The one-of-a-kind, free, all-ages concert series and storytelling tour across Greater Nebraska – Year 3

Hear Nebraska will take to the road, bringing local music to Greater Nebraska communities during its third-annual Good Living Tour, presented by Nebraska Department of Economic Development. The ambitious concert series connects top Nebraska talent with new audiences, celebrating Nebraska music and culture and encouraging the growth of the state’s music industry. The 2017 tour will visit eight towns in six weekends.

One of the most significant issues facing Nebraska communities — especially outside of Lincoln and Omaha — is a loss of young people. In the last 30 years, Greater Nebraska has seen a 6.8% drop in its 18-34-year-old population. Young people think Nebraska is old, flat and boring, that interesting and diverse cultural events happen elsewhere, not here. So they leave.

It doesn’t have to be that way. With The Good Living Tour, Hear Nebraska helps answer the question “What is there to do in Nebraska?” Through the tour, which is sponsored by the Nebraska Dept. of Economic Development and the Nebraska Community Foundation, HN will help show Nebraska’s youth that their communities are worth investing in, encouraging them to remain in their communities after high school or returning after college.

Project Mission

  • Celebrate the unique livelihood available in Greater Nebraska.
  • Cultivate an increasingly vibrant, original, contemporary music culture and industry in Greater Nebraska — connecting and growing the state’s urban and rural communities.
  • Expose a young audience to new, innovative music and performance through homegrown Nebraska musicians — inspiring them to learn an instrument, host a concert or pursue a career in the arts.
  • Educate Nebraskans — and the world— about Greater Nebraska music venues, music-related small businesses and passionate arts supporters.

The Concerts

The Good Life performs in Grand Island during the 2016 Good Living Tour | photo by Lindsey Yoneda

The concert portion of the Good Living Tour sends original Nebraska bands and musicians to Greater Nebraska communities to perform free, all-ages outdoor concerts. Each concert, carefully curated by Hear Nebraska, featured a lineup of original, diverse Nebraska acts, with at least one band native to each town – representing an array of musical genres and styles – from indie rock to country to hip-hop to blues.

In its second year, The Good Living 2016 brought 36 Nebraska bands and 12 DJs to 12 towns across Nebraska over the course of three weekends in July/ August, with more than 2,000 attendees throughout. In addition, we filmed a series of Live Performance Videos with local musicians, capturing intimate, stripped down performances in settings that represent each town’s unique identity and character. See the results from the 2016 Good Living Tour concert series here:

This year, we’re headed to eight Nebraska towns, filming live performance videos and telling stories in our new additions, Hebron and Auburn. The full schedule is below:

Friday, June 9
Location: Roosevelt Park

Community Sponsors: City of Hebron, Hebron Chamber of CommerceHebron Community Foundation

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Saturday, June 10
Location: Legion Memorial Park

Community sponsors: Nemaha County Hospital, Nemaha County Development Foundation Fund, Lifetime Vision Center

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Saturday, July 1
Location: 8th & Broadway

Community sponsors: Imperial Community Foundation Fund, Chase County Tourism

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Saturday, July 15
Location: Starke Round Barn

Community sponsors: Red Cloud Community Foundation Fund, Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud Chamber of Commerce, City of Red Cloud, South Central State Bank, Webster County Community Hospital Foundation, Heritage Bank, Casey’s General Stores, The Red Cloud B&B at the Kaley House, Republican Valley Arts Council.

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Saturday, July 29
Location: Barnett Park

Community sponsors: Prairie Roots Festival, Community Hospital, McCook Community Foundation, Fund, Red Willow County Tourism Board, McCook National Bank, Acme Printing, McCook Chamber of Commerce

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Friday, Aug 4
Location: Downtown Norfolk, Johnny Carson Mural

Community sponsors: ForkFest, Downtown Norfolk Association, City of Norfolk Economic Development, Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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Friday, Aug 18
Location: Storefront Theater

Community sponsors: TBD

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Saturday, Aug 19
Location: Brickyard Park

Community sponsors: TBD

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The Workshops

On the day of each concert, Hear Nebraska staff and performing artists will lead an educational workshop designed to give every community the tools and knowledge to increase the presence and support of original music in their community. Topics could include: attracting touring artists; facilitating local music production; starting a sustainable music venue or concert series; helping an existing band expand their reach; and engaging and encouraging support from the community. These workshops will be responsive to each community’s desires and infrastructures, focusing on what is possible and what will have the greatest impact.


Rachel Price poses for a portrait shortly after filming an acoustic performance video in O’Neill, Neb | photo by Andrew Dickinson

In its third year, the GLT storytelling component will consist of written features on Nebraska music industry elements, filming live acoustic performance videos with an artist with connections to each community, and capturing the concerts and their settings to showcase the art and culture happening in each town.

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The 2017 Good Living Tour is presented by the Department of Economic Development, and made possible with support from Peter Kiewit Foundation, Nebraska Community Foundation, Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Nebraska Loves Public Schools, Pinnacle Bank, Union Pacific, Center for Rural Affairs.