Shocking News — Drugs at Forecastle

All indications are that the Forecastle Festival was a tremendous success. A record crowd attended the 8th annual party, and rumors about crazy late-night behavior are making the rounds. One guy jumped off the Belle of Louisville, and the parties went late into the night.

So it’s disappointing to see what WHAS-TV’s newscast led with last night. Turns out that, get ready for this, some people from out of town were doing all sorts of illegal drugs while in town. No Way! One-tenth of 1 percent of attendees, Adam Walser reports, were arrested and only two of those were from Louisville.

It’s no surprise that festival organizer J.K. McKnight refused to talk about the supposed drug problem on camera. The report included a note that Boy Scouts were cleaning up after the event, like dozens of organizations do every year after the Derby at Churchill Downs. Does that expose the Boy Scouts to drugs – is that what WHAS wants us to think?

Do a few drug arrests really rocket the story to the top of the newscast? Couldn’t another angle be found? I guess not, in the midst of a really slow news day. Not when there are all these police reports to go through. Of course, no one else chose to do the story. Here’s a key sentence from the report:

“Most of the crowd apparently didn’t notice the hard drugs.”

No shit. There was a lot more interesting stuff going on than a few drug arrests.

26 thoughts on “Shocking News — Drugs at Forecastle

  1. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Only during sweeps would such sensationalized crap be paraded — headlined, no less – as news.

    Memo to WHAS-TV: Just say no to worthless story ideas (for a change).

  2. I worked all 3 days of the Forecastle Festival this year as the festival’s Registration Captain. I met so many lovely people from places as diverse as Portland, OR, Athens, GA, New York, NY, Birmingham, AL and right here in Louisville, KY. I believe there were 33 states and more than 4 countries represented.

    Let me state for the record, I had no incidents with anyone who was on drugs, selling drugs, smelling like drugs or even looking like a druggie and trust me, I saw thousands of folks each day going into the festival. What stand out in my mind is how nice and friendly folks were and how they loved their first taste of Louisville.

    I found WHAS’s news teaser “Forecastle Drugs” so offensive that I was tempted to call into the station. It’s a shame that the story was not how 17,000 people came together on Louisville’s Belevedere to have a good time and to talk about ways to change the world for the better!

    The event was family friendly even down to a special “Sprouts” area for moms and babies. There were incredible speakers like Christopher Childs from Greenpeace who wants us to use our creative spirits to help heal the world in which we live.

    The CJ couldn’t be bothered with even covering the story so I guess the fact the WHAS had to come up with a SHOCKING slant to garner veiwers was at least publicity. Too bad the Louisville media outlets cannot celebrate the things we do well…too sad!

  3. Tune in tonight to WHAS TV News. I hear tell they have a major expose on, say it ain’t so, POOL being played right here in River City. That means TROUBLE.

    I am happy to see, however, that these drug crazed interlopers were all carpetbaggers, that good upstanding Louisvillians have made Nancy Reagan proud, they have learned to just say NO.

  4. As one of the volunteers who worked at the Sprouts Tent, I have to say that I am also disappointed in both the Courier and WHAS news. What a missed opportunity. I talked to parents who were so happy with the pleasant family atmosphere of the entire event. Children under 5 were free. At the Sprouts Tent the children could make music with Heidi Howe of Bandwagon Music or get their faces painted by Emily Ferry of FunKtional Females. With other vendors there were opportunities to climb a rock wall, get pictures of yourself looking like a rock star or watching glass blowing artisans at work. There were a variety of opportunities to found out more about ways to be kinder to the planet. And that doesn’t even touch on the MUSIC. It was my first time at Forecastle and I have vowed that I am going next year. I can’t remember when I have met nicer people. People who had traveled to our fair city from all over the country. Shame on the local media for shining the spotlight on a few bad apples and missing an opportunity to focus on a wonderful family friendly event.

  5. Hey Adam Wasler:

    I heard people were also dancing seductively and drinking adult beverages, too!

    Who tipped you off, pal? Be sure to add this hard-hitting news item to your resume tape!

    I’m surprised http://www.julietam.com didn’t beat you to this one!

  6. I believe Mr. Magruder may have a valid point!

    Here’s a local young man (JK McKnight) who created a festival from literally nothing more than a guitar, an amp and a powerful dream to make the world a better place. He just sold out the Galt House Hotel for three nights and brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy all while supporting organizations that feed the homeless, local colleges adn even the boy scouts! The audacity of youth.

    Sadly, Michael just might be spot on as well – maybe if we had the “Cordish-Fest”, WHAS could have had a better (at least a more accurate) lead in for their story: “Baltimore Carpetbaggers Do It Better” and they make more money while doing it – local businesses be damned.

    Why is Lousiville so petty when it comes to the success of it own people? Why do we even wonder why we can’t make it off the mediocre city list???

  7. I wasn’t at Forecastle because I was working the circumcision booth at the Foreskin Festival down South.

    All I have to add is that J.K. is a great guy, a locomotive promoter of everything local, of community, of musicians, good will, fellowship, conscientious citizenship and environmental stewardship.

    He and his family and friends busted their butts to build this festival into the success it has become.

    I’m sure nothing would vex them more to see it become a Bonnaroo-like mecca for druggies.

