Our beloved movie, The Big Lebowski, originally released in US theaters on March 6th, 1998 is now 20 years old! Originally dismissed by critics and the public at large, The Big Lebowski began to gain a passionate following in the years after its release. When we held our very first event dubbed the “1st Annual Big Lebowski What-Have-You Fest” in October of 2002 in a rundown bowling alley on the seedy side of Louisville, Kentucky, we had no idea what would come to light. We thought maybe 15 or 20 of our friends would show up and instead we rolled with nearly 150 Achievers some of which had even traveled from other states! We decided to do it again the next year and due to an unexpected mention in SPIN Magazine, we saw over 1,200 Achievers from all over the country attend the “2nd Annual Lebowski Fest,” added a night to screen the movie and brought in our first special guest, Jeff Dowd, the real-life inspiration for the character of The Dude. The next year we added live music before the Movie Party with the incredible My Morning Jacket who performed in costume on Louisville’s waterfront that night and it was far out, to say the least. We decided to pack our dirty undies up and took the Dude-mobile on the road for a Lebowski Fest in Las Vegas in 2004. We were contacted by an actor from the film who said “I don’t know if you remember my character but I was Turturro’s bowling partner, Liam” and we were like “Hell yeah, we know who you are! You should come to Vegas and be our special guest!” Jim Hoosier (aka Liam) made the first of many appearances at Lebowski Fest and he was given the rock star treatment by The Achievers. When Jim shook his belly and polished his bowling ball for the first time before we screened the movie, the place erupted and a star was born. We began to travel with Lebowski Fest throwing rocks and abiding with Achievers from all over including Seattle, New York, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles. In 2005, The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges brought his band and blew the roof off of the Knitting Factory in LA on that amazing night opening, of course, with “The Man in Me.”
Lebowski Fest has been a far out ride and we are grateful to all of the Achievers who have attended and supported the Fest throughout the years! We hope to catch you later on down the trail at a Lebowski Fest near you. So here’s to 20 years of celebrating the greatest movie ever made! I don’t know about you, but we take comfort in that.
Thank you LA Achievers for another fantastic Fest in the City of Angels! Here are some photos from the weekend, please feel free to inspect them. Movie Party Photos by Jared Cowan / Bowling Party Photos by Adam Pantozzi.
More Movie Party photos by Jared Cowan from LA Weekly here and more photos from the Lebowski Fest Instagram.
It’s hard to believe that Lebowski Fest has been throwing rocks for 15 years! It all started in 2002 in a tiny Baptist bowling alley called The Fellowship Lanes. We had no idea how many fans just like us were out there. Lebowski Fest has rolled in many cities full of Achievers such as New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle and beyond. The Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, has attended as well as John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, Julianne Moore and many other actors from the film.
While having movie stars attend Lebowski Fest is cool, that’s not really what the Fest is about. It’s about the fans aka “The Achievers” – and proud we are of all of you! The Achievers have keep this thing alive and we are grateful for the support. We hope you can join us in Louisville* on July 8th & 9th, 2016 for the 15th Annual Lebowski Fest!
*No funny stuff…
Kyle Gass (of Tenacious D Fame) returns to Lebowski Fest LA!
The last time Kyle Gass Band played Lebowski Fest, the man in the Jack Black pajamas dropped in to see what condition our condition was in for “Viva Las Vegas!”
Lebowski Fest returns to the City of Angels on March 13th & 14th, 2015!
Friday March 13th – Lebowski Fest LA Movie Party – Music by Kyle Gass Band followed by a screening of The Big Lebowski (35mm print) at Saban Theatre.
Saturday March 14th – Lebowski Fest LA Bowling Party – Costume, trivia and other contests at Fountain Bowl.
Tickets on sale 2/20 at 3pm EDT.
Thank you Chicago Achievers for another far out Lebowski Fest! Your natural zest was truly a source of inspiration. Thanks also to the Thalia Hall and Diversey Rock n Bowl for being such fantastic hosts and not ejecting us from their Garden Party. Here are some photos, please feel free to inspect them. More photos on our Facebook Page or Instagram.
