LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It started as a small grassroots music effort in the River City 12 years ago. Today, Forecastle brings people from all over the world to Louisville and a new study says it's bringing plenty of money to Louisville too. The AC Entertainment study focused on 2013 and found Forecastle put $14 million into the local economy.
What may be more important? Over the years, Forecastle has built a great music reputation for the city of Louisville.
"We call this one the Death Penalty burger because it's got all those spicy things people like to eat," explained Sidebar General Manager Jason Pierce. Inside the Whiskey Row bar and eatery they are excited about their new Death Penalty burger, their long list of top bourbons and barrel blends and the announcement for which bands will be playing in July for the 2014 Forecastle Festival.
"We're going to be busy non-stop from open to close during that weekend." Pierce said.
"Forecastle was great timing for us," Pierce said, "It was really the first large event weekend that we had and it was record revenues for Sidebar!"
The music festival pumped $14 million into the local economy, $7.9 million in direct spending at hotels and restaurants and the best part for businesses like Sidebar? Word of mouth about the pub and the festival traveled well past Louisville.
Pierce said, "We saw people from all over the country and we even saw people from outside of the United States and just the draw that came down here, the diversity of the crowd was really remarkable."
"Forecastle is one of a kind," smiled Holly Weyler, a Forecastle employee. "This is a unique event and this isn't like every other festival." Weyler explained what started in 2002 at Tyler Park with founder JK McKnight and a handful of his friends playing music has morphed into 60,000 music lovers of all ages pouring into Waterfront Park over three days to see some of the country's top bands.
The festival continues to showcase new talent, but also brings in top acts like the Black Keys, Robert Plant and local favorites My Morning Jacket.
As for the acts coming this year? "There's a very wide range of acts with a lot of broad appeal and I'm really, really excited," Weyler said, " I wish I could tell you about it all, because it's really good."
We will have to wait until Tuesday, March 4 to find out this year's lineup. Tickets for the festival will go on sale at noon on Friday March 7.