100+ summer music events across Iowa you’ll want on your calendar
From the Missouri to Mississippi Rivers, it’s another summer jam-packed with music events across Iowa.
Festivals, shows and special events are slated throughout the summer months in Des Moines and beyond.
Which concerts are you planning to check out?
Here’s a breakdown to get your planning started.
Tree Town Music Festival (May 26-29)
The small, northern Iowa town of Forest City is set to host four nights of premier country (and a little bit of rock) music for the third straight year over Memorial Day weekend.
Performing: Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Jake Owen, Sam Hunt, Vince Neil, Warrant and more.
Cost: $175 for a general admission, four-day pass. $40 for a four-day parking pass. Camping options range from renting a new RV for $1,600 to reserving campsite packages for $340. Act fast, some camping options are already sold out.
More info: treetownfestival.com.
Gross Domestic Product (May 28)
Annual music festival set to take place in Des Moines’ East Village showcasing local talent curated by the Des Moines Music Coalition.
Performing: Green Death, Odd Pets, Tires, Fetal Pig, Glitter Density and more
More info: desmoinesmc.com.
BMAI Second Annual Bluegrass Festival (June 9-11)
The Bluegrass Music Association of Iowa takes over the Franklin County Fairgrounds for a three-day music event.
Performing: Roe Family Singers, Four Mile Creek, Biscuit Band, Bluegrass Blondies and more.
Cost: $15 for Thursday, $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday and $40 for a three-day pass.
More info: iowabluegrassmusic.com.
Hell Over Iowa (June 10-11)
The annual extreme metal festival returns to Des Moines at the downtown venue Vaudeville Mews for a two-night event.
Performing: Sepulcher, Ancient Elm, Cranial Decay, Quade, Saul, At All Cost and more.
Cost: $15 per day.
More info: vaudevillemews.com.
Fong’s Fest (June 11)
Pizza meets music at the first ever festival held by the central Iowa pizza staple. Set to take place in Ankeny.
Performing: Britches and Hose, Snack Knuckle, The Jesters and Bonne Finken
More info: fongspizza.com/ankeny.
Burlington Steamboat Days (June 16-19)
The southeastern Iowa tradition, featuring acts ranging from national to local talent, is set to go off again this summer in downtown Burlington.
Performing: Five Finger Death Punch, Chris Janson, Styx, Jake Owen and more.
Cost: Ranges from $18 for youth passes to $150 for an adult VIP pass. An adult, multi-night pass is $50.
More info: steamboatdays.com.
Des Moines Arts Festival (June 24-26)
Music and art collide at Western Gateway Park with this annual downtown Des Moines event. The festival’s added more acts this year, including a new acoustic stage.
Performing: Gin Blossoms, Grand Funk Railroad, Christopher the Conquered, Brother Trucker, The Well Pennies and more.
Iowa City Jazz Festival (July 1-3)
The 26th year of the festival is set to take place across four stages at the University of Iowa's Pentacrest lawn.
Performing: Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom, Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band, Vijay Iyer Trio, David Berkman Sextet, Larry Fuller Trio, North Corridor Jazz All Stars and more.
More info: summerofthearts.org.
Saturday in the Park (July 2)
Held in Sioux City’s Grandview Park, the one-day festival typically draws thousands to the northwestern Iowa city. Past headliners include Aretha Franklin, BB King and more.
Performing: Kacey Musgraves, The Wailers, Kongos and more.
Freedom Festival Concert (July 4)
Celebrate the Fourth of July in Cedar Rapids at McGrath Amphitheatre.
Performing: The Johnny Holm Band and The Roosevelts
Cost: Free with the purchase of a “Freedom Festival” button, which cost $5 and can be purchased at various Cedar Rapids businesses.
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival (July 1-2)
The annual blues festival returns to LeClaire Park in Davenport for its 31st year.
Performing: Tweed Funk, Shane Johnson’s Blues Train, The Cash Box Kings, Toronzo Cannon and more.
More info: mvbs.org.
80/35 Music Festival (July 8-9)
Set to take place in Western Gateway Park, the ninth annual edition of the Des Moines Music Coalition-curated event is set to bring in a mixture of local, regional and international talent.
Performing: Nas, The Decemberists, Wolf Parade, The Black Lips, Lotus and more.
Cost: $45 for one day and $80 for both days.
More info: 2016.80-35.com
Camp Euforia (July 14-16)
Iowa native group Euforquestra returns to Lone Tree (southeast of Iowa City) for a three-day festival.
