The Granfalloon Festival Celebrates Late Indiana Author Kurt Vonnegut

What is a Granfalloon? You can learn all about it this weekend at The Granfalloon: A Kurt Vonnegut Experience at IU Bloomington and other Bloomington, Indiana locations. The main event takes place Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10, though several pre-events were scheduled leading up to the Festival. Music lovers will enjoy the festival’s concert lineup, which includes headliners such as The Flaming Lips, Arrested Development and Indigo De Souza. Several concerts are free to attend.

“A granfalloon,” according to late author and Indiana native Kurt Vonnegut, who is largely regarded as a key influence in shaping 20th century American literature and studied folk societies at the University of Chicago: is a “false karass,” a proud and meaningless association of human beings.” Further, according to the festival’s website, “it is characterized by an excessive and often dangerous zeal for identity and belonging.”

“Other examples of granfalloons,” Vonnegut wrote, “are the Communist party, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the General Electric Company, the International Order of Odd Fellows—and any nation, anytime, anywhere.”

The phrase is drawn from his 1963 postmodern satire, “Cat’s Cradle,” and was the fourth among his many novels.

The festival was inspired from Vonnegut’s “deeply felt need for community, as well as his mistrust of overzealous political formations and group think. It’s precisely the author’s hopeful cynicism – or is it cynical hopefulness? – that makes us all feel right at home,” according to the website.

The Granfalloon Festival will also include literature and music talks, science and visual art offerings and film.