By Brittany Ward
Aug. 8, 2018

Attention Lincoln! Doors will open at 5 p.m., all ages are welcome to attend and there is a $5 donation request. What is it you ask? It is the inaugural Great Plains Music Festival (GPF) taking place Saturday, August 11. The festival will be held at Great Plains Cycle Supply, 2542 N. 27th St., with delicious food and drink provided by Ivanna ConeCultiva Coffee and Taco Loco Lincoln Dig-N.

The festival is the brainchild of Heladio Perez-Pesina with the help of co-planner and friend, Karynn Brown, and support of Noah Nielsen, the owner of Great Plains Cycle Supply. With the loading dock being used as the stage, built with a 12 x 8 piece of plywood, the space has an industrial, unfinished, edgy feel. In addition to the essentially blank canvas of a stage, the community played a large part in inspiring the festival. With artists, businesses and the community in mind, Brown and Perez-Pesina were confident that the festival could not only be pulled off but be something that the community can really enjoy.

GPF is also a benefit to raise funding and support for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. Planned Parenthood will also have a booth set up with educational and promotional material. Perez-Pesina and Brown have used their own and some sponsor money to put on the festival so all donations can go to Planned Parenthood.

Brown and Perez-Pesina in front of Taco Loco Lincoln Dig-N

Planning the event started back in March with a lot of reaching out to bands, businesses and making connections. Picking the bands was a strategic effort in combining bands that would draw a crowd as well as putting bands together that usually don’t play together. Some of the bands have connections to the venue or to Brown and Perez-Pesina. The vendors are also connected to the event planners, Ivanna Cone (Perez-Pesina’s work place) and Cultiva (Brown’s workplace). The food and drinks will be sold to go toward paying the bands.

“We really wanted to highlight some voices in town that maybe don’t play as many shows as others. We looked for a lineup of artists whose work we really appreciated and wanted to highlight,” said Brown. “In the end, it came together as a nice curation of rock. There’s some experimental, psychedelic, and some classic rock.”

Saturday’s line up:

Leaves Brown Project

Wick O’rya


Threesome Egos


Eddy Mink


A Ferocious Jungle Cat

“Planning the festival was actually easier than I expected, but I say that now still not having experienced the event. A lot of it we did in stages and I definitely couldn’t have done it without Heladio’s help, experience, input and connections. It was really a team effort, which made it lots easier. I’ve had some experience planning events like this, so there weren’t a lot of huge surprises.”

Despite the large parts coming together easier than what was originally thought, nailing down little things and trying to cut costs were challenges that required a change of plans in some situations. Also, keeping in mind people’s schedules, waiting on responses, asking to borrow equipment and time without being able to repay them. However, that proves how strong and supportive of a community Lincoln is.  Perez-Pesina and Brown were able to have a pre-show fundraiser at Confluence due to connecting with the owner, Jeremy Buethe.

“We’ve received really generous donations from Eagle Printing, Ivanna Cone, Cultiva, Roots Music Shop, Rob Lapsley (our sound and equipment guy), Shirts 101, our parents, coworkers and friends and especially Noah and his crew at Great Plains. There are a lot of people that wanted to help out and believed in our cause, which was humbling and amazing to experience,” said Brown.

It’s down to the final stretch, the team is gearing up to work a 12+ hour day and getting the last-minute details in order. As for the future of this event, there have been whispers that there may be a similar festival in Wilderness Park next year or another in industrial area like this year. Perez-Pesina hope to keep the festival very DIY in the future, keeping it focused on the community, and utilizing the skills and creativity of themselves and friends. For now, the team is focused on Saturday.

Brittany Ward is an editorial intern with KZUM.