Performing: Euforquestra, Sam Bush, The Motet, The Travelin’ McCourys and more.
Cost: $65 for Saturday, $110 for three-day general admission. Camping also an option at this festival, as in previous years.
More info: campeuforia.com.
515 Alive Music Festival (July 22-23)
The 14th annual edition of the electronic and hip-hop music festival returns to Western Gateway Park in Des Moines.
Performing: Machine Gun Kelly, Zeds Dead, ASAP Ferg and more.
Cost: Two-day general admission tickets cost $59 and two-day VIP passes cost $89.50.
More info: 515alive.com
Guthrie’s River Ruckus (July 29-30)
Located 50 miles west of Des Moines, this annual country festival is now in its eighth year. The event is located at the Guthrie County Fairgrounds.
Performing: Thomas Rhett, Scotty McCreery, Frankie Ballard, Craig Campbell and more.
Cost: $50 for one-day general admission, $75 for two-day general admission and $85 for a two-day seated pass. Camping options also available.
More info: guthriesriverruckus.com
Hinterland Music Festival (Aug 5-6)
Now in its second year, Hinterland plans to attract thousands to the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles for a camp-friendly, two-day event.
Performing: Willie Nelson, Ray LaMontagne, William Elliott Whitmore, Cold War Kids, Grace Potter and more.
Cost: $49 on Aug. 5, $59 on Aug. 6. $95 for a general admission two-day pass and two VIP options are available for $259 and $599. Camping is available and camping passes can be purchased for $25.
Fresh Fest (Aug. 19-20)
Coined “Iowa’s first hip-hop festival,” the downtown Des Moines event kicks off its inaugural year at the Des Moines Social Club with performances from local and regional acts.
More info: mediafreshrecords.com.
Rollin’ on the River Blues Festival (Aug. 19-20)
Keokuk welcomes the blues for the 28th year of this annual festival.
Performing: William Elliott Whitmore, Coyote Bill, Hurricane Ruth and more.
Cost: $15 a night or $25 for both nights.
More info: rollinontheriverkeokuk.com.
Kosmos Music Festival (Aug. 26-27)
Returning to the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in St. Charles is Kosmos, a two-night event featuring international, regional and local electronic acts.
Cost: $42.50-$64.50. Camping included in ticket price.
More info: kosmosfestival.com.
River Roots Live (Aug. 26-27)
The Davenport-based music festival is set to take place at LeClaire Park again in late August.
Performing: O.A.R., Guitar Army, Booker T. Jones and more.
Cost: $25 for a weekend pass
More info: riverrootslive.com.
FAIRFest (Sept. 2-4)
The fourth edition of Fairfield-based music and culture festival features numerous acts appearing over multiple days. Last year’s performances included The Pines, Pieta Brown, Muddy Ruckus and more.
Nitefall on the River
Shows take place at either Simon Estes Amphitheater or Brenton Skating Plaza. If rain is in the forecast for a night where a show is scheduled at Simon Estes Amphitheatre, organizers will likely move the event to Brenton Skating Plaza.
- May 28: Hairball. 8 p.m. $20-$25. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- June 3: Here Come The Mummies. 8 p.m. $20-$25. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- June 10: The Nadas. 7 p.m. $15-$20. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- June 17: Los Lobos. 7 p.m. $25-$30. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- June 19: Brandi Carlile. 7 p.m. $35-$40. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- June 24: Aaron Watson. 7 p.m. $20-$25. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- June 24: Michael Franti & Spearhead. 8 p.m. $34-$39. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- June 29: Umphrey's McGee. 7:30 p.m. $25-$30. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- July 2: Josh Garrels. 7:30 p.m. $20-$35. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- Aug. 3: Slightly Stoopid. 6:30 p.m. $15.55-$99. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- Aug. 10: Blues Traveler. 7 p.m. $25-$30. Brenton Skating Plaza.
- Aug. 23: Gov’t Mule. 7 p.m. $35-$40. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- Aug. 26: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 7 p.m. $10-$15. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
- Sep. 2: moe. And Yonder Mountain String Band. 7 p.m. $25-$30. Simon Estes Amphitheater.
More information on all shows can be found at nitefalldsm.com.
Iowa State Fair Grandstand
- Aug. 11: Newsboys. 8 p.m. $30-$45.
- Aug. 12: Meghan Trainor. 8 p.m. $45-$60.
- Aug. 13: Brett Eldredge. 8 p.m. $32-$47.
- Aug. 14: Jason Derulo. 8 p.m. $35-$47.
- Aug. 15: Dierks Bentley. 8 p.m. $57.
- Aug. 16: Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Cheap Trick. 8 p.m. $32-$52.
- Aug. 19: Kiss. 8 p.m. $50-$85.
- Aug. 20: Steven Tyler and the Loving Mary Band. 8 p.m. $45-$65.
- Aug. 21: Lady Antebellum. 8 p.m. $40-$65.
Notable free acts at this year’s Iowa State Fair: The Nadas (Aug. 12), Bret Michaels (Aug. 17), Ratt (Aug. 18), Holy White Hounds (Aug. 20), Billy Bob Thornton (Aug. 21), Cam (Aug. 15), Lynch Mob (Aug. 14), Hawk Nelson (Aug. 21), Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans (Aug. 14-15) and Color Me Badd (Aug. 21).
More information on Iowa State Fair Grandstand entertainment can be found at iowastatefair.org/entertainment/grandstand.
Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines
- June 2: Boston 40th anniversary tour with Kansas and Blue Oyster Cult. 6:30 p.m. $36-$146.
- June 22: Justin Bieber. 7:30 p.m. $55.50-$116.
- Aug. 5: Slipknot with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice and Men. 7 p.m. $29.50-$75.
- Aug. 7: Journey and the Doobie Brothers. 7 p.m. $29.50-$99.50.
More info at iowaeventscenter.com.
Stir Cove in Council Bluffs
- May 27: Aaron Lewis. 8 p.m. $38.
- July 1: Chris Stapleton. 8 p.m. $57.50
- July 7: Death Cab For Cutie. 8 p.m. $40.
- July 9: Hunter Hayes. 8 p.m. $43.
- July 10: Justin Moore. 8 p.m. $38.
- July 14: Foreigner. 8 p.m. $43.
- July 16: Hank Williams Jr. 8 p.m. $52.
- July 17: Brian Wilson Pet Sounds 50th Anniversary Tour. 7 p.m. $43.
- July 22: Goo Goo Dolls. 8 p.m. $43.
- July 23: Weezer and Panic! At The Disco. 7 p.m.
- July 27 : M83. 8 p.m. $35.
More information on all Stir Cove shows can be found at caesars.com/harrahs-council-bluffs/shows.
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City
- June 17: In This Moment with Pop Evil. 8 p.m. $25-$35. Battery Park.
- June 25: Devon Allman. 8 p.m. $20-$32. Anthem.
- July 17: Shinedown with Halestorm. 8 p.m. $39.59-$74. Battery Park.
- Aug. 13: Dwight Yoakam with Lee Ann Womack. 8 p.m. $37-$91. Battery Park.
- Aug. 14: X Ambassadors with Betty Who. 8 p.m. $32-$65. Battery Park.
More information on Hard Rock shows can be found at hardrockcasinosiouxcity.com.
U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids
July 19: Dolly Parton. 7:30 p.m. $49-$125.
More information on U.S. Cellular Center shows can be found at uscellularcenter.com.
Shows around central Iowa:
Halfloves at Gas Lamp (May 27): Iowa City band returns to Des Moines with support from SIRES and Jaybird. 9 p.m. $7.
Cloud Rat at Vaudeville Mews (June 1): Self-described grind punk band from Michigan. 4:30 p.m. $10.
Middle Western at the Des Moines Social Club (June 2): Iowa super group consisting of David Zollo and William Elliott Whitmore performing with support from MarKaus and Annalibera. 7 p.m. $20-$25.
Soul Searchers at Noce (June 2): Local blues act performing at the downtown Des Moines jazz club. 8 p.m. $10-$50.
Tyler, The Creator at Seven Flags (June 4): Premier California rapper set to perform in Clive. 7 p.m. $25.
Tokyo Police Club at Wooly’s (June 4): Indie pop outfit plays Des Moines’ East Village alongside support from We Were Promised Jetpacks. 7:30 p.m. $20.
Ill Nino at Lefty’s (June 7): American metal band embarking on its 15th anniversary tour. 4 p.m. $15-$20.
The Jason Danielson Trio at Noce (June 8): The described “elite” jazz pianist is set to take the Noce stage in June. 7 p.m. $10-$50.
Best of Fools at Gas Lamp (June 10): Des Moines-based rock ‘n’ roll and jam band set to take the Gas Lamp stage. Also performing is Blake Lubinus. 9 p.m. $7.
