In 2004, Lincoln Calling was born.
Founded by then-student Jeremy Buckley, the first fest was a celebration of local music and those who support it. Stretching three days, the inaugural fest brought in 25 bands throughout five venues.
The second year expanded the festival slightly with 30 bands in six venues, proving lightning could strike twice.
Growth was always on Lincoln Calling’s radar. The next few years brought in more top-tier Nebraska talent, including Tilly and the Wall, Neva Dinova and Orenda Fink.
Between 2009 and 2012, Lincoln Calling began to explode in terms of the quantity of music available, but still for a more reasonable price than other festivals comparable in size. The fest began to bring in national talent in addition to the regional and local bands it had always shown a spotlight on. Bands including Sea Wolf, The Hood Internet and Ivan & Alyosha headlined Lincoln Calling in these years.
The 2013 fest proved be an especially memorable one for fest-goers. BOY, Hot Buttered Rum and a smaller-known indie favorite Future Islands headlined. Only a few months later, Future Islands did their thing on Letterman and the rest is history. The event further cementer Lincoln Calling’s place as a purveyor of up-and-coming talent, both on a local and national level.
Over the next few years, Lincoln Calling became more innovative than ever before and drew in people from all over the world. Hear Nebraska took over the festival between 2016 and 2017, allowing for bigger name headlines, including Angel Olsen, Charli XCX and Cupcakke. Young Professional Week and the Night Market were added to the festival’s offerings, allowing for a more comprehensive experience with additional activity in addition to the 100+ bands the festival now showcases.
This year, Lincoln Calling plans to bring the same eye for up-and-coming talent as it has in previous years.
The past 15 years have been an absolute blast and to all those who have attended our festival in the past 15 years, thank you.