Events

Every year, we curate and produce a series of festivals and events to provide the Iowa music community with the opportunity to celebrate the local, regional, and national music industry. Each of our events is created with the mission of:

  • Making central Iowa a destination for both world-class performing artists and fans from around the Midwest
  • Providing progressive cultural opportunities for Iowans
  • Connecting local businesses and organizations with the local music movement and the people making it happen
  • Expanding the local music audience
  • Exposing local bands and artists to new fans

 

80/35 Music Festival

80/35 is an annual two-day progressive indie and jam music festival in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. As many as 50 national, regional, and local bands perform on multiple stages. The 10th annual 80/35 will take place on July 7 and 8, 2017 at Western Gateway Park. Watch 80-35.com for details. Sign up to be a DMMC Member to unlock 80/35 early-bird rates!

A combination of free and paid stages, as well as collaboration with local businesses, nonprofits, and other community builders makes the event a source of great value for central Iowa’s economy and culture.

 

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Music Festival

Started in 2006, GDP is an annual, all Iowa music festival featuring musical artists from Greater Des Moines and across Iowa. Coordinated by the Des Moines Music Coalition and a team of volunteers, the goal of GDP is to organize an event that best supports Iowa musicians and their needs for growth in the music industry.

GDP’s main objectives are (1) to boost exposure and build the audience for smaller, up-and-coming Iowa acts, (2) to bring more acts from outside Des Moines to expose local artists to new ideas, and (3) to continue supporting the genre diversity represented in past GDP festivals. GDP’s overarching goal to support young and new artists who are taking their first steps into creative self-expression through music and doing so in a positive, collaborative way.

 

Little BIG Fest

Little BIG Fest is an annual festival featuring roots, country, singer-songwriter, bluegrass, jam, world, blues, jazz, and soul music. The festival traditionally takes place in November with the location changing from year to year. As with all DMMC events, local bands are heavily featured, though bands from around the U.S. also perform at the event. Established in fall 2006, LBF has featured over a dozen bands each year, including Trampled by Turtles, Pieta Brown, The Soul Rebels, William Elliott Whitmore, Charlie Parr, and John Fullbright.

 

Backstage Ball

Backstage Ball is the annual DMMC awards ceremony and fundraiser that celebrates the strengths of our local music scene. The event features drinks, hors d’oeuvres, live music, special guests, a silent auction, and tons of fun! Each year we honor individuals making noise in and about Des Moines’ music scene.

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