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Highlights from This Year’s 80/35 Music Festival

80/35 in 2023

June 19, 2023

Header image from Madison Kim-Poppen.

This year’s 80/35 Music Festival is fast approaching, taking place July 7-8 in Downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Launched in 2008, 80/35 has brought more than 500 bands, 5,000 volunteers and 350,000 people to Downtown DSM during its 14 editions. Did you know that 80/35 is part of the nonprofit Des Moines Music Coalition? One hundred percent of the proceeds from the festival are reinvested back into the local music community through youth music education and professional development programs for musicians.

Today, we’re highlighting some of what we’re most excited about at this year’s festival:

Free Music + Activities

Did you know that a majority of the music at 80/35 is free to attend? Tickets allow access to the Hy-Vee Main Stage, where you can catch our headliners Big Boi (from OutKast) and The War on Drugs along with many other national acts, but there’s tons of great music on multiple free stages. Catch the funk of Thumpasaurus, rock out with Iowa legends House of Large Sizes and groove to the desert blues of Etran de L’Aïr, coming all the way from the Saharan desert town of Agadez, Niger. Also located in the free area of the festival: the Vintage & Craft Market, the Kids Zone, the Community Choice Nonprofit Village, food and retail vendor booths and much more.


Photo Credit: Samm Yu

The End of an Era, and the Beginning of Something New

In case you missed it, we recently announced that this year’s 80/35 is the last year the festival will take place in our original home of Western Gateway Park. We encourage you to join us for one last party and stay tuned as we’ll be announcing the new location at this year’s festival!

Family Fun

80/35 offers something for all ages. This year, we’re excited to expand our Kids Zone in partnership with the Science Center of Iowa, who will be bringing their star parties to the free area of the festival. We’re also excited to introduce a new Sensory Zone in partnership with the nonprofit Fi & Friends, providing calm and predictable spaces that offer multisensory input that promote and support self-regulation during overwhelming sensory experiences and improve access to community events for visitors with sensory challenges.

More Shopping

This year, we’re introducing the first-ever Craft and Vintage Market at 80/35. Check out locally made crafts and vintage clothing from local sellers in the free area of the festival. While you’re at it, make sure to stop by the 80/35 merch booth for artists and festival gear as well.

New Partnerships

80/35 is a celebration of both music and local culture, and this year we’re excited to partner with companies and organizations at the forefront of culture in Des Moines. Grab a new THC beverage from our friends at Climbing Kites & Lua Brewing, groove in the Exile Lounge & Silent Disco and stop by the Community Choice Nonprofit Village to learn about organizations doing great work in the region.

80/35 Crowd

Photo Credit: Dronography Iowa

And, of Course, the Music

This year we will welcome 50+ acts to the stage at 80/35. Headlining the festival this year are The War on Drugs, a GRAMMY-winning rock band once billed as “the best rock band of this generation,” and Big Boi, hip hop legend and one half of the storied duo OutKast. 80/35 prides itself on a diverse lineup of musicians across many genres, and we invite you to dive in and get to know the music through our Spotify and YouTube playlists.

Explore everything the festival has to offer and buy your ticket today at 80-35.com.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Downtown Des Moines (DSM) is a growing, vibrant community that offers the energy, sophistication, housing and attractions of a burgeoning city with a brilliant future. It’s also easy to visit with plentiful and affordable street and ramp parking options.

Mickey Davis

Mickey Davis is the Executive Director of the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition 80/35 Festival Director. A musician and organizer, Mickey has spent 10+ years working in music nonprofits. Attending the first 80/35 in 2008 was the moment he realized he wanted to work in the music industry.