Honors Program


Date of this Version

Winter 3-15-2019

Document Type



Crisler, Sam. Inspired Amateurs: What It Takes To Build A Music Scene. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. May 2019.


Copyright Samuel Crisler 2019


In this project, three American music scenes — those in Minneapolis, Seattle and Omaha — are used as case studies to understand what drives a music scene to success. The internet era presents new challenges to music communities, but this research was conducted to discover whether the principles of do-it-yourself community building still apply today. These specific scenes were chosen because they reached international success from geographically isolated regions, meaning the music these scenes produced was heavily influenced by their local culture. Three main catalysts vital to a music scene’s success were identified in the research: venues at which bands are able to perform, gathering places such as record stores, and a small group of fans dedicated to showcasing local music, often through media (i.e. radio, print journalism, concert promotion).