GonzoFest Louisville Announces Schedule For Final Festival

A decade ago, Kentucky poet Ron Whitehead and his friends pulled together an arts festival celebrating the eccentric Louisville-born journalist Hunter S. Thompson. They named it GonzoFest after the vibrant and immersive style of new journalism Thompson created in the 1970s. It has taken different forms at different venues over the years, but it’s always been fun and interesting.    

GonzoFest 2023, which takes place Friday, July 14-15, will be the festival’s final year, but the two-day party at High Horse Bar and an adjacent parking lot promises one more wild ride. 

General admission is $25. The festival has announced that only 400 tickets will be sold.

Here is the schedule of events:

Friday, July 14

Noon-1:30 p.m. — The 1996 Official Hunter S. Thompson tribute “Behind The Scenes Panel”. Host: Kent Fielding. Panelists: T.R. Johnson, Rebekah Reeves, Deidre Scaggs, Billy Hardison, JB Wilson, and Ron Whitehead.

1:30 p.m.-2 p.m. — John Whiting & Hunter’s Vincent. 

2 p.m.-4 p.m. — The Hell’s Angels Letters Panel, featuring Timothy Denevi, Margaret Ann Harrell, Peter Richardson, William McKeen John Brick , Ron Whitehead.

4 p.m.-6 p.m.— Screening of “Outlaw Poet: The Legend of Ron Whitehead,” Followed by a Q&A with Ron Whitehead.

6 p.m.-2 a.m.— Music and poetry by Tommy Bays, Freddie Bourne, Hi Helens, DoorWay, Creeps, Inc., & Mythagoe.

Saturday, July 15 

Noon-7:00p.m. — Live music and poetry by (in order of appearance):Brent & Brennan Embry, Raymond Smith, Michael Duckwall, Mick Parsons, Chad M. Horn, Tim Heerdink, Hilton Airall, Ben Holland, J.B. Wilson, Jean Kizer, Tohm Bakelas, Dusty Jaggers, James Dennis Casey IV, Ian Uriel Girdley, Merritt Waldon, Scott Laudati, Joseph Fulkerson, Jonathan Baker, Johnny Evans, Tom Murphy, Frogg Corpse, Kent Fielding, Snow Matthews, Lindsay Gargotto, Mark Berriman, Joan Hawkins, Joe Kidd & Sheila Burke, Dean McClain, Tony Brewer, Elizabeth Nelson, Ron Whitehead & Aviv Naamani, Tommy Twilite, Tommy Bays.

7 p.m.-2 a.m. —Live music and poetry by (in order of appearance): Blind Feline, John Burroughs, Frank Messina & The Storm Generation Band with Special Guests, Zu Zu Ya Ya, Mike Hood & Solar Flannel, Night Parade.

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