Director and Louisville-Native Lead Actor To Attend and Participate in a Question & Answer Session
LOUISVILLE, KY (February 26, 2018) – On Saturday, April 14 Hunter S. Thompson fans worldwide will gather in his hometown of Louisville to celebrate the life, work, and legacy of the creator of Gonzo journalism. GonzoFest Louisville’s 2018 festival includes expanded panel discussions, spoken word and poetry performances, an all-local music lineup and a documentary premiere.
Held at the Main Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library, where Thompson’s mother Virginia worked for many years, GonzoFest Louisville will host two panels, Writing Hell’s Angels: Will the Real Hunter Thompson Please Stand Up? and The Battle of Michigan Avenue: Chicago 1968, Hunter Thompson, and Violence Against Journalists. The festival will also host the Kentucky premiere of the PBS documentary “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo”.
For the panel, Writing Hell’s Angels: Will the Real Hunter Thompson Please Stand Up? Margaret Harrell, author of the Keep This Quiet! series, talks to Timothy Denevi about her experiences with Hunter Thompson during his composition of Hell’s Angels; as a young copyeditor and Random House in 1966, Harrell helped prepare the manuscript for publication. The discussion will focus on Thompson’s approach at the time to participatory journalism—his seriousness; his professional and literary skill—and how it stands in contrast to the more exaggerated version of Hunter Thompson that later generations have come to know.
Timothy Denevi and Michael Lindenberger, Louisville native and writer with The Dallas Morning News, will discuss the police riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention—during which Hunter Thompson was attacked and beaten by Mayor Daley’s cops—as it relates to our current political climate during the panel, The Battle of Michigan Avenue: Chicago 1968, Hunter Thompson, and Violence Against Journalists. What happens when the state uses violence to silence its critics, and why does Thompson’s experience at the corner of Michigan and Balbo fifty years ago still feel as pertinent as ever today? This panel will be moderated by Kate Howard from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.
Following the documentary screening of “The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo,” director Phillip Rodriguez and Louisville-native lead actor Gaba Gavi will participate in a question & answer session moderated by Lindenberger. The documentary tells the story of the life of lawyer and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta, who was the inspiration behind Hunter S. Thompson's Dr. Gonzo character in 1971 novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. Benicio del Toro has joined the documentary as its executive director. Panel discussions and the documentary screening will take place inside the library’s auditorium located on the first floor.
GonzoFest Louisville will also feature an all-local lineup with music by Electric Garden, Ron Whitehead & The Storm, Generation Band, Jet Lawrence, Anemic Royalty, and Southern Sirens. Louisville Literary Arts and select spoken word - more - artists and poets will perform their own original work. All performances will take place on the exterior grounds of the library in the York St. parking lot.
Additionally, Young Authors Greenhouse and Louisville Magazine will be participating in GonzoFest Louisville with a team of student journalists. The week prior to the festival, high school students will attend a journalism workshop hosted by staff from Louisville Magazine and Young Authors Greenhouse to learn the fundamentals about asking good questions, taking notes, and writing that perfect lead sentence.
During the festival, students will conduct interviews with the bands, panelists, and festival participants to cover the GonzoFest story and be published with the library. Young Authors Greenhouse is a nonprofit organization in Louisville that inspires students ages 6 to 18 from under-resourced communities to grow their imaginations through writing—to see minds open and pencils move.
GonzoFest Louisville is currently accepting entries for the art and literary non-fiction contests. There is no type of story preferred over another — so long as it’s true, and interesting. The emphasis will be on the quality of the writing, and the significance of the story it tells. All literary entries must be submitted via the literary contest portal by 11:59 p.m. EST on March 28, 2018. The winning entry will be considered for publication in the GonzoFest edition of the Louisville Eccentric Observer. The author will also be honored during the festival, and receive a $1,000 cash prize, thanks to contest sponsor BiblioBoard. Also supporting the contest as BiblioBoard’s Media Partner is Library Journal, which will feature the winning entry on its website. Questions about the literary contest should be directed to the GonzoFest Literary Contest Coordinator, Michael Lindenberger at [email protected] Judging the contest is a panel of highly regarded journalists in Louisville, Houston, San Francisco, Austin and Paris, France.
Submissions for GonzoFest Louisville’s 2018 art contest should strive to capture the essence and spirit of Hunter S. Thompson. Any medium and size will be accepted. Entrant must pay shipping costs. All pieces will be judged on originality, technique, and composition. Art entries must be submitted via mail to 4016 Summer Place, New Albany, IN, 47150. All 2018 art entries are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on March 28, 2018.
GonzoFest Louisville proudly returns to the Louisville Free Public Library on Saturday, April 14 from noon 8:00 p.m . and will take place both on the exterior grounds and inside of the Main Library. Additional information, including details about the 2018 literary and art contests, sponsorship, volunteer opportunities, and vendor applications can be found by visiting gonzofestlouisville.com. GonzoFest Louisville fans can find GonzoFest Louisville on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.