The blissful irreverence that is Lebowski Fest returns to the Derby City this Friday and Saturday (July 15-16th) for what may just be its most raucous iteration yet. Created as an unabashed celebration of ‘The Big Lebowski’, the 1998 cult-classic comedy from the Coen brothers, organizer Will Russell attributes the event’s now decade-long longevity to the film he considers, “endlessly re-watchable movie, with great dialogue, great characters, a kick ass soundtrack and absolutely hilarious,” but adds, “The festival is created by fans for fans and the fans (Achievers) are what keep it alive.”
As per tradition, the 10th annual Louisville Lebowski Fest kicks off Friday with a concert and outdoor movie screening on the Executive Lawn on Phillips Lane. The brazen sounds of J. Roddy Walston & The Business will be providing the Friday night tunes this time round, whose soulfully gritty, blues-drenched American sound should fit in nicely within the tradition of other Lebowski Fest alums, whose ranks include My Morning Jacket and They Might be Giants. The festival is often just as much a passion project for the performers as the organizers, with Russell noting, “we typically end up with bands that are into the film and into the fest. We don’t have deep pockets so bands have to be willing to do it on the cheap.” The long list of musical talent is set to continue Saturday with the Garden Party (also on the Executive Lawn), with performances by Those Darlins, How I Became The Bomb, Junk Yards Dogs and Cincinnati-based The Seedy Seeds, whose woody synth-pop charm has been known to bring a bit of chill even on the hottest of summer days.
But of course, the true heart of Lebowski Fest has always been the Bowling Party around which it centers, and this year will be no different as things move inside Executive Strike & Spare Saturday night for endless bowling, a costume constant, trivia, special guest James G. Hoosier (who played Liam in the film), and most likely a fair amount of white russians (Jeff Bridges’ characters’ beverage of choice).
Despite taking their celebration to cities all across the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Austin, Chicago, and even across the pond in the UK, the organizers of Lebowski Fest began things here in Louisville ten years back and always look forward to the hometown affair. “Louisville is the ultimate fest,” said Will Russell, adding, “This is where it started and this is where we go all out and achieve anyway.” Achievers everywhere unite. The party is coming home and it’s going to be a big one.
“I’m a Lebowski, you’re a Lebowski…”
Much more information about the 10th annual Lebowski Fest can be found via the event’s website.
But wait, there’s more! Your friends at LouisvilleKY.com, the Pulse of the City, have obtained a pair of free tickets for one of our lucky readers. Get a chance to win the tickets by heading over to our facebook page here, show us some love by “liking” us and leave a comment on the Lebowski Fest thread. Thursday afternoon a winner will be selected at random from everyone who posts on the Lebowski thread.