The 14th-Annual Lincoln Calling Music Festival presented by Allo Communications is upon us! This digital guide will help you fest as hard or as soft as you want to. Use it to plan your attack — bounce from show to show, venue to venue, and fall in love with Lincoln’s vibrant music community along the way. If you have questions or concerns, talk to a Lincoln Calling representative at the ticketing booth (inside the Night Market).
Follow @lincolncalling_ and @hearnebraska on Twitter and Instagram for immediate updates, festival tidbits and scorching hot photos. Some stuff we recommend: Make new friends. Dance — it’s cool, especially if everyone is watching. See an artist you’ve never seen before, especially if they’re part of our carefully curated local lineup. Patronize local businesses (and tip well). Don’t drink and drive. Most importantly, have a great time!
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Throughout this digital guide, we’ll assume you have your three-day passes —fest’s best value at $.51 per act — securely in hand. Oh… you don’t have them, you say? They are still available, along with a few more specific and incentivized options below:
- Festival Pass — For those rabid and dedicated festivalgoers wanting to tick as many boxes as possible, here’s the pass for you. At $59, it’s the best bang for your buck.
- Under 18 Fest Pass — The works, but for those folks who are under 18. It grants access to each all-ages venue (The Bay, The Bourbon, The Night Market) for the fest’s duration all for $29.
- Single Night: Don’t let those other obligations keep you from experiencing a slice of Lincoln Calling. Single night passes are available for each night of the festival until 10 p.m that day. They run $29 for Thursday and $34 Friday and Saturday.
Find tickets, plus a detailed list of what you should and should not bring with you, here.
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With 100-plus acts packed into three days, the schedule will be your best friend. Plan your attack below and keep it handy (downloadable version available here).
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The Night Market
New this year, Lincoln Calling’s Night Market, on the street at 14th & O, features live local music presented by Firespring and produced by 89.3 KZUM, a beer garden run by Jake’s Cigars & Spirits, and tons of local vendors and makers curated by Lincoln Young Professionals Group. It will also feature live art and various exhibits brought to you by Benson First Friday.
In short, it’s a true street festival, and the best part: it’s free! Here’s a list of what you’ll find around the square:
Vendors: Wax Buffalo, Kitchen Sink Cookie Company, Bodhi Imports, Voufalou, Hood’s Fine Berad Oils, BBB Printing, Omaha Zine Fest, Mystic Rhoads Productions, Awl Jokes Aside, Pacha Soap, Farin + Four, Balliet, Lavare, Meesha Pea, Hannaya Healing, Madeline
Sponsor booths: Pen-Link, ALLO,The Bay, D.A. Davidson, LES, Nebraska Bank of Commerce, Lancaster Health Dept, KFRX, KZUM, Make Lincoln, LPED, Planned Parenthood, Bold Nebraska
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photo of the women in music panel, Lincoln Calling 2016 | photo by Lauren Farris
This year’s in-depth workshop series will highlight intriguing music industry topics relevant to any aspiring musician. Gain perspective from top music festivals like SXSW and Treefort Music Fest, learn about one of Nebraska’s most storied DIY labels, Speed! Nebraska, and advance the conversation surrounding artist inclusion and women empowerment in the industry with Frankie Cosmos‘ Greta Kline and a panel of local artists.
5 p.m. @ Nonprofit Hub, Third Floor — Have My Back or Get Out of the Way: A conversation with femmes in bands
Panelists: Mary Lawson (Mesonjixx), Meghan Munyon (Better Friend), Eris Koleszar (Boner Killerz), Greta Kline (Frankie Cosmos), TBA
Moderator: Rachel Tomlinson Dick (Bien Fang, Miniature Horse)
10 a.m. @ The Bay — Leveraging Your Community: How year-round engagement leads to unlocking new ideas, staying atop trends, acquiring new talent, & extending your brand
Speaker: Kelly Krause, Conference Programming Manager at SXSW
Kelly Krause | photo provided by Kelly Krause
11 a.m. @ The Bay — We Couldn’t Afford Hologram Tupac’s Rider: The struggles, breakthroughs and hard-earned wins of mid-level music festivals
Panelists: Elizabeth Cosentino (Treefort), Amedeo Rossi (80/35), Josh Hewitt (Hinterland), Bill Sweet (Maha Music Festival), SXSW, Spencer Munson (Lincoln Calling)
Moderator: Aaron Shaddy, frmr. chair, Maha Music Festival
4 p.m. @ Nonprofit Hub, Third Floor — Perspectives from an Emerging Independent Music Scene in Nebraska – SPEED! Nebraska Records
Speaker: Gary Dean Davis, SPEED! Founder
Gary Dean Davis at Lincoln Calling 2016 | photo by Matt Mejstrik
5 p.m. @ Nonprofit Hub, Third Floor — Finding the Right Sound in the Studio: A Conversation With the Pros
Panelists: Mike Mogis (ARC Studios), Charlie Johnson (Fuse Recording), Rick Carson (Make Believe Studios), and Chris Pinkering (Dull Tools)
Moderator: Keith Rodger, Omaha producer/musician
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While Lincoln Calling shows are largely centralized, our partners at The Bay are just off the beaten path. No matter! StarTran will run a free bus route from downtown to the indoor skatepark and venue all weekend long as part of our sustainability efforts. It picks up at the SE corner of 14th & O (across from the Night Market) to The Bay’s front doorstep (20th & Y) and back every 15 minutes from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
We also recommend cycling or walking to-and-from spots through campus, which is beautiful in the fall. And if you’re drinking, call or plan a ride — please, do not drive. Encourage your friends to stay safe, as well.
