“They have a great little festival going on down there with the Free State Fest. I did over an hour of standup then they screened an episode of my show and then I did a Q&A. It was a hell of a night.”  

- Marc Maron     


From social justice documentaries to cutting edge comedians, the Free State Festival celebrates film, music, art and ideas in the vibrant college town of Lawrence, Kansas. Music performances, art installations and engaging discussions enhance a dynamic film lineup- bringing community and visitors together for a week of entertainment and inspiration. 

The festival was founded by Lawrence Arts Center Director of New Media Marlo Angell in 2011. Through grant funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Lawrence Transient Guest Tax Fund, Free State Festival has grown into a highly attended signature event for the state of Kansas. 

Past guests have included: Public Enemy, Jad Abumrad, Maria Bamford, Alison Bagnall, SJ Chiro, Trey Shults, Bobcat Goldthwait, Marc Maron, Barry Crimmins, Tig Notaro, Dennis Lehane, Chicano Batman, and Kris Kristofferson.

Past films have included: Lane 1974, Whose Streets?, Dolores, Computer ChessCompliance, The Fits, A Band Called Death, Sublime and Beautiful, Chi-raq, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, American Epic, Charles Bradley: Soul of America, Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty, The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead, and Krisha.



What's in store for 2018...




Marlo Angell - Director/ Founder   

Ben Ahlvers - Director  


Film Advisory Board

Laura Kirk

Misti Boland

Chris Blunk

Jon Niccum

Tom Carmody

Jai Nitz

Christie Dobson

David Hollond

​Jeremy Osbern


For further information on the festival, sponsorships, or volunteer opportunities, please contact: info@freestatefestival.org.



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