WHAT to EXPECT at the "WILD WEST" of FREEDOMFEST
The Inside Story of Shark Tank and the Wild West of Capitalism "Mr. Wonderful" from the popular TV show Shark Tank will join us at FreedomFest 2019. A fierce defender of capitalism, business and profit-making, Mr. O'Leary will address the FreedomFest crowd on Thursday, July 18.
"I like to take risks. That's how I make money. But they are calculated risks.” - Kevin O'Leary
A FreedomFest first! Penn Jillette, well-known magician and author, will be speaking on "The Magic of Liberty". Followed by an interview with Mark Skousen and Q&A with the audience. Want to meet him personally? Sign up for the VIP private reception immediately following Penn's appearance on the FreedomFest stage.
"Every time something bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking away the rights of good people” - Penn Jillette
We are delighted to welcome Candace Owens of Turning Point USA to the FreedomFest stage for the first time ever! She will address the crowd in a keynote speech "On the Other Side of Race: A View for the Future" on Friday, July 19.
"I like to say now that the reason I'm conservative is because I used to be a liberal, and I learned a lot." - Candace Owens
Steve Moore, one of Trump’s advisors and co-author of the new book “Trumpanomics,” has agreed to debate GMU professor Don Boudreaux on “Trump’s Trade War: Art of the Deal or No Deal?” Expect these two eminent economists to go at it in this war of ideas. This is Prof. Boudreaux's first FreedomFest, and he’s very excited to take on Moore and Trump!
"Trumpanomics will work!" - Stephen Moore
In another controversial session, John Mackey will team up with Bruce Friedrich (director of the Good Food Institute) to make the case that “Eating Meat Is Neither Healthy nor Ethical.”
"Food is intensely pleasurable, and people are afraid that if they change the way they eat, they'll stop having pleasure." - John Mackey
Gun control is the subject of our mock trial, always our most popular event. Defending the right to bear arms will be Antonia Okafor, the former Southwest regional director of Students for Concealed Carry. Prosecuting attorney is Michael Shermer, publisher and editor of Skeptic magazine.
"I decided that the very definition of empowerment required me to take responsibility for my own life. I wasn't going to be anyone's victim." - Antonia Okafor
This year we will host a debate between Michael Shermer, publisher and editor of Skeptic magazine, and Dr. Hyrum Lewis, professor of history at BYU-Idaho and author of the new book, “There Is a God: How to Respond to Atheism in the Last Days.” The two will clash on all the arguments -- free will, materialism, suffering, near-death experiences, design, and science vs religion. Can’t wait!
"I say you don't need religion, or political ideology, to understand human nature. Science reveals that human nature is greedy and selfish, altruistic and helpful." - Michael Shermer
Richard W. Rahn is an economist, syndicated columnist, and entrepreneur who has served previous White House administrations and the US Chamber of Commerce. A prolific write and author, he.will serve as the moderator of the debate between Steve Moore and Don Boudreaux on Trump and economics.
"The big question, at least for me as an economist, is whether moderate global warming will be good or bad for mankind. Most evidence strongly suggests modest global warming will be beneficial.” - Richard Rahn
Latin America panel and the Global Financial Summit (mod)
"The intellectual backwardness of many of Trump's trade advisors contrasts dramatically with some of the very good advice he's gotten in terms of deregulation" - Roberto Salinas-León
Wild Cat Banking, Gold Fever, and Bank Robberies in the OId West.
Uncivil War and Closing Panel
"Rhetoric is cheap, evidence comes more dearly." - John Fund
Wild Bill: The Legend of William O. Douglas, the Most Controversial Supreme Court Judge and his annual review of Supreme Court cases
“If legislation is truly necessary, one would expect the government to be able to provide proof of this beyond anecdote and speculation. Such proof is the least we can expect before we accept a government restriction of liberty as legitimate.” - Randy Barnett
"In every state, people are free to feed others in their filthy, unregulated homes, it's only when money changes hands that home cooks transform into a public health hazard." - Katherine Mangu-Ward
Funding Libertarians on Campus: Hostile Takeover or Academic Balance?
