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5 road trip-worthy music festivals

Iowa plays hosts to dozens of entertaining music festivals over the summer (and hundreds of other music events, as this Register article from May highlights), but … sometimes it’s okay to take a road trip.

Roll down the windows, turn up the stereo and hit the road for a weekend to see what other Midwest cities, such as Chicago, St. Louis, Mo., and Omaha, Neb., offer for summer music events. Start with these five music festivals that are a driving distance away from Des Moines and worth the trip.

Summerfest: Self-described as the “world’s largest music festival,” Summerfest brings a lineup of A-list music stars to Milwaukee (about six hours from Des Moines) for multiple weekends in June and July. This year’s scheduled performers include Paul McCartney, Selena Gomez, Pitbull, Panic! At The Disco,  blink-182 and the list goes on. June 29-July 3; July 5-10. More info at

Pitchfork Music Festival: Better make those road trip plans fast. This Chicago-based festival (about 5 1/2 hours from Des Moines) is set to take place in a few weeks on July 15-17. Headliners include Brian Wilson, Carly Rae Jepsen and Beach House. More info at

Maha Music Festival: For one day in Omaha (about 2 hours from Des Moines) this August, the likes of Passion Pit, Grimes, The Joy Formidable, Diet Cig and more will take to Aksarben Village for Maha Music Festival. Considering the stacked and unique lineup, this festival’s a steal at $55 for a general admission ticket. Aug. 20. More info at

Loufest: Want to see LCD Soundsystem this summer? How about Chris Stapleton? Lauryn Hill? The lineup for St. Louis’ Loufest (about 5 1/2 hours from Des Moines) is diverse and deep. Other acts performing at the two-day event include Buddy Guy and Band of Horses. Sept. 10-11. More info at

Riot Fest: North America’s best punk rock festival brought back one of punk rock’s most legendary acts from the dead to headline this year’s Chicago event. The Misfits are scheduled to reunite and headline the annual festival, set to take place Sept. 16-18. Other acts performing include Morrissey, Rob Zombie, Death Cab For Cutie, Brand New and more. Sept. 16-18. More info at