    Thanks to the LMPD for busting those drug-addled carpetbaggers and for sending the clear message (amplified by Adam Walser) that drugs will not be tolerated at Forecastle.

  8. In a desperate financial time for Louisville, it would have seemed more fitting to do a story on how much combined income Forecastle and Lebowskifest generated for the city this weekend.

    There are truly innovative people here that are doing something that the Brand Louisville campaign can only dream of. These festivals are getting young people to visit, have a great time, and leave with a positive impression. Why the city isn’t using some of the Brand Louisville money to sponsor these fests is beyond me.

    I had the pleasure of working both events, and met many of the thousands of people in from out of town. Everyone I met was kind and had nothing but good things to say about our festivals and our city.

  9. The real story seems to be the one that is missing. Economy, empowerment, entertainment smack in the middle of downtown. Sorry, I’m fresh out of “e’s” now. I had a great time at Forecastle and found a great deal of interest and resources for women in their childbearing years, parents and kids in the Sprouts tent. Why Sprouts? They’re the grassroots activists of the future. Grow ’em up right! It takes a village and that is what Forecastle has become.

  10. Gosh, and you know what, I think there were drugs in the infield at Derby, too! There were stories about how many people were arrested there, but it was hardly breaking news. It’s just something that happens when large groups of people gather to party and listen to music. The jam bands are notorious for drawing a weed-smoking following. Too bad WHAS couldn’t think of something more positive to balance out the negative – and it was, percentage-wise, an extremely TINY negative. How much money did those 20,000 people bring into the local economy, between what they spent at the festival itself, the hotel rooms, food and beverage? A lot. I worked all three days of the festival, and like Cindy, Sue, and others, met tons of great people, all of whom were smiling and friendly and genuinely helpful and nice (well, they were especially nice to me because I was always carrying food! ;-) Best Forecastle yet – look for even bigger and better things next year!

  11. No wonder this city struggles to gain a decent musical act other than that country twang at the state fair.
    Speaking of which… whatever happened to turning old cardinal stadium into an musical amphitheater?

  12. I’ve heard up to 40 arrests, HARD drugs in large quantities (heroin, LSD), etc. Not talking a little weed. LSD is sold in a way, on stickers, that is a concern for kids who could pick it up. Saw a few kids being exposed to unbelievably loud music, too, also a concern. There seemed to be way fewer uniformed cops at this event then I see at a church picnic, which tells me their priorities were screwy. Also saw, at the end of the night Sunday, yeah, I was around that late, a huge semi being driven up the ramp – which I thought was a major no-no at the Belvedere anyway? Who polices this stuff?

  13. “Sue – Leslie – Jeff – and everyone else who stated quotes above, we live in a world that has to offer media in various types of terms…Sometimes synical, sometimes perception, sometimes reality – at the end of the day the opinion of “FREE PRESS” is only comprehended by the reader – listener – or viewer; as a fan of Forecastle / JK / and all of the fine people that work very hard to make it what it is today, I sleep comfortably knowing that we have fertilized a garden of arts and activism and togetherness in a fashion where people can express their feelings in their own way. I for one, welcomed the police and any “undercovers” to be on the property to do things like protect and try prevent any unfortunate circumstances – we can’t control what people think is right or wrong and support the Security teams and various LMPD for doing a good job and sustaining our goal of keeping our fan goers safe. The only people that were affected by these arrests were the people who chose to make bad decisions.

  14. WHAS made a desparate attempt to tie themselves with a big success, only to take a big poo on the event. A slow news day brews shallow stories.
    Keep on going JK – your vision is appreciated.

  15. Well put. I too was annoyed at WHAS for dramatizing run-of-the-mill festival drug arrests. The newscast stated: “police arrested suspects with some of the most potent drugs known to man…”

  16. man fuck the belvedere my friend picked up some l off the ground and a cop grabbed him and arrested him for it right after he picked it up he may not have even known what it was. just let people enjoy the wonderful festival that was put on instead of spoiling the fun do you know how much all these arrest put the festival down everyone isn’t going to want to go back way to go jefferson county police you accomplished nothing but less publicity and money for your city i know people who take these drugs and they are just fine and accomplished alot more than a shitty police officer who probably struggles to take care of there families with there pay and all these potent drugs that people got caught with are some of the most peacfullest people around maybe more people should take them maybe this world would be better off for some people

  17. Uh…belvedere…

    If your posting skills are any indication of the intellect for the ‘most peacfullest’ people, well…perhaps some remedial classes in English should be considered.

  18. Having done a late night walk through on Monday to make sure the bathrooms and port-a-potties were locked, I happened to walk right by the WHAS news team at the Belvedere entrance focusing on the small percentage of drug arrests at Forecastle that were handled swiftly and professionally by our security teams. It made me realize that Adam Walser was standing in front of the wrong backdrop.

  19. Notice how quickly WHAS buried the story? Thanks to everyone who attacked them for their shoddy reporting.

    This to JTT: their were 6-8 uniformed police plus additional 42 other Security people on at all times at Forecastle—a little bit more than your “average church picnic”, and thanks to Metro Police, extra patrols were on duty outside the Belevedere and in the parking garages.

    The safety and serenity found at Forecastle is proof that Security did their job….and you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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