LouisvilleKy’s GonzoFest returns in 2018


LOUISVILLE, KY  – GonzoFest Louisville, a celebration of the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson in his hometown of Louisville, KY, will return to Louisville Free Public Library on Saturday, April 14, 2018. This will mark the 8th year of the festival, which features poetry, spoken word, art, live music and more. In 2017, the celebration moved to the Main Library to focus on highlighting the literary side of the festival by expanding its panel discussions, spoken word, and poetry aspects.


The move was a natural transition for GonzoFest Louisville, as the library played a significant role in Hunter S. Thompson’s development. His mother, Virginia Thompson, retired from the Main Library, located at 301 York Street, after years of working as a librarian. Growing up, Hunter spent hours at the library with his mother, developing his love of reading and writing. Hunter was well known for organizing groups to come to the library to share in his passion for literature. That passion would ultimately lead him to international fame for developing Gonzo journalism and inspiring a new generation of writers.


When GonzoFest Louisville moved to the library it wasn’t just the venue that changed. The move also signified an important shift in programming. In 2017, GonzoFest Louisville focused on highlighting the literary side of Hunter’s life, expanding its panel discussions, spoken word, and poetry aspects. The festival will host several different panel discussions again in 2018. All panels and spoken word performances will take place at various locations inside the Main Library.


“The Library is excited to again be the home for GonzoFest Louisville, and is looking forward to expanding the programming in the areas of journalism and literature in its second year at Main Library.  These were the endeavors that propelled Hunter S. Thompson’s legacy and will be a major focus as the program continues to evolve,” says Jim Blanton, Library Director.


GonzoFest Louisville will also feature live music from local and regional musicians. The festival is currently accepting band submissions for the 2018 celebration. To submit a music sample, send a Facebook inbox message with the following information: band biography, music sample or link to preview, website link and social media handles. Please include “GonzoFest Louisville 2018 Band Submission” as the subject of the message. All submissions are due January 15, 2018.

GonzoFest Louisville will soon announce the guidelines for the 2018 literary and art contests.  Entries for both the literary and art contest will be due before the festival on April 14. Details will be made available to the public on a later date.


Additionally, GonzoFest Louisville will also be screening The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo, the national PBS documentary on Chicano civil rights activist/attorney/author Oscar Zeta Acosta. Acosta is best known for his relationship with Hunter S. Thompson based on his travels with Acosta in the late 60s. The film is directed by veteran, award-winning filmmaker Phillip Rodriguez (Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle). Louisville Native, Gaba Gavi plays the role of Rolling Stone writer, David Felton in the film. A Question & Answer session with Rodriquez and Gavi is scheduled immediately following the film.


The 2018 GonzoFest Louisville celebration is from noon until 8:00PM. The festival will take place both on the exterior grounds and inside of the Main Library. Additional information, including specific 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.



GonzoFest Louisville is a literary and music festival honoring the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson. Through poetry, spoken word, art, live music and more, GonzoFest Louisville celebrates the life and work of Hunter S. Thompson in his hometown of Louisville, KY. 2018 will mark the eighth year of GonzoFest Louisville.



The Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) is the largest library system in Kentucky, serving more than 3 million visitors annually at 18 locations and on the web at LFPL.org. Its mission is to provide the people of Metro Louisville with the broadest possible access to knowledge and information and to support them in their pursuit of learning at all stages of life.