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Sample most of what you’ll hear at Lincoln Calling with our Spotify and YouTube playlists below:
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In partnership with Carson+Co Global and Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler’s Office, Lincoln Calling has incorporated several key sustainability initiatives to make the festival more eco-friendly and help us #sustainNE. Recycling stations staffed by volunteers will be available at each venue. Two Springo mobile hydration units will operate from 3-10 p.m. at each end of the Night Market. LES will run four pedicabs downtown from 6-9 p.m. And of course, we recommend cycling or riding the free StarTran bus between the Night Market and The Bay.
Omaha nonprofit Benson First Friday has incorporated various artistic elements into the fest. Expect to see artist performances, visual art displays and exhibitions, live murals, after-dark projections and interactive pieces! Get to know BFF at www.bensonfirstfriday.com.
The Bay presents a series of skateboarding competitions, one for each festival evening. Thursday, it’s a game of S-K-A-T-E; Friday kicks it old-school with the mini-ramp comp; and Saturday brings double runs in the park. Each competition is split into beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions and runs 5-7 p.m. Registration is free and starts one hour before drop-in at 2005 Y St.
2017 Skate Art Music Festival, produced by The Bay | photo by Marti Vaughan
Lincoln Young Professionals Week
YP Week is a series of carefully curated speakers, discussion panels, workshops and networking opportunities that celebrate the talent, insight and energy of young professionals in Lincoln, while also exploring the intersection between culture and city. Find more info at lincolnypg.com/events. #YPWeek
Lincoln Startup Week is a new type of conference that builds momentum and opportunity around entrepreneurship, led by entrepreneurs and hosted in various entrepreneurial spaces in town. Its aim is to reflect the hard work and entrepreneurial identity of Lincoln’s startup community. Startup Week events happen all week long. More info at lincoln.startupweek.co/.
Lincoln Calling welcomes the 4th-Annual Make Lincoln, the city’s original maker fair which brings together more than 100 local makers in celebration of the artisanal community on Saturday, Sept. 30. It happens from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Trago Park, 22nd & U.
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The Conduct Policy
Lincoln Calling Music Festival strives to facilitate a supportive, non-threatening environment that encourages open-mindedness, respect, a willingness to learn from others, as well as physical and mental safety, regardless of gender identity/expression, race, sexual orientation, ability or religion. We will not tolerate physical or verbal abuse or violence of any kind.
- Notify venue or festival staff immediately if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable for any reason.
- Please look out for your fellow concertgoers.
- Please be mindful that your intentions and reception by others can be at odds. If someone tells you an action is hurtful, listen to them and take appropriate action.
Lincoln Calling & its partner venues will not tolerate the following behavior:
- Unwelcome remarks about gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, physical appearance, age, race or religion
- Non-consensual physical touching of any kind
- Violence or threats of violence
- Underage drinking or facilitation of underage drinking
- Illegal drug use
We honor the right of the individual to choose what bathroom they feel the most comfortable in, and/or what bathroom they feel their gender identity most corresponds to.
Dancing is encouraged here. If you would like to dance with another patron, be respectful in your approach & ask the person if you can join. If declined, accept rejection with grace.
By law, we give the power to bartenders to determine when a person has reached their liquor limit. We want everyone to enjoy themselves, but do so responsibly.
Any who stand in violation of these terms will be removed from the festival and have their wristband permanently revoked.
[Editor’s note: this policy will be posted throughout all festival spaces.]
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Lincoln Calling Music Festival would not be possible without our presenting sponsor, Allo, and these fine supporters: Lincoln Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Downtown Lincoln Association, Nebraska Bank of Commerce, Lagunitas, Bacardi, Whole Foods, Union Bank & Trust, Omaha Steaks, Eagle Printing and Sign, Lincoln Electric System, Pen-Link, 106.3 KFRX, 89.3 KZUM, Firespring, Lee Rankin Stuart Family Foundation, WRK Family Foundation, D.A. Davidson, The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown, Embassy Suites Lincoln, Graduate Lincoln, Shirts101, Assurity, Nebraska Lottery, Lincoln Industries,Lincoln Young Professionals Group, HomeServices of Nebraska, Woods Bros Realty, Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development, Carson+Co Global, Benson First Friday, Nature Conservancy and Nonprofit Hub Lincoln.