Events

Every year, DMMC curates and produces 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. 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.

Head to 80-35.com for details on 2022, tickets, acts, vendor applications, and more, and sign up to be a DMMC Member to unlock 80/35 early-bird rates!

 

 

Riverview Music Festival

The DMMC is excited to announce a brand new one-day festival called “The Riverview Music Festival.” Taking place at The Riviera at Riverview Park on September 4, this event will showcase a diverse roster of live music — including national, regional, and local talent — in the city’s most diverse neighborhood.

“We worked hard to foster a vibrant music economy in the Downtown area and are excited to expand our impact by bringing a new festival to one of most diverse neighborhoods in our city and state,” Saah said. “This event will truly showcase the Northside’s unique art and culture bonafides.”

Festivals like these are just one way the DMMC works towards its mission to make Des Moines a music city. “There are so many exciting things on the horizon,” says Diana Weishaar, new to the DMMC board this year, “from our education programs to artist activation and big events like The Riverview Music Festival. We are focused on growth and inclusivity, and with those goals in mind, the Northside is a perfect place to launch something new.”

Riverview Music Festival is planned for the afternoon and evening of Saturday, September 4. More details about Riverview Music Festival will be announced this summer.
“The festival’s autumn date will allow for a decreased pandemic impact on the event, says Saah, “We can’t wait for the community to experience this new festival and the magic of the Northside.”

 

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.