Lincoln Calling moves concerts outdoors; requiring proof of vaccination

Lincoln Calling is back in-person for the festival’s 18th year.
Lincoln Calling is back in-person for the festival’s 18th year.(Lincoln Calling)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 3:16 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lincoln Calling is moving it’s usual indoor/outdoor festival all outdoors, going from eight total stages down to three outdoor stages. According to Lincoln Calling representatives, the decision doesn’t come lightly, but after the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Lincoln and Lancaster County in late August, and the dial continuing to remain high-risk and in the Orange, the Lincoln Calling’s board of directors and staff made the call Sept. 2.

All attendees, vendors, staff, artists, and anyone ages 16 and older MUST have proof of vaccination (at least 14 days prior to event date) or a negative PCR test result within 72 hours, and is required at check in to attend each day of the festival (hard copy/digital accepted).

“In 2020 we made a commitment to our local community, and community of artists and educators, that Lincoln Calling would be cognizant of the work we aim to do, which is to provide opportunities for and uplift underrepresented and marginalized communities.” says Shannon Claire, Executive Assistant Director. “Artists everywhere have been impacted by the most recent Covid-19 pandemic, and Nebraska is no different. Recovery resources are not equitably distributed, therefore we have to do our part to provide a safe experience for all involved, and think of our community impact overall.”

The festival is able to retain about 60% of its original lineup, and will be extending festival hours on Friday, Sep. 24, beginning at 5 p.m., and Saturday, Sep. 25, beginning at 2 p.m. to accommodate. Keeping their Night Market and Duffy’s Tavern Backlot stages, Lincoln Calling adds a third outdoor stage at Tower Square to support the move.  The festival concentrated on keeping touring and headlining acts, along with the special showcases.

“We have been particularly excited to partner with many great organizations and community members to produce some very special showcases.” says Spencer Munson, Lincoln Calling’s Executive Director. “Vision Maker Media will present an all Native American showcase celebrating their 45th year anniversary. Omaha’s Culxr House will bring a half a dozen hip-hop artists together, where Marcey Yates and friends will perform their latest album release in full; and Latino Lives will bring LatinX performers from Austin, TX to Chicago!”. Showcases by electronic music production group, Black Magik, and Kansas City’s record label, The Record Machine, who hosts LIncoln group The Fey, will also take place.

Boston’s alternative rock trio, Slothrust, and Chicago’s bass house brothers, Birthdayy Partyy, continue to make up the festival’s headliners, along with Native artists, Indigenous. Nashville’s independent all-female, queer southern rock band, Thelma and The Sleaze, also joins the top of the bill along with Austin, TX, Chicana-punk band Fea. More artists include Gully Boyz, Raye Zaragoza, Antoine, and over 25 Nebraska acts round out the 40+ bands to perform.

Lincoln Calling will also feature special collaborations with and host conversations surrounding art, innovation, activism, wellness and more through specially curated workshops and panel discussions. Nebraska artists and educators include Benson First Friday, Lincoln Arts Council, Constellation Studios, Kiechel Fine Art Gallery, Media Corp Omaha, Live Yes Studios, ArtBus LNK, and more.

Even though Lincoln Calling removed the majority of its Thursday lineup, the three-day festival will have two special shows in the downtown city parks to kick things off. There will be a special extended Hub and Soul concert series at Union Plaza, along with the Jay Kremier Experimental showcase, featuring Tatsuya Nakatani, at Tower Square.

Festival passes are on sale now for $45 at with VIP tickets available. Day passes available for $25. Free festival passes are available to those who volunteer. Sign up opportunities can be found on Lincoln Calling’s website. Portions of the festival will be live streamed by BCN for those unable to attend in-person, donation based.

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