"I am being asked to turn down donations from the 'dreaded' Koch brothers, even when...the proposal for funding was inspired, developed and fully fleshed out by my faculty, in the most important exercise of their own academic freedom." - Daniele Struppa
The Final Frontier: Moon Landing, Star Wars, and Space Exploration with Catherine Cox
“Responsibility for the consequences of actions is not the price of freedom, but one of its rewards.” - Charles Murray
The New Atheists: Pro and Con debate with Michael Shermer
"Not only is little new in New Atheism, but this view is also becoming more antiquated every day as we move further into a world in which design, intelligence, information, and order are recognized as fundamental to reality." - Hyrum Lewis
Democracy and Anarchy: How Wild Was the Wild West? with PJ Hill.
“Incentives matter. If you don’t find a way to compensate people for doing good, you’re going to be hard pressed to get good done.” - Terry Anderson
Democracy and Anarchy: How Wild Was the Wild West? with Terry Anderson.
It's Capital! The Meaning, Purpose and WAY of Capital Investing for Your Business or Idea
Duels at FreedomFest 2019
The Libertarian Duel in the Vegas Sun
On Thursday, we also have the ultimate “Libertarian Duel in the Vegas Sun” — a one-on-one debate between Kevin O’Leary and John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market and author of “Conscious Capitalism.” Mackey argues that business has a higher purpose besides making money — the true, the beautiful and the heroic. By contrast, O’Leary argues that “business has only one purpose, to make money. If you want a friend, buy a dog!” I will be moderating this fiery debate that you won’t want to miss.
UnCivil War: Can a Divided America Stand?
Americans have never been more divided by tribalism and party politics. Can the gridlock be broken in 2019? Join a special panel on “Uncivil War: Can a Divided America Stand?” with John Fund (National Review); Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform); Candace Owens (Turning Point USA).
God, or No God: The New Atheists
One of the most memorable debates we ever had at FreedomFest was between Dinesh D’Souza and Christopher Hitchens. It was standing room only, and Dinesh barely won the debate in favor of religion.
It’s time for an encore. This year we will host a debate between Michael Shermer, publisher and editor of Skeptic magazine, and Dr. Hyrum Lewis, professor of history at BYU-Idaho and author of the new book, “There Is a God: How to Respond to Atheism in the Last Days.” The two will clash on all the arguments -- free will, materialism, suffering, near-death experiences, design, and science vs religion.
The Big Bull and Bear Debate
After 10 years of a remarkable and record-breaking bull market, are we finally at the precipice of a shift into a down market? Our panel of investment experts including Louis Navellier, Alexander Green, Bert Dohmen and Peter Schiff will debate!
Wild Panels on Wild Topics
Robbers, Rustlers and Rogues: Wild West Outlaws in Story and Song
One of our speakers, historian Mark Lee Gardner, is the author of the cover story in National Geographic this month: “Jesse James: Rise of an American Outlaw.” He and his partner, Rex Rideout,will speak and perform at FreedomFest on the topic, “Robbers, Rustlers and Rogues: Wild West Outlaws in Story and Song.”
Wide Open Spaces of the Wild West
We are pleased to announce that PERC (The Property and Economic Research Center), the country’s #1 free-market environmental think tank, will be hosting a main stage session with founders Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill, speaking on “Anarchy and the Long Arm of the Law: How Wild Was the Wild West?”
This will be followed up with a breakout session on the latest trends in free-market environmental solutions and management in a bold session entitled: "On Fire: Free-Market Environmental Solutions to Climate Change."
50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
Saturday July 20 will be special. Because it’s the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, Charles Murray and his wife Catherine Cox, authors of “Apollo: The Race to the Moon,” will speak about the future of space travel and space force (military).
Ed Hudgins will continue the conversation with a session entitled "Mars and the Future of Space - When Will We Be Celebrating the First Man on Mars?" Will Mars be the next era of a "wild west" for humankind?
Funding Libertarians on Campus: Hostile Takeover or the Promotion of Academic Balance?
Daniele Struppa (Chapman University), Jim Gwartney (FSU), Don Boudreaux (GMU) and Harry Veryser (U of Detroit-Mercy) as moderator. Marxists are famous for taking over departments at colleges. Is it time for libertarians to do the same?
The Coddling of the American Mind
Jonathan Haidt and FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff on their bestselling book “The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”
"Wild Bills" in History
Our “Wild West” is an opportunity to discuss "wild" men in history:
Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett will speak on “Wild Bill: The Legend of William O. Douglas, the Most Controversial Supreme Court Judge,” and his annual review of Supreme Court cases. Douglas wrote his autobiography, “Go East, Young Man.”
Mark Skousen will speak on “Call of the Wild: Jack London, Socialist or Rugged Individualist?” Skousen will review the life and themes of the most popular writer of the 20thcentury. He will also read my favorite London short story.
New York Times best-selling author Tom Clavin will appear at FreedomFest to discuss his latest book, Wild Bill Hickok: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter. You will be fascinating to learn the lesser known and extremely amazing facts about the original "Wild Bill."
The Real Story of Brexit & Its Aftermath: Politics vs the People
Barbara Kolm, Richard Rahn and Robin Koerner will lay out the story of Brexit, including all the latest updates and developments - and what its aftermath means not only for the people of the UK and the EU, but for future of global politics.
Thanks, Facebook: The Demise of Free Speech on Social Media
Censorship is rampant on social media...political speech in particular, conservative and libertarian free speech especially, are regularly removed, hidden, stricken, barred and restricted. But does it even end there? What ELSE are the powers that be behind Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram censoring. And what does that mean for our future? Join Dr. Jack Wolfson, Daryl Kane and Kaitlin Marie Bennett for this critical and informative panel.
The Cure for "Toxic Masculinity" is....Real Masculinity
Robin Koerner leads a panel of experts on the subject of "toxic masculinity" to investigate the notions of gender roles, equality, "radical feminism" and how these are creating a new mix in our society today. Are human relationships improving as a result of these new ideas? What have we lost? Get ready for a potentially highly "triggering" panel!
Capitalism VS Socialism: No Contest!
The Future of Freedom Foundation will investigate the impacts, pitfalls and potentials of socialism in the world today with two back-to-back sessions: Drinking Beer Across Socialist Europe with James Bovard and Conservatives Are Socialists Too with Jacob Hornberger and Richard Ebeling,
Beyond Ayn Rand: The Power and Vision of Libertarian Women
From the start, there have been pivotal female voices in the development of libertarian thought: Rose Wilder Lane, Isabel Paterson and of course, Ayn Rand. At FreedomFest this year, we will feature a powerhouse panel of some of the libertarian movement's most influential leaders and thought-influencers. They will reveal how progress in libertarian thought and influence is being created by the vision of these key women.
The Wild West on Wall Street
The Cold Hard Truth About Business and Investing
Volatility, uncertainty and chaos are all too common in today’s financial markets under the Trump era. You can make a killing, or be killed.
We’re putting together a special three-day financial conference at FreedomFest called “The Wild West on Wall Street,” with experts on how to arm yourself with the protection you need during these dangerous times. Leading the posse will be none other than Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank fame, who regularly offers sound financial advice on CNBC.
My Favorite Way to Beat the Market 3:1
Paintings, Statues, Rare Coins, and Collectibles of the Old West
Gold Fever: How to Invest in Penny Stocks Without Losing Your Shirt
How to Beat the Market Without Predicting the Future
How Not to Get Rich: What You Can Learn From the Financial Misadventures of Mark Twain
Wild Cat Banking, Gold Fever, and Bank Robberies in the OId West
Dr. Lynne Doti tells the truth behind the banking system of the Old West...how bank robberies happened (IF they happened), and the real dangers to the financial system.
It's Capital: Winning Strategies to Fund Your Business
Hear directly from THE venture capital experts: Rina Shah, Neal Dikeman and Jeff Barnes lead you through the proven strategies to research, propose, negotiate and secure the proper funding for your business or entrepreneurial projects.
The Second Amendment on Trial
The Second Amendment on Trial...with all the mass shootings and misuse of guns in America, is it time to give up the Second Amendment? Is it relevant, or even prudent, in the 21st century?
Some of the evidence and rationale for banning guns from the average citizen—and who’s making the case— may surprise you.
Defending the right to bear arms will be Antonia Okafor, the Texas director of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Prosecuting attorney is Michael Shermer, publisher and editor of Skeptic magazine.
Plus four star witnesses and the Judge (TBD) and the opportunity for YOU to be a member of our jury.
Don't miss this star-studded and compelling session on Friday, July 19 at FreedomFest!
Anthem Film Festival
Every year we host the Anthem Film Festival, directed by Jo Ann Skousen, and the attendance keeps getting bigger.
Anthem offers the year’s best films about personal and civil liberty. We present movies and documentaries about self-reliance, innovation, entrepreneurship, individual rights, and the triumph of persuasion over force. Libertarian films often point out the unintended consequences of government intervention, but they’re just as likely to be about a protagonist’s personal struggle for self-expression or self-reliance. Libertarian stories can be found in any family, community, or industry. Our best heroes create their own paths; they don’t conform to the expectations of others. When something goes wrong, they fix it themselves. When something goes right, they give credit where it’s due. Libertarian films show us how to make the world a better place simply by making our own lives better.
Enjoy a screening of a libertarian film at the Anthem Film Festival...only at FreedomFest!
Submissions now open through April 15!
"Constitution Day" at FreedomFest 2019
This year, Free to Choose will sponsor "Constitution Day" at FreedomFest. Featuring a main stage presentation on the Constitution from the astute and respected Judge Douglas Ginsburg, there will be three additional sessions on Friday July 19 that look at the new Free to Choose documentary series "The Constitution" - exploring the vital principles and tenets of the US Constitution that give us our current rights....but also are in serious jeopardy.
Session 1: David Bobb and Judge Ginsburg on "A More or Less Perfect Union"
Session 2: Randy Barnett on A Constitution in Writing
Session 3: Clark Neily on A Constitution for All?
Hosted by Rob Chatfield
"Reason Day" at FreedomFest 2019
Each year, Reason Foundation sponsors thought-provoking sessions on current events and libertarian thought. Reason will host a main stage presentation Saturday morning followed by three breakout sessions, featuring some of your favorite Reason editors!
The Pitch Tank
Our special Pitch Tank Event provides Angel Investor Network (our partners who organize Pitch Tank) with tremendous deal flow opportunities receiving over five hundred or more applications from new companies who want the chance to participate in this very popular and highly attended event session.
After careful consideration and many conversations, AIN then whittles down the list and invites 20-25 companies to join us in Las Vegas where, for a fee, they receive their own six foot table in the exhibit hall to present their company’s abilities to FreedomFest attendees and investors.
The preliminary judging round allows each of the participating companies a chance to deliver a live investor pitch to our preliminary judges who then discuss and evaluate each presentation within a non-disclosed criteria list rating each company on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best.
Judged Categories include:
- Market Opportunity and Solution
- Growth Plan
- Financial Projections
- Capital Strategy
After the preliminary round, the top five companies are then invited to do their pitch in front of the entire FreedomFest audience on the Main Stage. The main stage Pitch Tank finals are attended by over 2,000 people and provides the five finalists the opportunity to gain valuable experience speaking and presenting to a large and discriminating audience of educated and sophisticated investors. An invaluable experience for new entrepreneurs!
General Store (aka our Exhibit Hall)
The Tradeshow for Liberty
There's good times, good people, good food and good ideas to be found in our ultimate "general store" -- the FreedomFest Exhibit Hall!
John Mackey calls it the "tradeshow for liberty" because it's the one place you'll find all the biggest and best think tanks, grassroots organizations and non-profits, plus financial services companies, coin dealers and precious metals businesses, real estate investing, healthcare companies, and much more.
Whether you are looking to get involved, invest, buy a great new product, meet some terrific new people, get a book signed, have some coffee or a bite to eat, the FreedomFest Exhibit Hall is THE place to gather throughout the conference.
Non-Stop Action in the Exhibit Hall: The Hunt for Gold Begins!
One of the favorite spots for attendees is the Exhibit Hall, where over 100 freedom organizations, think tanks, book sellers, and financial services gather for 3 ½ days. That’s where we have our cocktail parties, lunch sales, places to relax, visit with friends, and play games (try your hand at the “White Mates in Two” chess problem each day).
Terry and Sue Easton wrote after last year’s show, “We had non-stop traffic at our booth!!! Fantastic response. We could not have hoped for a better reception to our new program/project.”
This July we will have something special in the Exhibit Hall – a Treasure Hunt for a lock box worth $1,776, including gold and silver coins! Open to all attendees. Details to follow.
A Rootin' Tootin' Good Time at FreedomFest!
