Music For All Ages


I Support Music for All Ages in DSM

The Des Moines city code (Sec. 10-8, Article E, 6) prohibits the presence of minors after 9pm in most music venues holding an active liquor license. This restrictive ordinance negatively affects the safety and retention of area youth, hinders development of the local music scene, and stunts Des Moines’ cultural and economic growth.


The latest enacted amendment to the ordinance fell short of its intended purposes due to an unrealistic sales demand given to music venues through the ordinance. There was exemption given to venues that met some requirements, one being most detrimental: 50% of sales must be something other than alcohol. This affects our best venues in Des Moines and only gives exception to a small number of venues. This impacts the overall Des Moines’ economy as evident by money lost in absence of touring acts and local music venues suffering without support from the community. Without a strong music scene, Des Moines struggles to retain its youth who demand cultural opportunity.

The Vision

  • Des Moines city code (Sec. 10-8, Article E) needs an amendment to eliminate the non-alcohol revenue requirement. In exchange, strict monitoring and enforcement mechanisms should be established to keep underage patrons safe in establishments with liquor licenses.
  • The Des Moines music scene will thrive when granted support from all members of the community, regardless of age. Music venues will increase their revenue needed to prosper when given access to more touring bands and access to increased community support. National acts will progressively select Des Moines as a touring destination when their audience is not limited by age. Des Moines at large will benefit from additional tourism, retention of its youth, and greater cultural opportunities for its citizens.
  • Young people will seek out and stay in Des Moines when offered more quality entertainment offerings. Local colleges will benefit from increased attendance when Des Moines values its youth’s interests. An ordinance allowing minors safe spaces after 9pm keeps them out of trouble and off the streets after dark.
  • Des Moines’ cultural and economic growth will persuade government entities to devote future resources to our cultural economy and move to reinvigorate the Des Moines Music Commission to further support local music.


Follow us on social media:
Twitter / Instagram: @musicforalldsm


UPCOMING OPPORTUNITY: The Des Moines Music Coalition is hosting an event to launch the campaign “Music For All Ages” to introduce its efforts towards amending the current ordinance. Join us for “Lights Out at Nine” on Thursday, February 9th from 6-9 pm at Lefty’s Live Music, which is consequently one of the venues that suffers from this ordinance’s restrictions.

Enjoy performances from local young Des Moines artists, including Grand Ave Ruckus, Glitter Density, and Carmelita, while gaining information on how to stay updated, get involved/volunteer, and how to speak out at a Des Moines City Council meeting with us. Anyone affected by this ordinance, including high school and college students, or anyone at all, is welcome to join this cause and spread the word throughout the community.


GRAND AVE RUCKUS is the Midwest’s newest brass band and they’re here to bring the boogie from the bayou here to the heartland. Taking inspiration from New Orleans’ best brass bands to the Jackson 5, Grand Ave Ruckus is a bombastic, get-down-and-dance, funk-filled show. Featuring local Des Moines musicians, Grand Ave Ruckus covers your favorite tunes with a powerful, horn-driven performance. Screaming trumpets, wailing saxophones, and a big bottom end give Grand Ave Ruckus their one-of-a-kind sound. Grand Ave Ruckus is always a party and it’s definitely one you won’t want to miss.

GLITTER DENSITY consists of Des Moines natives and lifelong pals, Catherine Lewin and Louise Bequeaith, both of whom attend Theodore Roosevelt High School. Though they hail from musical families and had been playing together since 2011, it wasn’t until early 2015 that they began playing around Des Moines. Glitter Density reminds the listener of the urgency of youth, the imperviousness to reason that accompanies young love, and the fierce resistance to indifference of starry-eyed teenagers.

CARMELITA A.K.A. Teresa Carmelita Otáñez-Ortíz is a 17-year-old senior at Valley High School. She has been singing since she was a baby and has been playing piano for six years. From her Latin roots, her influences include hip-hop and soul.