Weekend storms briefly delay Forecastle set-up but the show goes on
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three days before over 60 bands will take the stage over three days at Forecastle Festival, the rains are making it difficult to finalize the site at Waterfront Park.
"It takes us quite a bit of time to get the festival site from being Waterfront Park to being Forecastle," said media spokesperson Holly Weyler McKnight.
She’s part of the team preparing for the three-day music fest. Set-up started last week and when storms moved in over the weekend, crews stopped working.
"We did shut down production for a bit until we got the all clear and we knew that it was safe for them to go back to work," said McKnight.
They're transforming the park using cranes, cherry pickers and semis. The heavy machinery can damage the ground, especially with the grass being so saturated. That's why crews put down plywood and other materials so they didn't tear up the lawn.
“Waterfront Park is a gem of Louisville, everyone loves it,” said McKnight. “We want to make sure we keep it beautiful and pristine. We don't have vehicles driving on the grass unless it's absolutely necessary.”
The Great Lawn will soon be taken over by 60 different bands and an estimated 60,000 visitors. The festival is obviously built near the water and McKnight says they're ready for whatever the river throws at them.
“Anything from good weather to bad weather, rain to flooding,” said McKnight. “We've kind of covered it all in our 13-year history."
They've stopped the music because of rain, and back in 2013, even had to evacuate people due to severe weather.
"Those are all things that come with the turf of an outdoor music festival,” McKnight told WDRB. “The reason we evacuate is because our patrons’ safety is number one for us."
An evacuation plan is in place again this year in case they need to move people out again. An emergency response team is also on standby
But the event is rain or shine -- even if the river continues to rise.
"But we are working with officials to monitor those water levels and make sure it stays at bay,” said McKnight. “If we need to make any changes then we'll make sure we do those with plenty of time before the festival gates open on Friday."
Crews will also be putting up barriers and fencing near the river before Friday's kick-off.
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