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Frequently Asked Questions

Is this thing for real?

Yes, and we have the pictures to prove it.

What exactly is Lebowski Fest?

Lebowski Fest is a bowling event celebrating all things relating to the Coen Brothers 1998 film, The Big Lebowski. It can be likened to a Star Trek convention in a very loose sense. The event takes place at a bowling alley and includes unlimited bowling, costume , trivia, farthest traveled, and bowling contests, prizes, and what-have-you. The friend of the Coen Brothers who inspired the main character played by Jeff Bridges, Jeff "The Dude" Dowd has been known to make an appearance and drink some White Russians. The 1st annual occurred in Fall of 2002 in Louisville, Kentucky and the 2nd annual took place in July 2003. We then headed way out west to Las Vegas for Lebowski Fest West in Feb., 2004 which featured an appearance by Jim Hoosier who played Liam (The Jesus’s bowling partner). The 3rd Annual Lebowski Fest in June of 2004 brought over 4000 Achievers and included an outdoor concert with My Morning Jacket. Lebowski Fest New York was held in Aug. 2004. Lebowski Fest hit a milestone in LA when Jeff Bridges showed up with his band and played "The Man in Me!" He was wearing his jellies. Lebowski Fests have also been held in Austin, Texas. For a complete lists of Fests, click here.

How did this all start?

Scott and Will (aka the "Founding Dudes") are buddies and used to vend various events for Scott’s retail store the Mothership Connection (R.I.P.) While vending these weekend long events such as the Initial Records Krazy Fest, they would entertain themselves by rattling off lines from The Big Lebowski. It didn’t matter how many times they said a certain line, it was just as hilarious the 200th time as the first time. One fateful July in 2002, Scott and Will were vending the Derby City Tattoo Expo and were spouting off lines from The Big Lebowski, and the other vendors around them began to join in. This created a sense of bonding and camaraderie never before experienced between complete strangers. It turned what was gearing up to be one sucky weekend into quite a good time. They found the tattoo convention to be pretty stupefying and didn’t quite understand why a convention where the highlight of the weekend was people hanging by the ass piercings would generate such interest. It was in this moment of stupefication that they thought: If they can have a tattoo convention, why can’t we have a Big Lebowski Convention! They began to brainstorm the idea, picked a date, printed some flyers and people flocked from all over to join in the shenanigans. The 1st annual went so well, Scott and Will decided to have a 2nd, and a 3rd….

Do you guys really have this much free time?

Not exactly. Scott has a full-time job and is also an artist. Will is a free-lance web developer and is involved in other projects.

Did I hear that some Achievers went on The Price Is Right and one of them won a $1400 cotton candy maker?

Why yes, yes you did. Pictures and details here.

Will it be always be in Louisville?

We plan on having the major Annual Lebowski Fest every year in Louisville. We will travel two or three times a year. Lebowski Fest West which has been in Vegas and LA will be an annual tradition on the West Coast and we like New York as well. Check out all the Fests – past and present here.

Did I hear something about a documentary?

You may very well have. There have been multiple attempts at documentaries and we are yet to see one come to light. Some are being actively worked on and others, well, Dude we just don’t know. If anything surfaces, we’ll be sure to post it on the site. The only one that seems to be actually getting made is "Over The Line: An Achiever Story." You can see the trailer here. If you are interested in making a documentary, let us know!

What bands have played Lebowski Fest?

They Might Be Giants, My Morning Jacket, Jon Spencer’s Heavy Trash, The Sadies, Will Oldham, Wax Fang and many others!

Is Lebowski Fest on MySpace?

You betcha. We’re quite friendly, too. Shall we?

What is the deal with Nixon?

Obviously, you are not a golfer. The image of Nixon Bowling comes from The Dude’s living room, in which a picture of Nixon Bowling in the White House bowling alley hangs above his tiki bar. Jeff "The Dude" Dowd, the man who the Coen Brothers based the character of The Dude on, was a political activist and a member of the Seattle Seven (him and six other guys) who protested Nixon in the 60s. Some say that Nixon never bowled and that this photo of Nixon Bowling was a PR move to get people to "warm up" to Nixon. Others claim he was an avid bowler.

When is Lebowski Fest coming to my city?

Well, Dude, we just don’t know. We like to keep Lebowski Fest special and plan on only having 3 or 4 fests per year. Check the Fests page to see if we are coming to a city near you. You can send us an email and let us know you’d like one in your city.

Can I have my own?

You can do anything you like to spread the Lebowski love. We just ask that you don’t call it "Lebowski Fest". That’s our name, Dude.

