This week marks the 14th annual Lincoln Exposed Music Festival and the week’s all-local bill brings out the best hidden gems of our music scene.
Taking place over five venues and four evenings, this year’s event includes 110 local bands that span nearly every genre and age group in the city. In many ways, Lincoln Exposed is a chance for the music scene to celebrate itself, and the inclusivity that it promotes. While these bands and venues support each other all year, this week means 14th and O will be a high concentration of all things in the local scene.
Shows will run in 40-minute sets at each venue, from 6 p.m. until late Wednesday through Saturday. The venues taking place at this year’s event include the Zoo Bar, 1867 Bar, Bodega’s Alley, Duffy Tavern and, for Wednesday only, The Bourbon Theater. All venues are 21+, except for the Bourbon which will be 18+. Passes for the entire week are $25 while day passes are $8-10. More information and the full schedule is available on Facebook.
Organized by longtime local influencer Spencer Munson, alongside a cast of powerful perspectives in the scene: Dustin Hunke of Duffy’s Tavern, singer Madeline Christensen, Otto Meza of the Zoo Bar, and sound engineer Marina Kushner. This team of people promises a successful festival loaded with new, up and coming bands, and classic favorites.
This year’s festival aims to support the genre diversity in the scene as well. The lineup includes artists in metal, reggae, hip hop, soul, folk, Americiana, and rock. Lots of rock. Additionally, the 2019 lists of sponsors includes six local businesses and two local organizations (KZUM being one) aimed at supporting the scene. With their sponsorship, the budget allowed for each band to be paid at least $100.
The secret to Lincoln Exposed is this dynamic of new and old. While many of the more popular local bands play often around town and usually in familial groups, Lincoln Exposed highlights bands that don’t play as frequently or in these downtown venues.. In this way, Lincoln Exposed allows these pockets of the scene to keep thriving, giving bands an event to practice and play for, even if that is just once a year.
Many of the gems of Lincoln Exposed don’t always have updated Facebook pages, a Bandcamp musical sample, or merchandise to sell at shows. They aren’t always interested in touring or recording. However, in a lot of ways, it’s these artists that keep the Lincoln scene special. They bring to Lincoln Exposed the feeling of live music for live music’s sake. Just some kids, trying out an idea because they liked it. Even if those kids are Domestica, the classic punk rock trio that has been a cornerstone of Lincoln since the 1990s. Or Ezra, the death metal trio that plays a hair-raising, heart-pounding show, and more or less brought death metal to Lincoln. Or any number of the 110 bands that will grace our stages over these four days.