Music News & Reviews

Forecastle releases diverse 2019 lineup featuring top-selling acts and Grammy winners

Forecastle Festival released its 2019 lineup Monday morning, featuring The Killers, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals and The Avett Brothers as headliners.
Forecastle Festival released its 2019 lineup Monday morning, featuring The Killers, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals and The Avett Brothers as headliners.

Some of the top-selling musicians of the millennium and plenty of rising stars are among the top acts for Forecastle Festival, which released its 2019 lineup Monday.

The three-day celebration of music, arts and activism, known as Kentucky’s premier music festival, will take place July 12-14 at the Waterfront Park in Louisville.

Headlining the festival is one of the most well-known alternative rock bands of the 2000s, The Killers. Known for “Mr. Brightside” and “When You Were Young,” The Killers rose to fame in 2004 with their first album, “Hot Fuzz.”

Most recently, the Las Vegas-based band released “Wonderful Wonderful,” which in 2017 became their first album to top the Billboard 200.

On Saturday of the festival, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals will close out the day, fresh off a win Sunday at the Grammy Awards. The hip-hop, funk and soul performers took home the award for “Best Rap Peformance” with the song “Bubblin’.”

Closing out the festival Sunday night will be The Avett Brothers, a group of folk rockers who have been among the best-selling Americana acts for 10 years. The Avett Brothers were also a headliner at Forecastle in 2016.

Portugal. The Man, whose 2017 hit “Feel It Still” topped the U.S. pop and alternative rock charts, will perform Friday. Maggie Rogers, a singer/songwriter who rose to fame in a 2018 year that included an appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” will take the stage Saturday.

Tyler Childers, a rising country star from Eastern Kentucky, will make his Forecastle debut on Sunday of the festival. Childers sold out two shows at Manchester Music Hall and the Louisville Palace last year, then donated 500 cases and 30 pallets of water to Martin County in December due to the ongoing water crisis.

Childers is one of the must-see acts, according to Herald-Leader music writer Walter Tunis.

“Tyler Childers is going to be huge. That’s one of the best bookings of the festival,” he said. “If he keeps going at the rate he’s going now, he’ll headline in a couple years, much like Chris Stapleton did last year.”

Country music star and Kentucky native Tyler Childers donated 500 cases of water to Martin County residents Saturday in Inez.

Nelly, one of the most well-known rappers of the millennium, will also perform at Forecastle for the first time. Other notable acts include Judah & The Lion, CHVRCHES, Moon Taxi, Midland, First Aid Kit, Dawes, Playboi Carti, Andrew Bird, Anderson East and Highly Suspect.

Tunis said the lineup did not “wow” him, but he admitted it would be tough for the festival to follow up with a few widely successful years.

“They’ve set the bar so high for themselves over the past few years. When you have a year or two with a really strong lineup, you’re your own act to beat,” he said.

Past headliners at Forecastle include Stapleton and Arcade Fire in 2018 and LCD Soundsystem and Weezer in 2017.

Passes for Forecastle will be available Wednesday at, starting at $164.50 for the weekend. All ticket options can be found at

Mike Stunson covers breaking news and real-time news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter.