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Lincoln Calling's 15th Anniversary

This Year, Downtown Lincoln's Music Festival Puts the Spotlight on Sustainability, Future of Music Entrepreneurship 




Over 15 years, Lincoln’s own little downtown music festival has become not so little.

This year’s Lincoln Calling Music Festival will take place on September 19-23.

Lincoln Calling began in 2003 with a mission to give budding local artists a place to come together and perform. This year, the festival has grown to four days, over 80 musicians and 25 visual artists.

With five downtown venues participating--1867, Bodega’s Alley, the Bourbon Theatre, Duffy’s Tavern, and the Zoo Bar--and the block from 13th and O to 13th and P closed off for vendors and an outdoor stage, downtown Lincoln will transform into a haven for music, art, and innovation at the end of September.

Previous festival-goers can expect the same packed schedule, up-and-coming headliners and informational panels about the industry.

New this year is a focus on health and wellness, sustainability, and innovation.

Lincoln Calling is taking its influence and traction to become a vehicle for education and collaboration within the community with new panels, workshops, and initiatives.

“The music and health industries are constantly underfunded and underappreciated,” Lincoln Calling event coordinator Spencer Munson said. “Music is a form of wellness for many people.  We are excited to develop our new track bringing the worlds together to discuss wellness of all kinds.”

The festival’s new “wellness track” includes yoga and fitness classes with musical guests offered throughout the festival, education about physical, mental, and financial wellness, and guest speakers like Lori Lindsey, a former USA soccer player.  

Another “entrepreneurial track” focuses on educating new generations in music innovation and business with panels about cultivating your local hip hop and R&B scene, the history of KZUM, and how to take your DIY band on the road, to name a few. Workshops like “Finding the Right Sound in the Studio: Hardware vs. Software” take a hands-on approach to learning about music technology.

Lincoln Calling is also building on its zero-waste initiative with compostable festival products, expanded recycling locations, a mobile hydration station, and a solar charging station.

“Lincoln Calling is looking to have a long term positive effect on our city,” Munson said. “This isn't just about music or the party. It’s about visual art, building a brand and business, and improving the quality of life in our city through thoughtful programming.  There is lots of room for growth regarding sustainability in our city. Lincoln Calling is learning from other cities like Austin and Boulder and leading the way for better waste management and public transportation.”

For more information, schedules, and to purchase tickets, visit


Check out this year's artists before the festival with the Lincoln Calling 2018 playlist on Spotify: