515 Alive: Attendees upset after electronic music festival cuts its scale
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515 Alive attendees have taken to social media to express their anger over a time change at the electronic music festival this year that shortens the event from its typical 10-11 hours of music per day to six hours instead.
The popular electronic music festival has a long history at different venues, including Brenton Skating Plaza, the East Village, Grand Avenue Bridge, downtown Des Moines and most recently, Water Works Park.
But on Tuesday, festival organizers announced on social media that the festival this year will be held at the new Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park — meaning concerts can't start until until 5 p.m. each day. The festival goes from Aug. 16-17.
In 2018, shows on Friday started around noon while shows on Saturday started around 2 p.m.
"When we learned that the amphitheater would be available in time for 515 Alive, we were excited," a Facebook post on the festival's page read. "We feel that the infrastructure and production that the facility will provide is a more suitable option all around, production, less intrusive on the neighbors around the park, traffic control and the grounds themselves."
Since 2017, 515 Alive has held its festival at Water Works Park and concert-goers could camp out and listen to music during the day and into the night with after-hours parties hosted at Val Air Ballroom.
Campgrounds will still be at the old location at the west end of the park and shuttles will go between the campgrounds and the festival. People who purchased premier camping can get a refund to the general admission price or get a full refund, according to the festival's Facebook post.
Sam Carroll, Water Works Park Foundation Director, said hours are limited for shows at the amphitheater because of surrounding neighborhoods and Water Works plant operations.
Since the inception of the amphitheater, Carroll said bigger concerts and festivals have not been allowed to start until 5 p.m. and no changes were made for 515 Alive. He said festival organizers were aware of the later start time when they decided to move the event. Carroll said 515 Alive could have kept the festival at the same grounds like in the past.
Des Moines City Code dictates that shows at Water Works Park must not emit amplified sound after midnight.
No artists were removed from the lineup to accommodate for the time change, according to 515 Alive's Facebook post. It's unknown whether set times will be shortened because of the change.
Organizers with 515 Alive did not respond to the Register's request for interview.