The underground electronica scene is spilling onto the street this weekend. But it's more than just bumping beats and raving riffs that will be rocking Box Awesome.
Nexus, a two-day electronic music festival, is the brainchild of the band Somasphere and Jeremiah Moore, owner of Box Awesome, 815 O St. It's a joint effort to bring more attention, and more shows, to the Lincoln electronic music scene, which Andy Marker of Somasphere admits is experiencing some growing pains.
"I think electronica can in some way get dismissed as not a true style of music," he said.
Marker said he and his bandmates love to travel to shows and festivals across the Midwest and were inspired to host their own to give the people of Lincoln a taste of electronic music. They asked their friend Moore if he would be interested in hosting the event at Box Awesome, and Marker said it snowballed from there.
The original idea was to have a two-day concert, but with a little more planning, the event turned into a mini-music festival.
Both nights will feature four different electronica acts with Somasphere, a live electronica/drum and bass band, closing out both shows.
Moore said he hopes Nexus will bring more attention to Lincoln as a viable electronica music venue. He credited Bricktop, 1427 O St., with laying the foundations he wants to build on.
"We're getting really blessed with the groundwork the Bricktop laid down in bringing a bunch of performers to the Lincoln area," he said.
Often, big name electronica acts only come as close as Minneapolis or Chicago and occasionally Omaha.
Moore wants to change that.
"We're very accessible, and we have a lot of people who are excited and want to make things happen," he said. "There is no reason why Lincoln can't be like Minneapolis's music scene," he said.
In order to fulfill that goal, Moore said Lincoln needs to have more venues that showcase that kind of music. He said he wants to make Box Awesome one of those venues.
"We really have the goal of making this a tour spot that acts want to play," he said.
To make Nexus more than just a pair of shows, Moore and the members of Somasphere decided to include more than just music.
Moore said they sought permission from the city to use the sidewalks in front of Box Awesome but got more than they bargained for. Instead of just the sidewalks, they were granted the parking lots from 8th Street to the beginning of the O Street bridge, which means people will have to walk a bit since the roads will be blocked off.
The space will be used to host local vendors and artists while the shows goes on inside, Marker said.
"The idea is to have a microcosm of what a festival is like," Marker said. "It's a way to celebrate that underground culture and give people who might not be aware of it a view of what goes on."
The visual acts going on with the music include a visual jockey doing improvisational imagery on a projection screen behind the band, as well as artists doing live painting during the band's performances.
The two paintings created during Nexus will be raffled off to attendees. Raffle tickets can be purchased for a donation of three items for the local food bank, an idea Marker is particularly proud of.
"We're the kind of people that want to give back and create positive change," he said. "The music is representative of that and so are the people."
Moore said the art community as a whole will be on display at Nexus.
"[We hope] to really affirm and stoke the fire of the subculture that's going on here," he said. "It's not just about the music. It's not just about the art. It's about the community."