Partnerships with Speed Art Museum and Frazier History Museum Bring Two Separate Hunter S. Thompson Exhibits in 2019

LOUISVILLE, KY (July 18, 2018) – From numerous venue changes, to logistical modifications, such as emphasizing the literary and spoken word components, GonzoFest Louisville has seen a lot of change since their inception in 2010. In 2017 GonzoFest Louisville partnered with the Louisville Free Public Library (LFPL) and the Main Library of LFPL is now the home of GonzoFest Louisville. That location was chosen because Thompson’s mother, Virginia Thompson retired from the Main Library of LFPL after working years there as a librarian.

For the last few years the annual Hunter S. Thompson event has always been the Saturday before Thunder Over Louisville. Event organizers strategically selected that date in order to be the unofficial kickoff to the Kentucky Derby, after all gonzo journalism was born at the 1970 Kentucky Derby.

What started in the parking lot of the former Monkey Wrench has successfully grown into an annual celebration that draws HST fans from all over the world. And with growth comes change. Which is why GonzoFest Louisville has chosen to permanently move the date of the festival to be the Saturday after Hunter S. Thompson’s July 18th birthday. GonzoFest Louisville 2019 will be on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Main Library in downtown Louisville.

But that’s not the only exciting change coming to GonzoFest Louisville in 2019. Partnerships with the world-renowned Speed Art Museum and Frazier History Museum are currently in the works. The timing of both exhibits will appropriately overlap the with the new event date in July. 

“LFPL is looking forward to an exciting third year of hosting GonzoFest Louisville,” says Library Director, Jim Blanton. “The partnership between GonzoFest Louisville and LFPL has provided a wonderful opportunity to highlight the legacy of Hunter S. Thompson and his special relationship to the Library.  It has also allowed for the event to evolve into a dynamic exploration of current issues in journalism, as well as a celebration of literature, art and music.  This year will represent a significant next step in the program’s evolution, as GonzoFest Louisville partners with the Frazier History Museum and the Speed Museum to host a variety of exhibits covering key aspects of Thompson’s life and work.”

GonzoFest Louisville 2017 included expanded panel discussions, spoken word, poetry readings, a PBS documentary screening, a partnership with Young Authors Greenhouse, and an all-local musical lineup. Additional information about GonzoFest Louisville can be found by visiting gonzofestlouisville.com. 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 spoken word, poetry, art, panel discussions, 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.

The Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s largest art museum. An independent and encyclopedic museum located on the campus of the University of Louisville, the Speed celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2017.  Louisville philanthropist Hattie Bishop Speed founded the Speed Art Museum, which opened in 1927, with a belief in the power of art to change people’s lives.

The Speed reopened in 2016 following a 3-year, $60 million renovation and expansion designed by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY that doubled the museum’s overall square footage and nearly tripled its gallery space. Free Owsley Sundays, sponsored by the Brown-Forman Corporation, draw large and diverse crowds every week. For more information, visit www.speedmuseum.org. 

The Frazier History Museum is located at 829 W. Main St. on Louisville’s downtown “Museum Row.” The Frazier is where the world meets Kentucky, bringing history to life for visitors through exhibits, artifacts and live performances every day. The Frazier is open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call (502) 753-5663 or visit fraziermuseum.org.

David Nichols