Festival Recap: Gazebo Festival 2024 - Local Wolves


Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY — May 25, 2024

Gazebo Fest took over Waterfront Park down in Louisville, KY for its first ever year as a festival. The fest was headlined by Jack Harlow, who previously did the Forecastle Festival in the same location. He used his influence to bring together some truly great performers in his hometown. While the second day was canceled due to severe weather and Jack himself didn’t get to perform, the first day of the fest did not disappoint.

The first artist we saw was Paris Texas, a duo of two rappers backed by another friend DJing the set. Despite the heat, they danced and jumped across the stage. No corner was un-danced by the three. We stopped by for Ravyn Lee but were quickly informed that the photo pit would be closed and the same for SZA, who was headlining later that evening. We darted over to Karrahbooo who had a DJ set for the majority of her time, and then back to the main stage for Jordan Ward.

Jordan Ward’s charismatic stage presence drew the crowd in immediately. Even for those who didn’t know his music the set was entertaining to watch—complete with his infectious smile, energetic dance moves, and sound effects from his friend on the sound board.

During Jordan’s set, we took our place in the crowd along with many other SZA fans with the hot sun beating down. James Blake’s ambient DJ set with hypnotizing visuals kept us company. Vince Staples then followed. He called out fans to sing an old song of his and one successful fan made it to the jumbotron with a microphone in hand.

We waited patiently for SZA to arrive. Several times the lights lowered and the music started to fade. The crowd screamed with excitement. Then the next pre-show song began to play. I imagined Jack Harlow giggling backstage. The glowing lights of her set took their place on the stage and the “Seek and Destroy” intro began to play. The set was complete with a life-sized boat with shifting screens, a full band, and background dancers. Finally, it was time. SZA took her place among them and the show began.





Words & Photography: Emma Fischer

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