The Story of the Comstock Festivals

Nestled in a canyon near the community of Comstock, Nebraska (population 96) is the Home of 2nd Wind Ranch, soon to be one of the largest standing windmill collections in the country. Three times a year that canyon came to life with thousands of concert-goers coming to the Windmill Festival featuring top national country acts, Comstock Rock showcasing classic rock and Nebraska’s Godstock with top Christian acts.

Brad Paisley at ComstockThe Windmill Festival was founded in 1999 with Glenda Lynn from Texas performing on a flatbed semi-trailer drawing 300. The next year Comstock took a risk and hired newcomer Brad Paisley bringing 3000 people. 2001 started a first major festival year featuring Paisley the Oakridge Boys and the mighty group Alabama. Thirty thousand fans came to a canyon near a small town not even recorded on many maps. The Oakridge Boys said, “We’ve been a lot of places before but never this field, we love it here we’ll come back whenever you want us to.” They returned in 2005 for their fourth time. Other talent for June 9-12 2005 was Keith Urban, Montgomery Gentry,  Lonestar,  Ronnie Milsap and more.

 Answering the call in 2002 Comstock Rock has brought  Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, Ted Nugent, Three Dog Night and many classic rock acts to the 2nd Wind Ranch.  2005 headliners were ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, .38 Special, Joan Jett and more. 2003 saw a windy start to the Godstock Festival. A straight line wind of nearly 80 miles per hour collapsed the stage roof and lighting with nearly 50 people on stage fifty seconds before the incident.  After canceling two-thirds of the schedule, which included Michael W. Smith, the festival went on as planned in 2004.

Stage pictureWhat started out as a concert in the canyon, has developed into the world’s largest pasture party. Thousands of concert lovers from 37 different states enjoy the Comstock Festivals. Three hundred volunteers and a town of 80 make it all happen. The left picture represents the entire population of Comstock on stage. Some can sing—most can’t.

Simple as it sounds, Comstock delivers a lot more than anyone expected in a place where no one expected anything.  Making the Windmill Festival a unique event and venue are the county road soaring behind the stage making traffic and tour buses appear to be driving over the stage. A hundred-year-old house with a wrap around porch allows a safe haven for stars to be fed and entertained as they wait for their performances, A covered bridge features nineteen drinking fountains.  Side entertainment includes extreme bull riding, top regional bands, good food, beer tents and hundreds of vendors.Comstock-Concert-Windmill

The sky holds host to fireworks, hot air balloons, powered parachutes and helicopter rides. Home away from home is featured in three thousand campsites on converted soybean and corn fields. A hundred-year-old road and irrigation ditch surround the gently sloping canyon that lends to everyone the best seat in the house. The prettiest picture is when the sun sets on the windmills as the concert lights go on!

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