How do I know when the next Lebowski Fest is?

Check the Fests page and sign up for the mailing list to be notified when new shit comes to light.

What are these sign that say"Lebowski 9:30"? Is that some kind of Eastern thing?

Far from it.

Have any celebrities attended the events?

Yes! Jeff Bridges (His Dudeness Himself!), Peter Stormare (Karl Hungus/Uli The Nihilist), David Huddleston (The Big Lebowski), Jerry Haleva (Saddam), Jack Kehler (Monty the Landlord), Lu Elrod (Family Restaurant Waitress), Robin Jones (Ralph’s Checkout Girl), Jim Hoosier (Liam) and Jeff "The Dude" Dowd, who the Coen Brothers based the character of The Dude on, have all made appearances. Non-Lebowski celebrities who have attended include Chunk from The Goonies and John Flansburg from They Might Be Giants and Edie McClurg from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! Check out some of the photos here.

How much does is cost to get in?

We like to keep it to a price the Dude would appreciate. Between 15 -25 dollars, or clams, or bones, or whatever you call them.

Is there an age restriction?

Not at the main bowling event. Achievers of all ages can come and get down at Lebowski Fest. The pre-party is sometimes held at a 21 and over bar.

What’s up with the name?

The preferred nomenclature is "Lebowski Fest." It started as "The 1st Annual Big Lebowski What-Have-You Fest" which is quite a mouth-full. You can call it that if you’re not into the whole brevity thing but if you’re lazy like the Dude, Lebowski Fest will do.

Why is it in Louisville, Kentucky?

Louisville is a centrally located midwest city that is located within easy driving distance of Cincinnati, Chicago, Atlanta, Indianapolis, St Louis, etc. Louisville is an amazing city and there are plenty of cool things to do. We would love to have the event at the Hollywood Star Lanes in California where the film was shot, but it has unfortunately been demolished. Not to mention, Scott and Will live in Louisville. All these questions got us to thinkin, WHYLouisville?

How can you hold an event that includes bowling on Shabbos?

Shabbos, Donnie, is the Jewish day of rest… We wouldn’t dream of offending Walter in this manner so we arranged to start the event after sunset. Shabbos ends on Saturday at sunset.

We’re renting a Winebago, dressing up in costume, driving across America, and getting "limber" the whole way to this years event. Where can we stay?

We usually have an official hotel for the Annual event in Louisville. The specific fest page will have the details.

Is there a name for Big Lebowski Fans?

Yes. The preferred nomenclature is "Achiever" taken from "The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers"… and proud we are of all of them. It was made official by Playboy Magazine in their November 2004 issue.

What about a name for someone who is not a Big Lebowski fan or just doesn’t get it?

Fuckin’ amateur.

I received my shirt but where is my poster?

The poster ships separately (poster tube) than the shirts so they will probably arrive at separate times.

Can I still get a 1st Annual T-Shirt?

Sorry, Dude. They are all gone. Congrats to those who got one – you now own a piece of Lebowski Fest history. Check out the other retired items here.

What happened to the black and white Nixon bowling poster?

We no longer have the B&W version and are selling the color poster as seen in the Dude’s living room above the Tiki Bar. It really ties the room together. Check out the other retired items here.

How do the items ship?

We use the United States Postal service. If you order just one poster or one t-shirt, they will ship first class which takes 4 – 7 working days. If you order more than one shirt, you order will ship USPS Priority which is 2-3 days. International orders ship via air mail. Click here for shipping details.

I live in Louisville and want to buy a shirt or sticker locally. Where can I go?

There is a store-front opening in June of 2005 that will carry all the Lebowski Fest goodies and other locally-grown creative called What-Have-You Louisville.

Does the Dude Mobile have Credence in the tape deck?

You bet your ass it does.

What about the Eagles?

I hate the fucking Eagles, man.

How do I make sure I know when new shit has come to light regarding Lebowski Fest?

Sign up for the mailing list.

Chicago Shirt
Chicago Shirt

LA 2007 Shirt
LA 2007 Shirt

I'm a Lebowski, You're a Lebowski
I’m a Lebowski, You’re a Lebowski

5th Annual Poster
5th Annual Poster

LA 2006 Poster
LA 2006 Poster

Abide Poster
Abide Poster

Bumper Stickers
Bumper Stickers

Abide Shirt
Abide Shirt

7th Annual
7th Annual

Iron-on Abide Patch
Iron-on Abide Patch

Lebowksi Fest is not affiliated with the creators of The Big Lebowski. We are just huge fans of this Coen Brothers masterpiece.
Last Updated 06-12-2008
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