The Dude would most definitely abide. The annual Lebowski Fest comes to New York City September 22-24, 2009, attracting fans from all over town. Lebowski Fest is a celebration of all things related to the 1998 Coen brothers cult comedy, The Big Lebowski. Fans of the film (aka "Achievers") come from far and wide to drink white Russians, throw some rocks and party with an array of Dudes, Walters and Maudes (not to mention a nihilist or two).
The three-day festival returns with the Movie Party at Terminal 5 on September 22nd and two nights of bowling on September 23rd at Lucky Strike Lanes and September 24th at Brooklyn Bowl.
For devoted Lebowski fans (commonly known as Achievers) the movie is not just an eclectic Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan) comedy, it is a way of life. Full of witty, highly quotable dialogue the film has very quickly taken a life of its own. Although the film was a sleeper when it was first released in 1998 it quickly blossomed into a cult movie.
The story of Lebowski Fest begins in 2002 during a rather dull tattoo expo in Louisville, Kentucky. Under the mistaken belief that it would be a great place to sell T-shirts from Scott's shop (Mothership Connection, R.I.P.), the “founding dudes”, as Scott and Will are now known, were manning a booth but were so bored by the lack of activity that they took to quoting The Big Lebowski for amusement. No matter how many times a line was said, it was undeniably funny. As the other vendors joined in they very quickly realized they had tapped into a pop culture phenomenon which had not yet been recognized.
In creating a sense of bonding and camaraderie between complete strangers came a revelation amidst this swirl of neck tattoos and piercing enthusiasts: "If they can have conventions for tattoos and God knows what else, why not a convention for people who love The Big Lebowski? As a famous dude once said "If you will it, it is no dream."
A date was set, a bowling alley was rented and flyers were printed. And people flocked from La Jolla to Leo Carrillo and Pismo to take part in the shenanigans. The First Annual Lebowski Fest went so well that Scott and Will decided to host another one, and another, and another.
The “founding dudes” discovered that Lebowski fans were everywhere and took the movie very seriously. Thus, the first Lebowski Fest was born. Crowds poured in from all over the country to celebrate the movie and bask in its eclectic goodness. Sensing the universal potential of the venture they decided to continue the festival touring America each year.
It's a multi-day party that typically opens with live performances and screening of the film the first night and concludes with a raucous bowling party the following night. The First Annual Lebowski Fest was in 2002 in Louisville, but subsequent fests have been held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Austin, Seattle, London and Edinburgh. While the Coen brothers continue to maintain a safe distance from the madness they created, the fest has earned the blessing of the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, who attended the fest in L.A. and even stuck around to sing a few songs
For more information visit www.lebowskifest.com or call 502-583-9290.
Tues, Sep 22nd
Lebowski Fest New York Movie Party - Music by Black Diamond Heavies + special appearance by the Pin Heads. Followed by a screening of the movie. Doors at 7:30. @ Terminal 5 - 610 West 56th St, 10019
$20 Advance / $25 Day Of
Weds, Sep 23th
Lebowski Fest New York Bowling Party - Night 1 - Bowling, costume, trivia and other contests. Ticket includes bowling* and shoe rental. Ages 21 and over. 7pm @ Lucky Strike Lanes - 660 W 42nd St, 10036.
$28 Advance / $32 Day of
*Bowling is general admission and not guaranteed. Bowling shoes not required with any non-dark soled shoe.
Thur, Sep 24th
Lebowski Fest New York Bowling Party - Night 2 - Bowling, costume, trivia and other contests. Ages 21 and over. 8pm @ Brooklyn Bowl - 61 Wythe Ave, 11211.
Two differet tickets for Night 2: Bowling Ticket $30 (1 game of bowling + shoes) / Non-bowling ticket $22
Lebowski Fest Speed of Sound Tour Dates:
Lebowski Fest has packed up its dirty undies and giant bowling pin costumes and has hit the road for a North American tour Tickets are on sale now!
Lebowski Fest Philly: Sept 25-26
Lebowski Fest DC: Sept 28-29
Lebowski Fest Austin: Oct. 9-10