matthew sweet credit Evan Carter

Matthew Sweet

Summer sun. A cocktail. All your friends. Your favorite alternative rock blaring from the PA system.

That’s the dream, certainly if you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s when Nirvana, No Doubt, Soundgarden, The Cranberries, R.E.M., Green Day, The Breeders, Cake, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots and all their alternative, grunge and rock ’n’ roll pals were played on the radio.

This weekend, you can head to west Omaha and relive the glory days once again when some of alt-rock’s finest takes over the Shadow Ridge Music Festival.

Performing at the festival are “Runaway Train” band Soul Asylum, “Blister in the Sun” rockers Violent Femmes, “Girlfriend” singer Matthew Sweet and Lincoln rock band The Millions.

Interested? Then read on and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Friday’s festival, starting with the music.

Violent Femmes

When the Violent Femmes released their debut album in 1983, nobody really knew who they were. The songs were mostly tunes frontman Gordon Gano wrote in high school. But quickly, songs such as “Blister in the Sun,” “Add It Up” and “Gone Daddy Gone” became iconic. The punk-folk band kept making great songs, including “American Music” and “Country Death Song.”

Soul Asylum

Dave Pirner formed Soul Asylum with Dan Murphy, Karl Mueller and Pat Morley in the early ’80s, and they quickly became a phenomenon in the Twin Cities while they toured relentlessly and prodigiously released new music, up to and including 1992’s “Grave Dancers Union.” It was one of many hit albums in the ’90s alternative rock era, and it produced the Grammy-winning hit “Runaway Train.” Morley left the band in the ’80s, and Mueller passed away in 2004. After Murphy retired, Pirner is the sole remaining original member.

Matthew Sweet

Growing up in Lincoln, Matthew Sweet recorded music and joined bands such as The Specs. After graduating from Lincoln Southeast, Sweet went to college in Athens, Georgia, where he joined the burgeoning music scene there. His first few albums were critically well received, but his third album, “Girlfriend,” was a huge success. Sweet’s released more than a dozen albums since.

The Millions

Back in the ’90s, The Millions were one of the first bands from Lincoln to be signed to a major label in decades. They released two albums, “M is for Millions” and “Raquel,” before disbanding. Then in 2012, they came back together to release a new set of unreleased songs called “Poison Fish,” and they’ve been playing occasional shows ever since.


Food trucks and outdoor bars will be on hand to serve you in case you get hungry or thirsty. To purchase food and beverages, you have to first purchase concessions tickets. Tickets can only be purchased with cash. ATMs will be available on-site.


Tickets are available from

Proceeds from tickets will benefit the Elkhorn Athletic Association’s planned outdoor youth sports complex.


Parking will not be available at Shadow Ridge. Free parking is available at Elkhorn South High School, and a free shuttle will run between the school and the festival.


One small, handheld bag is allowed for each person. Bags will be searched by security at the entrance.


Small cameras, cellphones, umbrellas, certified service animals, cash, sunscreen, bug spray and hand sanitizer.


Pets, suitcases, large bags, backpacks, professional photography equipment, firearms, illegal drugs, fireworks, drones, outside food, beverage containers, coolers, knives, laser pointers, air horns or noisemakers.

The general admission area is standing-room only. Chairs and blankets are not allowed. If you want a chair, you can purchase a reserved ticket.

Oh, and there’s no smoking inside most of the venue. Smoking and vaping is only allowed in the designated smoking area.


Once you’re inside, stay inside. You will not be allowed to leave and reenter the event.