Rip-Roaring' at the Saturday Night Banquet
Featuring The Amish Outlaws!
The FreedomFest Saturday Night Farewell Banquet is the not-to-be-missed celebration that is the perfect ending to a glorious four days of intellectual feasting.Opening with a festive cocktail reception where you can visit with new found friends and long-held colleagues, the banquet doors open to invite everyone in for an elegant three-course gourmet meal, plus keynote speakers, live entertainment, the Anthem Film Festival awards and music and dancing!
This year we will be entertained by the effusive and infectiously fun Amish Outlaws, known for their enthusiastic versions of classic songs from Motown, country and rock'n'roll through to today's biggest pop hits.
Tickets are normally $250 each but are just $125 for our FreedomFest attendees.
Cowboys and the History of the Wild West....
Billy the Kid and Jesse James: Robin Hoods or Wicked Outlaws? Mark Gardner has written extensively on both of these infamous outlaws. This illustrated presentation will include both factual background on their lives and a review of how the two have been portrayed in movies, art, and literature.
Robbers, Rustlers and Rogues: Wild West Outlaws in Story and Song Mark Gardner and Rex Rideout join forces for this session, which will include a live performance of such famous American folk ballads as "Jesse James," "Cole Younger," "Sam Bass," "Billy the Kid," among others. Primarily a musical session, it will also present brief backgrounds on the outlaws, as well as the stories behind the songs themselves.
Mark Gardner and Rex Rideout will be featured during our Welcome Reception during the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday night. Enjoy their traditional cowboy music live and firsthand!
Have a rip-roaring good time at an old-fashioned square dance....right at FreedomFest! The shindig will begin with a performance of clogging and yodeling by Mama's Wranglers, leading into some audience participation line-dancing!
Mama's Wranglers, the Jackson Family Band & Cloggers, are one of the most sought after acts around! They've performed in 49 states, Canada, and Europe. They sing old time western music, clog and America's yodeling sweetheart, 17-year old Skyler, will bring down the house! The media, radio and television love their confidence, charisma, hot instrumentation, dancing, and powerful vocal harmonies that only siblings can achieve.
Then our traditional square dance caller will take over, leading us all through the moves and patterns for an authentic square dance. You can partner up, doh-si-doh and do a right-and-left grand with your friends from FreedomFest. No experience or partner necessary! The caller will tell you exactly what you need to know to square dance. Can you walk, stomp and turn in a circle? Then YOU can square dance!
Put on your dancing shoes and be ready to square up on Thursday, July 18.
Special Event Luncheon
Thursday, July 18 12pm
VIP keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary will give a special private luncheon on “The Inside Story of Shark Tank.” Includes a full three-course lunch and a signed copy of O’Leary’s best-selling book “The Cold Hard Truth on Men, Women and Money.” Thursday, July 18th at 12pm.
$125 per person
Thursday, July 18 7pm
Join us for a filmmakers reception and master class special event. Includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Thursday, July 18th.
$75 per person
Friday, July 19 7:30pm
Treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime at our exclusive VIP reception with keynote speaker, Penn Jillette. Meet Penn Jillette personally and have a photo taken with him. Includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Strictly limited to 100. Friday, July 19th 7:00pm.
$125 per person
Mark and Jo Ann Skousen
Special Event Breakfast
Saturday, July 20 7:30am
Mark and Jo Ann Skousen have both worked together to achieve financial independence for over 45 years, despite having two different approaches to investing — Jo Ann is more conservative and Mark more speculative. In this lively presentation, the Skousens will reveal their unique strategy of apply the law of comparative advantage to saving, investing, consumer and business debt, and personal finance that maximizing net worth and minimizing fighting over money (a major cause of divorce). A first at FreedomFest. Full breakfast included. Saturday, July 20th.
$60 per person
Featuring The Amish Outlaws
Saturday, July 20 6pm
No FreedomFest conference experience is complete without enjoying our fabulous Saturday Night Banquet. Join the FreedomFest family for a festive reception (with live acoustic guitar), gourmet three-course dinner, live entertainment, the Anthem Film awards, special guest speakers and live music and dancing with the amazing Amish Outlaws! (You won’t believe who gets out on the dance floor every year!).
Normally $250/person, discounted by 50% with your FreedomFest registration!
How to Take Advantage of These Special Events:
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