Billy and the Downliners

Monday, Mar 10, 2025
at 7:00pm
  On Sale to Members Only

When The Downliners take you on a musical adventure through the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, the tour director is the dynamic Billy McGuigan. The energetic frontman knows how to make the audience lean in, whether the band is spotlighting the British invasion, iconic American rock, the hidden treasures of one-hit wonders, or some of his own work.

Billy’s love of music comes directly from his father, Bill. With an out-of-tune guitar and a tattered Beatles chord book, Billy, his brothers and their dad would spend countless hours at the dining room table, learning to play and appreciate the music we all grew up loving. Shortly after Bill’s death in 1996, at the age of 42 and after a short battle with leukemia, the McGuigan brothers turned to the music their dad had taught them as kids to help them deal with their loss. Not only did they find healing in the music, but it led to the creation of Rave On Productions, whose mission is to connect audiences through music.

Highlights of Billy McGuigan’s career include playing with Buddy Holly’s lead guitarist and Grammy winner Tommy Allsup and with Rockabilly Hall-of-Famer and composer Sonny West. McGuigan has won awards for his work, including the Spotlight Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Buddy Holly in Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story and an Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience. He was named a 40 Under 40 by the Midland Business Journal and received a public service award from the University of Nebraska. He is an inductee into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame.

In 2021, Billy McGuigan opened the McGuigan Arts Academy in Omaha, where he lives. Students learn life skills through the creative arts taught by professional artists. He created the Bill McGuigan Scholarship in memory of his father. It is awarded annually to Bellevue East High School students who are continuing their education in an arts-related field. He is also active in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of his father.

Billy McGuigan and his band have performed several times with the Omaha Symphony and Principal Pops Conductor Ernest Richardson who had high praise for his guest artist. “Billy is someone who brings so much fun and heart to the community and our collaborations are always energetic and exciting,” he said.

Come take that magical, musical adventure with Billy and the Downliners. You won’t want it to end.