By Madisyn Hahn
July 17, 2019

The annual two-day music festival, Zoofest, returns this weekend. The Zoo Bar has hosted the celebration of live national, regional and local music in downtown Lincoln for over 20 years.

“This is the 46th anniversary of the Zoo Bar, our first Zoofest commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Zoo Bar in 1998,” Zoo Bar Owner, Pete Watters said. 

There have been a number of top musicians that have played at Zoofest from all over the country including Delbert McClinton, Irma Thomas, Rod Piazza and many more. An array of genres will fill the street in front of the Zoo Bar again this year, from blues to gospel with Mavis Staples, blues-rock with Mike Zito and brass-funk-rock with Empire Strikes Brass

The festival will start on Friday with The Paladins at 5 p.m., followed by Junior Brown at 7 p.m., Mike Zito at 9 p.m. and Satchel Grande closing the night out at 11 p.m. Blues Ed Program, which helps middle and high school kids from all over perform in a band format, will start Saturday at 1 p.m.. The Bottle Tops will follow at 3 p.m., then The Bruce Katz Band at 5 p.m., James Harman at 7 p.m., and Mavis Staples at 9 p.m. before The Empire Strikes Brass closes Zoofest at 11 p.m.

Advance admission is $30 for Friday and $50 for Saturday or $65 for both days. 

“We think the line-up has been getting stronger each year and are expecting 1500-2000 people each night,” Watters said. “In my opinion, Mavis Staples is the most legendary act so far, which is why I’m most excited to see her perform.”

In addition to the wide variety of live music genres that will be played from blues, roots, country, funk, soul, zydeco, rockabilly, and rock & roll, Zoofest is having vendors selling a wide variety of food, drinks, and merchandise.

“We will have several new summer drinks this year for people to try as well as a stand for Lippy’s BBQ, Honest Abe’s and Ali-Baba’s included onsite,” Watters said. “Our mission is for people to have a brilliant time without losing a bunch of money.”

For more information and tickets to Zoofest click here. For more information about the lineup click here.

You can see a recap from last year’s ZooFest below:

Madisyn Hahn is a multimedia intern with KZUM.