GRAND ISLAND, NE — Statewide music-based nonprofit Hear Nebraska has announced a 10-week summer concert series in Grand Island, June 24-Aug. 26, 2016. The “Hear Grand Island” concert series will feature multiple Nebraska musical acts performing free, all-ages, family friendly sets each Friday evening in the new Railside Plaza in downtown Grand Island. Produced by Hear Nebraska, and made possible by Grand Island business owners Sharena Anson and Brent Lindner, as well as local sponsors, each concert will feature two separate musical artists, representing genres ranging from funk to indie rock to country. The events include food and drink vendors starting at 6 p.m., with bands playing from 7-9 p.m.
As a downtown business and building owner, Anson said she’s excited for the concert series to provide a glimpse into downtown Grand Island’s future as an increasingly vibrant cultural destination.
"Grand Island is prime, eager and ready for a concert series and opportunity like this. We're excited to see the impact on the arts community as well as the quality of life this will have, and it's only the beginning,” Anson said. “There's so much talent in Grand Island and not just musically. Being part of bringing Hear Nebraska to GI is exciting — but what's more exciting is the potential and opportunity that things like this open up for us all.”
Hear Grand Island follows a similar format to Hear Nebraska’s popular summer concert series in Omaha (Hear Omaha) and Lincoln (Hear Lincoln) by putting original Nebraska music in public spaces for free, family friendly concerts.
“Hear Grand Island is designed to present great Nebraska artists in a convenient and accessible way,” said Hear Nebraska Executive Director Andrew Norman. “We hope individuals and families from around the Grand Island region make Railside Plaza their Friday evening destination.”
Norman said Hear Nebraska is working to build a stronger music community and industry statewide. The organization’s vision is to make Nebraska an internationally known cultural destination.
“Everyday, amazing national bands drive right right past Grand Island en route to and from Denver, Kansas City, Des Moines, Chicago and Lincoln/Omaha,” Norman said. “We believe Hear Grand Island is an important step toward developing Grand Island’s music community and industry, so we can start getting more and more of those bands — and others — to play concerts in the city.”
According to the nonprofit Americans for the Arts, event-related spending by arts and culture audiences in Nebraska totaled $78.6 million (excluding the cost of admission) in 2010.
"Events such as the Hear Nebraska concert series bring to Grand Island so much more than money,” said Brad Mellema, executive director of Grand Island/Hall County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. “Although the economic benefits are very real, the effects go deeper than that; it helps to enhance and deepen our entertainment culture."
Joining the annual Good Living Tour storytelling/concert project, Hear Grand Island represents the latest extension of statewide programming for Hear Nebraska, which has offices in both Lincoln and Omaha. Norman said Hear Grand Island fits perfectly into the nonprofit’s mission to meaningfully connect and engage fans, artists and communities through music journalism, education and events.
“I’m excited that Hear Nebraska has the opportunity to further grow Grand Island’s music and creative community, and I can’t wait to see how this idea continues to reverberate in years to come,” Norman said.
ABOUT HEAR NEBRASKA
Hear Nebraska (HN) meaningfully connects and engages fans, artists and communities through music journalism, education and events. In 2015, HN produced more than 50 (primarily free, all-age) concerts in 11 Nebraska communities, featuring more than 130 Nebraska bands. It injected more than $109,000 into the Nebraska music industry, including $56,000 directly to bands.
Hear Nebraska Values:
We believe Nebraska music represents world-class quality, diversity and singularity.
We believe Nebraskans value original art and homegrown talent.
We believe Nebraska music history must be documented, preserved and exhibited.
We believe high-quality journalism is essential to our quality of life.
We believe Nebraska has the potential to be the Midwest’s music and entertainment epicenter.
We believe Nebraska music and arts is an underdeveloped natural resource with significant economic implications.
We believe Nebraska is cool, and that it’s our job to spread the word.