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    It was a dark and rainy night in December when poet Ron Whitehead held a meeting for all those interested in planning GonzoFest 2015. What was originally meant to be a thorough discussion over beers at the Monkey Wrench ended up being a gathering of Thompson fans outside the bar’s closed doors in the rain. But that didn’t stop Whitehead from beginning production on this year’s festival.

    It was there that he granted local designer, Malachi Shockley, with the responsibility of creating the GonzoFest merchandise. Being a personal friend of Hunter S. Thompson, it’s clear that Whitehead knows a creative mind when he sees one.

     “I told Ron [Whitehead] about my clothing company, KnowNothing,” remembers Malachi. “He looked at me and said ‘If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my life, it’s that I know nothing!’ Then he told me that he definitely wanted me to do the merchandise.”

    And with that iconic moment, Shockley got right to work on producing some of the coolest festival merchandise Louisville has ever seen, with the help of a few friends of course.

    One of those friends was University of Louisville student and poet, Jake Mahaffey, who has been serving as a member of the GonzoFest production team for months in preparation for this year’s festival. “We’re bringing the community together in one of the weirdest ways possible,” Mahaffey says about his involvement with the festival.

    Another of Shockley’s helpful friends was none other than British artist (and close friend to Hunter S. Thompson), Ralph Steadman, who allowed Shockley to use several of his original sketches for merchandise designs.  

    All designs printed on this year’s GonzoFest merchandise are the work of Steadman, with the exception of a few designs created by local artist, Ryan Case. And all of this year’s tee shirts and hoodies will be printed locally at Identity Customs Print Shop located in the Highlands.

    Merchandise will be on sale all day at this year’s festival. But if you just can’t wait to get your hands on it, you can check it out and place an order online here! And don’t forget to check out Shockley’s own clothing line, KnowNothing while you’re at it!

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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