The Never Nervous Guide to Summer Music Festivals in Louisville ’16!

The immense, unforgiving heatwave that calls itself “Summer” has arrived in Louisville, which can only mean one thing: Festival season is upon us, and as usual, our city has a plethora of unique options for every sort of music aficionado. This year, however, it seems that there are more fests than usual making it easy for innocent bystanders to confuse one for the other. To help you out (and myself, honestly) we created a nifty guide to make sure that we’re all on the same page making it easy to know exactly which fest does what with who in which way.  Get it? Got it? Me either.

WARNING: This post will serve as a work in progress as there are still tidbits of information that haven’t yet been revealed about some of the fests happening later in the year.  As more details are revealed, we will share them here. Deal with it.

Read on as we briefly explain each festival (sorted by date, soonest to latest).

WHEN: July 8-10
WHERE: Apocalypse Brew Works (1612 Mellwood Ave)
WHO: Dream Eye Color Wheel, Kaleidico, Shadowpact /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: Poorcastle Festival began between a group of friends in the summer of 2013 with the intent to showcase the best local music Louisville has to offer. The inaugural Poorcastle Festival began as one day with only 12 bands, and has now grown to three full days of live music with over 30 bands from right here in Louisville, KY in 2016.

This now annual event brings together multiple facets within Louisville’s community – musicians, artists, food vendors, community radio, local businesses, delicious craft beer, and more – all in support of true local music and furthering investment in Louisville’s businesses. 100% of proceeds are donated to non-profits such as Crescent Hill Radio 100.9 WCHQ FM, as well as Louisville’s Musician’s Emergency Resource Foundation. New in 2016, proceeds will also benefit Louisville Leopard Percussionists and AMPED, Academy of Music Production Education and Development.

For more information on Poorcastle, go here.

HOW MUCH: Weekend passes cost $10, single day passes are $5.

WHEN: July 15-17
WHERE: Waterfront Park (129 River Road)
WHO: Death Cab For Cutie, Local Natives, The Avett Brothers /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: You probably already know about Forecastle, but in case you don’t, here’s the skinny. Founded in 2002 by JK McKnight, The Forecastle Festival has grown from a small community happening into a major national festival. While the featured bands are mostly national acts, there are a few Louisville groups/artists sprinkled in for good measure.  In year’s past there have been local beers, coffee and food for sale, and while I don’t know if that’s the plan for 2016, I have a feeling all of your favorites will probably be there in some way.

I feel like I don’t really need to explain this event any further considering that if you’ve decided to read this article, you probably are already familiar with this mega-event. For more information on Forecastle, go here.

HOW MUCH: Weekend passes currently cost $169.50 while single day passes are $69.50.


WHEN: July 30 & 31
WHERE: Tim Faulkner Gallery (1512 Portland Ave)
WHO: Stonecutters, I Have A Knife, American Lesions /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: This two day all ages affair aims to bring out the best in Louisville’s rock, punk and metal community.  In addition to four food trucks with varying cuisines, a bazaar will be set up featuring all local artists, artisans and smiths.  There will also be DJs spinning vinyl in between bands.

Proceeds from Dead Fest will be partially donated to Strive, Louisville’s newest music therapy center offering a number of avenues to provide creative wellness education and services to our community. The remaining proceeds will be set aside to begin production of “Louisville is Dead: A History of Louisville Punk.” As of right now, there aren’t many details on the documentary, but as more information comes we will gleefully share it with you.

For more information on Dead Fest, go here.

HOW MUCH: Two day passes are $15.

WHEN: August 27
WHERE: 2100 – 2300 S. Preston St
WHO: Daddy Issues, BRENDA, Low Cut Connie /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: This free one-day event spans across three venues in Germantown: The New Vintage, Zanzabar, and Purrswaytions.  In addition to a hefty roster of homegrown and out-of-town bands, Seven Sense also boasts a huge selection of local beer and food.  Food trucks that are expected to be on hand include Holy Molé, Lil Cheezers, Momma’s Mustard to name a few (go here to see the full list of food options).  While the list of brewers hasn’t yet been revealed, there are plenty of known spirits that will be on hand including Larceny, Elijah Craig and Lunazul.

It’s also worth mentioning that Seven Sense serves as a charitable event for Boys and Girls Haven, so don’t be afraid to open your wallet and spend a little extra money.  For more information on Seven Sense, go here.

HOW MUCH: General admission is free; VIP passes haven’t been priced as of yet.

WHEN: September 1-4
WHERE: The New Vintage, Mag Bar, The Cure Lounge
WHO: Parlour, Conan Neutron, Anwar Sadat /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: Spanning across three venues and featuring more than 60 bands, PRFBBQ returns to Louisville in all its glory. This DIY underground rock fest showcases the loudest, hardest hitting group of bands the midwest and abroad have to offer. The list of half local/half out of town bands tend to lean toward the heavy, sludgy, noisy, punk rock, garage rock variety. In addition to ear-drum melting music, there will also be plenty of booze and hot food.

This year, PRFBBQ expands to 4 days at 3 venues. The party starts off Thursday 9/1 at The New Vintage, then on Friday shifts to Mag Bar, with the two remaining days set to happen inside The Cure Lounge.  Proceeds will be donated to Girls Rock Louisville.

HOW MUCH: 4 day VIP passes are $55, 2 day passes (9/3 & 9/4) are $35, single day passes range from $10-$20.

WHEN: September 23-24
WHERE: American Turners Club (3125 River Road)
WHO: Kool Keith, Joann Shelley, Pissed Jeans /// [FULL LINEUP]
WHAT: After a one-year hiatus, the folks behind Cropped Out return with an impressive lineup that isn’t loyal to any particular genre or subgenre.  In addition to the bands/artists, there will also be local/regional artists, artisans, food trucks, craft beer, and vendor booths on hand.  Aside from the lineup, there aren’t many details available regarding this event which is understandable considering that it’s three months away.  As more information is revealed, we’ll share it here immediately.

HOW MUCH: Early Bird 2-day passes cost $60.

WHEN: September 24
WHERE: 700-900 E. Market Street
WHO: ???
WHAT: There are no details on this year’s Nulu Fest aside from the date, the location, and the fact that it’s happening.  As soon as details are given, we’ll put them here.

For more information about Nulu Fest, go here.