrating Gonzo,” Sam Groft said. “You can't beat that right?”

On more real estate with a higher quality production than ever before the festival keeps upping the ante. It's the reason first timer Casey Macke and his younger brother Sean Macke had to be here.

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“It's so cool,” Casey Macke said. “We go to Bonnaroo which is a bigger version of Forecastle. This is much better. You can get around so much easier and everything is so much more accessible.”

The Mackes, and about 70 percent of Forecastle goers, are from out of town. And unlike some music festivals there's no camping at Forecastle, so guests have to hotel it.

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But Sean Macke said that's not a downside, “I like both. I like camping and I like the hotel it's both a fun time.”

An added bonus for this year’s event is new food and beverage options like the Bourbon Lodge where you can chat up distillers from Four Roses, Woodford and Heaven Hill and then sample their fine offerings.

About the only thing Manual seniors Kayla Martin and Casey Hoke couldn't try out, but the were ok with that. Instead, they spent the day enjoying the music, the weather and the crowd.

“Everyone's really nice, really chill with each other,” Martin said. “So it's a great environment.”

It’s yet to be seen what the economic impact from the 2014 Forecastle Festival will be but in 2013 the numbers came out to $14 million.

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