LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Louisville's own Forecastle Festival kicks off Friday at Waterfront Park.
The three day event has grown from less than 100 attendees the first year to more than 75,000 this year.
WDRB got an inside look at the secret of the festival's success.
"We try to bottle the essence of Louisville and put it into these three days," said Forecastle Spokesperson Holly Weyler.
Founded in 2002 by Louisville native JK McKnight, Forecastle has grown from a community event to one of the country's most anticipated summer festivals.
"It started in Tyler Park with probably more musicians than attendees," said Weyler.
That was in 2002. Fast forward to 2013. Forecastle has graduated to Waterfront Park with four stages and their biggest music line up yet.
"Alabama Shakes, Black Keys, Avett Brothers, Robert Plant, String Cheese Incident," Weyler told WDRB News.
Should Louisvillians be afraid the festival is going to outgrow Louisville?
"No. No chance at all. Forecastle is Louisville. We only use a fraction of Waterfront Park. If the festival is going to grow, we're going to grow it right here," said Weyler.
Now that we know Forecastle isn't going anywhere, why has it grown so popular?
"Word of mouth just spread so fast that things have just taken off. Louisville just has such great hospitality. There's something about Louisvillians that's welcoming and warm," she said.
Forecastle organizers say the festival is equal parts music, art and activism.
They encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the experience and remind attendees to look out for each other.
"Staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen, protecting yourself and your friends," Weyler said.
They're confident they have all appropriate security measures in place.
"We have probably the best security team in the industry. I would bet money on it," Weyler told WDRB.
And your Forecastle ticket will get you some local deals after the bands quit playing.
"A lot of Louisville restaurants are staying open late, offering great menus so when people leave here at night, they have some place to go," she said.
For tickets and other information, click here.
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