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Why Out to Lunch is Where to Hear Live Music This Summer

Out to Lunch Sara Routh

Iowa-born singer-songwriter Sara Routh loves sharing her latest music during the Downtown Des Moines (DSM) Out to Lunch series. As employees and residents socialize outdoors and order from local food trucks, musicians like Routh perform their songs and get to know others within the DSM community. For Routh, Out to Lunch also gives her the chance to see people come together in a refreshing environment, a place where she knows her music can be appreciated.Sara Routh

DSM Background

Routh has performed in DSM neighborhoods for 20+years. When she didn’t live in Iowa, she’d travel back occasionally and do shows and around 2015, she really began her hustle to find gigs in the region. The Out to Lunch opportunity presented itself through friends who had performed previously during the summer series. When she saw an opening for artists in 2021, she sent an email saying she was interested. Routh has also enjoyed performing during The Partnership’s DSM Book Festival.

Out to Lunch Interactions

During an Out to Lunch set, it’s easy to be seen and heard by a broader and more diverse audience. It’s outside. It’s not in a bar — Routh says that some people don’t go to bars so you pull in people at these events that would otherwise not get the chance to hear you. Routh sees people from high school and college at Out to Lunch events and enjoys getting to find out about their adult lives and reconnecting with them in the middle of downtown. As a storyteller, gigs like Out to Lunch also allow her to tell her own stories in a new way.

Routh encourages young artists to apply to perform at events like Out to Lunch, where they can test out music in a smaller venue while seeing different neighborhoods in Downtown DSM that they might not be familiar with yet. Routh is a fan of intimate gigs — like those offered across the world by Sofar Sounds, where creatives attend pop-up locations to perform — and while the events take place outdoors, there is an intimacy in them due to the changing locations and mid-day schedule.Summer Schedule

Find updates on Routh’s music and opportunities for exclusive content at sararouth.com, patreon.com/sararouth or on Instagram. She encourages residents to reach out about setting up private house performances — one of her favorite ways to perform.

Enjoy food trucks and vendors during the free Out to Lunch series in Downtown Des Moines (DSM). Learn which entertainers will perform and locations of these weekly events.

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.

Greater Des Moines Partnership

DSM USA is the regional identifier for Greater Des Moines (DSM). DSM USA is a bold statement to the world: This is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant community with affordable and accessible amenities for residents and businesses. This regional identifier is the result of significant quantitative and qualitative research. The Partnership will champion the DSM USA message, and encourages its Investors, its more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and DSM USA Ambassadors to help share the region's story with One Voice.