America at Hoyt Sherman Place (June 10): The “Tin Man” group performs at the Sherman Hill venue in June. 8 p.m. $54-$69.
The Continental at Gas Lamp (June 11): Self-described rock ‘n’ roll band from Boston. 9 p.m. $7.
Dylan Dunlap at the Des Moines Social Club (June 12): Indie rock artist hailing from California. Support on the bill from Matt Van and Dan Tedesco. 7 p.m. $7.
Leyla McCalla at the Des Moines Social Club (June 14): Multi-instrumentalist performing with opening support from Iowa group Abbie & The Sawyers. 7 p.m. $12-$15.
CeeLo Green at Wooly’s (June 15): “Forget You” singer to play Des Moines in mid-June. 8 p.m. $30-$105.
Waxahatchee at Vaudeville Mews (June 15): Southern alternative pop act from Alabama. 9 p.m. $14.
Iowa Blues Challenge Final at the downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel (June 18): Local blues artists face off in the annual challenge event. 6 p.m. $10-$15.
Scott Davis’ Drama Kings at Noce (June 22): The jazz hall-of-fame trumpeter appears in Des Moines for a one-night only performance. 7 p.m. $10-$50.
Snail Mate at Lefty’s (June 23): Cross-genre group playing alongside Iowa acts Men of Science & Faith and Kickstart the Sun. 9:30 p.m. $7.
Time Atlas at Lefty’s (June 23): Minneapolis-based alternative pop act. 5 p.m. $12-$15.
Sue Oatts Trio at Noce (June 29): Jazz vocalist comes to Des Moines with her trio group. 7 p.m. $10-$50.
The Jayhawks at Wooly’s (June 29): The Minneapolis-based group returns to Iowa alongside Folk Uke. 8 p.m. $35.
The Hooten Hallers at Vaudeville Mews (June 30): Missouri-based blues, soul and rock group to play the downtown Des Moines venue. 9 p.m. $7.
Brian Fallon & The Crowes at Wooly’s (July 2): Gaslight Anthem frontman brings his new project to Des Moines. 8 p.m. $22-$25.
Kutt Calhoun at Lefty’s (July 9): Kansas City-based rapper returns to Des Moines for a headlining performance. 4:30 p.m. $15-$20.
Cage The Elephant at Seven Flags (July 14): Kentucky-born rock group returns to Seven Flags. 8 p.m. $35.
Peter Frampton at Hoyt Sherman Place (July 15): Grammy Award winner known for his timeless “Comes Alive!” album. 7:30 p.m. $44-$99.
Dead Horse Trauma at Wooly’s (July 16): Des Moines-based hard rock band gives back to fans with a free show. 5:30 p.m.
Mushroomhead at Lefty’s (July 17): Alternative metal staple set to play the Drake neighborhood venue. 5 p.m. $17-$20.
Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness at Wooly’s (July 21): Former Something Corporate mastermind returns to Des Moines with his latest project. 8 p.m. $25.50-$31.
Diana Ross at the Des Moines Civic Center (July 21): Famed singer comes to Des Moines as part of her “In The Name of Love” tour. 7:30 p.m. $107.50-$166.50.
Twins at Vaudeville Mews (July 22): Iowa-based rock ‘n’ roll group celebrates the release of its latest record. 10 p.m. $7.
The Devil Wears Prada at Vaudeville Mews (July 25): Ohio-based metal band known for the track “Dez Moinez.” 5:30 p.m. $15.
Indigo Girls at Hoyt Sherman Place (July 26): Indigo Girls returns to Iowa with more than three decades of performing under their belt. 7:30 p.m. $39.50-$49.50.
Ghost at Seven Flags (July 27): Ghost is a Grammy Award-winning Swedish metal group. 8 p.m. $27.50.
Chicago at Stephens Auditorium (Aug. 10): The “Saturday in the Park” band is set to perform in Ames this August. 7:30 p.m. $45-$125.
The Melvins at Wooly’s (Aug. 15): This heavy music staple appears in Des Moines alongside Helms Alee. 8 p.m. $15-$17.
Deftones at Seven Flags (Aug. 17): Long-standing popular rock group which released its latest record, “Gore,” earlier this year. 8 p.m. $43.75.
O.A.R. at Stephens Auditorium (Aug. 31): Catch the acclaimed rock band for a one-night only performance in Ames. 8 p.m. $25-$50.
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