BROKEN BOW—From psychedelic rock to country rock—community members enjoyed music in the square on Saturday night. The Hear Nebraska Good Living Tour kicked off its fourth summer–with Broken Bow as the first stop during the State of Art and Music Festival.
The festival featured a celebration of art, music, writing, and creativity with everything from journalism and photography classes to live art demonstrations and readings from the Nebraska Writers’ Guild. Weekend activities took place at the Barn and in the city square thanks to the partnership of the Custer Economic Development Corporation, Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, city, Custer County Tourism, Custer County Foundation, Custer’s Last Stitch Quilt Guild, Custer County Museum, and Hear Nebraska/Rabble Mill.
The two-day festival ended with live music and a street dance in downtown Broken Bow. Four bands came to town as part of the Hear Nebraska/Rabble Mill partnership to present the Good Living Tour across Nebraska.
The psychedelic rock band Oatmeal 97 poured its music into the city square and featured 2013 Broken Bow graduate Adam D’Josey. D’Josey said he used to jam with other Custer County musicians and played music in Colorado before joining the Lincoln-based band. He said when he learned of the Good Living Tour stopping in Broken Bow, he wanted to be part of it and felt lucky to be able to share his music in his hometown.
“It feels awesome; it feels like a total dream. It’s really cool. I love the fact we’re playing in Broken Bow. I remember growing up here there wasn’t a whole lot of music that I could really connect to…later in life I can connect to a lot of heritage music around here and I love it. But I remember growing up it was kind of few and far between,” D’Josey said.
By playing guitar D’Josey hopes to encourage other people to do what they are passionate about.
“It’s like super wild, such a beautiful thing that I get to experience and I feel so lucky, it’s like a total dream,” D’Josey said.
Also during the festival, local poetry, art classes, workshops, firetruck rides, a skateboarding demonstration and class, a sidewalk chalk contest, the premier of Ocean of Grass: Life on a Nebraska Sandhills Ranch, food and craft vendors were available to festival attendees. Local residents in the city square exclaimed they simply “can’t stop the feeling!” and even gathered for a surprise flash mob dance.
The Lied Center for Performing Arts and Rabble Mill partnered through the Good Living Tour in order to incorporate music and visual education into a concert experience. Lied Center Director of Community Engagement Erin Poor, and Rabble Mill representatives Andrew Norman and Lauren Farris spoke to the Saturday morning workshop attendees about how to pinpoint the veracity of a story and to tell it using rhythmic words and visual elements.
“At the Lied Center for Performing Arts we have this statewide mission where we really hope to provide access and entry points to the performing arts to everybody in this state, from every corner,” Poor said. “[And to] hopefully get people more interested in the artistic processes that are happening in their own communities and give them an outlet like music journalism or digital storytelling.”