The Lincoln Cheyenne
Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler are doing stand up comedy at the Lincoln Theater this Friday and Saturday, as posted in previous articles.
The Lincoln co-owner and co-founder, Renee Jelinek answered a few questions about the new venue in downtown Cheyenne, some of the upcoming shows and what to expect in the future for programming at the renovated venue.
Q: Your venue is beautiful and you guys put a lot of love into getting it off of the ground, why did you want a venue like the Lincoln?
Jelinek: “Music is so important to our family, it’s such a big piece of our lives, we love going to concerts, and we had always talked about how the Lincoln would make such a cool venue, so when the opportunity presented itself we just had to do it. We love that music brings people together, especially when you get to share the experience of seeing someone live together, and it inspires people too. We want to make live music accessible to people in Cheyenne, and hopefully inspire some more local artists.”
Q: How long did it take to get the Lincoln to being performance ready?
Jelinek: “We worked on the project for just over 2 years. Most of that was spent planning, it took a team of architects, engineers and contractors to get creative with figuring out how to do this on a small budget, and old buildings are super challenging to work on.”
Q: Why did you choose Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler to perform at the Lincoln?
Jelinek: “We have known Brandt for years, and he has been super supportive of the Lincoln. He was one of the first people to get one of our logo T-shirts and he was wearing it to shows promoting us from the beginning of the project! And we watched Josh Blue on Last Comic Standing and we loved him, so we are so thrilled to have him here.”
Q: Your shows are almost sold out of Josh Blue and Brandt Tobler ? How do you feel about that? And why do you think there is a draw?
Jelinek: “We aren’t surprised that the shows are selling so well, everyone wants to laugh, we can all use that right now!”
Q: How are you keeping guests safe from that miserable virus (Covid-19)?
Jelinek: “It has been challenging opening during a pandemic, the live entertainment industry has taken the biggest hit, so we feel fortunate that we were able to open, but it’s definitely brought a lot of challenges with it. Our current capacity is at 250, instead of the 1290 that we will eventually get up to, so we have had to adapt a lot of our original plans to make it work. It’s super important to us that we host safe events, we want our guests, staff and artists to feel safe, we have a covid safety plan that we send to each performer when we are discussing booking them so they can see that we are taking precautions. With our reduced capacity we have all groups seated at least 6 feet apart, and we do require masks to be worn by everyone when away from their seats. We are really appreciative of how understanding everyone is, and people are appreciative of us for taking all of these precautions seriously.”
Q: How has the pandemic affected your venue? How have you overcome it?
Jelinek: “Figuring out how to do ticketing with different seating requirements has been tricky, we are constantly working with our ticketing platform to figure out how to make things work, as we are changing things after almost every show, trying to make it work better for both guests and our staff. This is all new territory for everyone, so there’s a lot of adapting and figuring out work arounds. We are also having some challenges with booking different genres of acts, a lot of artists just aren’t comfortable playing indoor shows yet, and obviously there aren’t any national touring acts happening, so we are primarily focusing on regional acts, which is pretty limiting. We have already learned so much in our first 6 weeks!”
Q: Will you have more comedians in your line up this fall/winter? If so are you allowed to say who yet?
Jelinek: ”We don’t have anything to announce right now, but we will definitely be bringing in more comedy acts, the people have spoken, and they want it!”
Q: What else do you have on your show schedule for Fall/winter?
Jelinek: “We have a few amazing concerts coming up this month, the 17th is Float Like a Buffalo, a funk rock band that’s playing Red Rocks the week before us. In The Whale is a punk duo out of Denver on the 23rd. And on the 16th Arts Cheyenne is presenting Nef the Pharaoh, a hip hop act that will be a free show. We also have some other local arts organizations that are going to be holding some shows here, so we’ve got a lot of variety in the works! We are also hosting private events over the holidays as well.