The first day of the 2015 Forecastle Festival was cut short after severe weather hit Louisville, Kentucky, Friday night.
British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, the festival’s final act of the day, was performing his song “Lay Me Down” when violent winds hit the festival’s main stage at Waterfront Park, causing stage amenities to sway and creating a hazard to the crowd of 15,000.
The Forecastle staff reacted quickly to the severe weather, pulling Smith off stage within moments and urging the audience to evacuate and to stay away from stages and other tall structures on the festival grounds.
“We encourage everyone to seek shelter during this time,” organizers said in a statement issued shortly after the evacuation. “The safety of our patrons is our primary focus.”
Smith’s performance was his first headlining slot at a festival and his first show since undergoing vocal cord surgery in May. The “Stay With Me” and “Latch” singer took to Instagram to air his grievances about stopping the performance.
“The drama is real right now,” he said. “This KILLS me, because you guys were SO loud and incredible!”
According to Louisville FOX affiliate WDRB, winds in the area reached 60 mph, causing more than 14,000 residents in the greater Louisville area to lose power. The festival grounds reportedly received minimal damage, with only tents and chain link fences being blown over.
The festival will continue as planned Saturday and Sunday, with artists including Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic scheduled to perform.
For our full archive of Forecastle coverage, click here.