The name Poorcastle is a pretty good joke right? That’s what it started as anyway, a play on the idea that the city needed a festival that was affordable. The gag was created by a few DJs at 100.9 WCHQ, and a light bulb went off. That joke became something that Never Nervous considers to be one of the most important things we are involved with. It’s not a joke at all — it’s an incredible service to the music community and Louisville at large.
What initially drew me to Poorcastle was the idea that every local band got a fair shake. Every homegrown Louisville act that they could possibly fit in three days had a moment in the spotlight. In many ways, that’s how Never Nervous started as we felt too many local bands were being overlooked by the press. It’s important that the artists in your community have a voice and Poorcastle provides that, legitimizing the whole “Fest For The Rest” slogan.
Also, the idea that maybe one local act on its own can’t sell out 3 nights in a row, but if we put 75% of the musicians in the city in one place for the weekend, it will be a party. And every year it proves to be exactly that: an amazing weekend-lasting party.
Every year Poorcastle grows, and as it grows bands grow along with it, like Villa Mure for instance. Last year they were a duo busking in the tent next to the main stage. This year they were on the big stage as a trio rocking out. Next year, who knows? They could end up like RMLLW2LLZ. Last year he had what felt like a breakout performance in the early evening and this year he had another breakout performance headlining on Saturday night.
This year there was a moment when GRLwood was playing and the entire crowd felt electric. There was this intense feeling for everyone that something special was happening and we were all a part of it. The sky is the limit for this dynamic duo, they could be on a world tour this time next year. Still, for many people Poorcastle was their first chance to see them. How/Why they are not playing Forecastle, Bonaroo, or Coachella I don’t quite understand but this joke is on those festivals because Poorcastle got it first.
I’ve also seen first hand the amount of work that goes into these three days. The months of planning, preparation, and promotion in hopes of growing this festival to its full potential. From its humble days as a simple one-liner, Poorcastle has blossomed into something that requires half a year to put together.
Because this year was our second year sponsoring the festival, we were able to start helping much earlier. With the help of our friend John King, I was able to podcast with many of the bands that were playing this year, some of whom I had never heard before they were put on the schedule. So even me, this blogger who is supposed to have his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in our music scene is discovering new music from Poorcastle.
I saw a lot of killer shows this weekend as I spent every moment I could at the festival, and collectively we tried to get pictures of absolutely every act (photos and videos will be posted tomorrow). I did manage to make it on time at 2pm both Saturday and Sunday and was absolutely blown away by the opening acts. Planetary Overdrive are a band with the single goal of bringing the party. Sometimes that’s difficult at 2pm but they gave it their all. Zach Stefanski opened up Sunday with a beautiful and relaxing rock set. They may have been the tightest unit of musicians to play all weekend. Both of these acts I could see as headliners next year. That’s the best part about Poorcastle, they might have that opportunity.
Thank you Poorcastle for allowing Never Nervous to be a part of something so important to the community. We’re already looking forward to next year!