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From: The Lincoln Journal Star

Scenefest will showcase a variety of local bands

Patti Vannoy
August 1, 2003

Being a music fan is an expensive hobby.

With handling charges, many concert tickets cost $30, or even much more. That buys roughly three hours of watching two or three bands. A souvenir T-shirt will double the evening's expenses, and a CD will run upwards of $15. This weekend, however, Scenefest offers value for the avid fan's dollar, with 18 bands over three nights. Tickets are as little as $15 -- less than a buck a band.

The first-ever festival, which features only Lincoln bands, is an offshoot of Star City Scene, a fledgling Web site that launched just four months ago at

Local musician Tery Daly started the site at the beginning of April after seeing the concept work with three separate sites in Omaha.

"I figured if Omaha could support three of them, Lincoln could certainly use one," he said.

And so the first "issue" debuted April 1, aimed at Daly's three goals: to promote the Lincoln music scene within the city and elsewhere; to create more community among the Capital City's bands; and to encourage more people to attend local shows.

The site includes a show calendar, music samples, photo links to Lincoln bands, album and show reviews, a message board and a monthly interview with a featured band. Daly's plans for the future include audio and video interviews and streaming radio.

The idea for Scenefest originally surfaced on the message board about a month after the site launched, Daly said. When he adopted the project and began organizing the lineup, some 55 bands wanted to play.

With so many friends and contemporaries already onboard, he said planning the festival was anything but hard work."I'm just doing it because I like doing it."

Daly tried to include variety in the 18-band bill. Each evening is a purposeful mix of ages and musical styles. The organizer hopes everyone will find something they like and will continue to attend local shows.

The Return is one of the old-school outfits. Its members have been together nearly 20 years, but their last show was their own CD release party more than a year ago.

Floating Opera operates on a similar schedule, with a constantly revolving lineup. For its Scenefest set Sunday, about six members will sit in, but the band should grow to eight or 10 for a CD release show later this month.

Friday's show will be one of the last chances to see The Republican'ts and The Skinny. Members of each are soon moving to the East Coast.

Up-and-coming bands on the bill include garage band Rent Money Big, The Bad Sects and Starboy, which Daly organized specifically for the festival.

Duffy's Tavern manager Andy Fairbairn doesn't remember anything like Scenefest in his 11 years of involvement in the local music scene, but he certainly thinks it's a great idea.

"I'm curious and excited to see how Lincoln responds, if Lincoln will show up and support it," he said.

Daly already has plans to make the festival a twice- or thrice-yearly event. He envisions next summer's Scenefest as larger, free of charge and outdoors.