Thank you New York Achievers for another far out Fest! Here are some photos from the what-have-you. Feel free to share yours on our Facebook Page or hash tag #lebowskifest on Instagram. That hash tag really ties the Achievers together. Links to photo galleries below. Please feel free to inspect them.
People of Lebowski Fest New York Gallery by C.S. Muncy of the Village Voice.
Gothamist Photo Gallery by Scott Heins.
What it means to be The Dude by Ryan Bort for Esquire.
Bowling Party Photos by Brian Reilly.
Careful, man, there’s a beverage here! Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice.
Wonderful Women! Very free-spirited. Photo by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice.
Which one’s Logjammin? Photo by Scott Heins for Gothamist.
Dig yer style, Dude. Catch ya later on down the trail. Photo by Scott Heins for Gothamist.
Check the Lebowski Fest Instagram and Lebowski Fest Facebook Page for more photos, man.
Far out New York event poster by Bill Green is available here.
Thanks New York Achievers for another great fest!
Mark it! This week the Lebowski Fest Facebook Page hit 150,000 Achievers! Thanks to all of the Achievers who have supported Lebowski Fest over the years. And proud we are of all of you!
Thanks to all the Achievers who came out to the 13th Annual Lebowski Fest! Here are some of the Prom Photos taken by Frankie Steele. Check the Facebook Gallery for the entire collection. More photos on the Lebowski Fest Instagram and we will post more as they come to light. Hash tag #lebowskifest on all of your photos, that hash tag really ties the Achievers together.
La’Maze Johnson Photos
Full set of Prom Photos here. Please feel free to inspect them.
Who’s in charge of scheduling? The full schedule for the 13th Annual Lebowski Fest in Louisville July 11th – 13th has been posted. You can download the Achiever’s Guide with the schedule and a list of Achiever-friendly establishments to check out while your in town. Schedule below. Tickets and more info are here.
July 10th – 8pm – Achiever Pre-party – The Dudes Abide live at Wick’s Pizza – 975 Baxter Ave – Free
July 11th – Noon – Lebowski Live Lunch Radio Hour – Live in studio performance by Bobby Bare Jrs’ Young Criminals’ Starvation League broadcast on WFPK.org (We ain’t one-at-a-timing here) – Limited Seating – All Ages @ WFPK Studios 619 S. 4th St. – Free
July 11th – 8pm – Movie Party – Music by Those Darlins and The Features + Screening of The Big Lebowski with Liam! – All Ages – Doors 8pm. Show at 9 Movie at 11pm @ Executive Lawn – 911 Phillips Ln – Rain or shine – $20 adv / $25 day of
July 12th – 4pm – Garden Party – Lebowski-themed games and music by Bobby Bare Jrs’ Young Criminals’ Starvation League, March Madness Marching Band, Tony and The Tan Lines and King Kong – All Ages – @ Executive Lawn – 911 Phillips Ln – Rain or shine – $15 adv / $20 day of
July 12th – 8pm – Bowling Party – Unlimited bowling, costume, trivia and other contests w/ special guest Liam! Bowling and shoe rental included. Bowling is general admission and not guaranteed – All Ages 8pm to Midnight @ Executive Strike & Spare – 911 Phillips Ln. – $25 adv / $30 day of
July 12th – Midnight – Legendary After Party – Food trucks, DJ Sam Sneed and more dancing sweaty nerds than you can shake a marmot at. – All Ages – @ Executive Strike & Spare Lounge – Midnight to ??? – Free
July 13th – Lebowski Fest Poster Exhibit by Bill Green – 12 years of brilliant posters squeezed into one show. – All Ages – @ WHY Lou Two 806 E. Market St – 10:30-3:30pm. – Free
13 years of beautiful tradition, you’re goddamn right we’re living in the past! Tickets and more info here, man.