The Louisville Zombie Attack started in 2005 with a few dozen people.
Last year, an estimated 16,000 took part.
The costs of orchestrating a parade of people dressed (some cleverly!) as the undead have risen—and now the Louisville Zombie Attack’s organizers are asking the public for help paying for it.
For the uninitiated, the Louisville Zombie Attack is an annual event on Aug. 29 where people get zombied-up and march through the Highlands. This year, the walk will start at Mid-City Mall and end at the Monkey Wrench bar. It began years ago as a celebration the shared birthday of John King and Lyndi Lou.
But the Zombie Attack grew and grew to the point of being sort of difficult to control, as zombie attacks are wont to do. Perhaps 20,000 people will participate in next month’s Zombie Attack, King said.
With growth came expenses.
“It kind of falls under the ‘suffering from our own success’ as a free event,” King told me. “We’ve gotten so popular we can’t afford to do it as we have.”
In recent years, the organizers have sought permits and all the related thing that go with it.
Zombie walks aren’t cheap, apparently.
He estimates it’ll cost as much as $10,000—for matters such as security, traffic-control, insurance and clean-up. (One goal, he said, is to ensure that the route is cleaned up to look the way the zombies found it.)
It cost about $7,000 last year.
King is a full-time student and sound archivist at Berea College. Lyndi Lou is a tattoo artist.
They can’t afford to pay for it all out of pocket, King said. They have some sponsorships lined up, but not enough to cover the full costs.
They’ve set up a crowdsourcing account at RocketHub with the goal of raising $3,300—about a third of what they think they’ll need.
The fundraising ends on Aug. 3. On early Sunday morning, they were about 20-percent to their goal.
If they don’t reach it, there’s a chance that they may not be able to acquire the necessary permits to organize a 2013 Louisville Zombie Attack, King said.
King said he’s more broadly concerned, however, about keeping Zombie Attack going beyond this year.
“We’re working everyday to make sure we can keep it alive,” he said.
“Or undead, I guess.”