Louisville, Ky., – GonzoFest Louisville is a literary and music festival honoring Hunter S. Thompson, as well as the lasting mark he has made on art, music, and literature. Through live music, poetry, art, spoken word and more, GonzoFest Louisville celebrates the life and times of Hunter S. Thompson in his hometown. 2016 will mark the sixth year of the festival.
Our plans for this year’s GonzoFest are even more impressive as we take GonzoFest Louisville to the next level. The 2016 festival is Saturday, April 16th on the Big Four Lawn of Waterfront Park, and will feature bigger bands, bigger venues and this year will bring some of the biggest names in the Hunter S. Thompson universe to Louisville in the biggest gathering of the Gonzo family since his funeral in 2005.
Our 2014 festival included six events with music from Louisville musicians spanning all genres. Highlights of GonzoFest Louisville 2014 included; a keynote speech given by Frank Messina, live music, art, poetry readings, panel discussions regarding Hunter’s influence on various aspects of the American culture, live readings of Hunter’s work, the U.S. premier of theRalph STEADman documentary For No Good Reason. At the main event on April 5, 2014 Louisville Mayor Greg Fischerrenamed the city “Gonzoville” for the day.
Hunter’s very own “Hunter’s Gonzoville” banner was unveiled that same day at GonzoFest Louisville. With this banner the impact Hunter had on this city and beyond will be displayed along the banners of other prominent Louisville personalities such as Muhammad Ali, Diane Sawyer, Colonel Sanders, and Pee Wee Reese to name a few. The official “Hunter’s Gonzoville” banner now hangs on the side of the Bristol Bar and Grill building on Bardstown Road.
2015 saw a new format for GonzoFest, moving the entire venue to one location as an all out literary and music festival complete with vendors of all types, stage, acrobats, a parade and life poetry and spoken word readings and an attendance of over 5,000 fans at the Big Four Lawn.
This year promises to pack one hell of a “Crash Bang Wallop” in the words of illustrator Ralph STEADman, with a list of VIP guests including Hunter’s son, Juan Thompson, grandson Will, personal assistant Deborah Fuller, famed Los Angeles artist and GonzoToday art director, Joey Feldman, and with a little bit of luck D.J. Watkins of the Gonzo Gallery. These guests and more can be found in and around the GonzoToday.com Big Top tent where there will be live panels, literary readings, book signings and more! And of course, as with last year, we are striving to bring Bill Murray to Louisville with our #BilltotheVillehashtag campaign, as well as the continuation of our project to create a life-sized bronze statue of Hunter to be placed at some location somewhere within the heart of Louisville. We still have some time to go and our big lineup announcement will be posted here within the next few weeks, so expect our list of entertainment to change and expand as we get closer to the Strangest Day in Louisville History.
April 16, 2016 at the Big Four Lawn.
Saturday, April 16
|TIME (PM)||ARTIST / PERFORMANCE||LOCATION|
|2:00 – 2:30||Frederick The Younger||Main Stage|
|2:30 – 3:00||GonzoToday’s Clayton Luce & Cody Decker poetry & literature readings-Hidey||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|2:50 – 3:30||Quiet Hollers||Main Stage|
|3:50 – 4:15||Shakespeare’s Monkey Poetry Performance||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|4:15 – 4:55||Chrome Pony||Main Stage|
|4:50 – 5:30||The Bottom SOP||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|5:30 – 6:30||Wax Fang||Main Stage|
|6:30 – 7:15||Mayor Fischer, Ron Whitehead present Kentucky Colonels + Juan Thompson Keynote Address with son Will Thompson.||Main Stage|
|7:15 – 7:45||Hunter S. Thompson Statue Presentation
w/ Commissioned Artist Matt Weir
|GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|7:15 – 8:00||Dr. Dundiff & Friends||Main Stage|
|8:00 – 8:30||Joe Wilson Band||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|8:30 – 9:30||Natural Child||Main Stage|
|9:25 – 10:00||Panel about Hunter S. Thompson
With Juan & Jennifer Thompson, Laila Nabulsi, Doug Brinkley, and Deborah Fuller
|GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|10:00 – 11:30||Fly Golden Eagle||Main Stage|
|10:00 – 10:30||Tinderbox Circus Sideshow||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|10:30 – 10:50||Frogg Corpse & Mr. Stranger
Featuring Outlaw Kentucky Poet Ron Whitehead
|GonzoToday Tent Stage|
|11:00 – 12:00||Your News Vehicles||GonzoToday Tent Stage|
Sunday, April 17
|TIME (PM)||EVENT / PERFORMANCE||LOCATION|
|6:00 – 7:00||Autograph Signing F&L DVDs+ Meet & Greet
w/ Executive Producer Laila Nabulsi
|Baxter Ave. Theatre Lobby|
|7:00 – 9:00||Special Viewing of “Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas”w/ Executive Producer Laila Nabulsi||Baxter Ave. Theatre|
|9:00-10:00||Q&A Panel with Laila Nabulsi||Baxter Ave.Theatre|