Why it’s a big deal that Des Moines landed a Cardi B concert this year
With personal drama intertwining with their music, artists like Cardi B, Drake and Ariana Grande made headlines all year long, according to PEOPLE magazine senior music editor Janine Rubenstein. (Dec. 21)
The Super Bowl. Bonnaroo. Hangout Fest.
Des Moines … ?
Seeing rap powerhouse Cardi B in Iowa’s capital city isn’t just a monumental win for hip-hop fans — it’s an experience unlike most shows booked this year for the breakout star.
Promoters confirmed Tuesday that the chart-topping “I Like It” singer appears May 3 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, a Friday night. The show comes between festival appearances for Belcalis Marlenis “Cardi B” Almánzar, a one-off headlining night from an A-list star who hasn’t confirmed plans for an arena tour this year.
It’s a “special” grab for the arena, said general manager Chris Connolly.
“It’s very, very unique,” Connolly said. “We probably won’t get another opportunity like this in the next calendar year.”
Most shows playing Wells Fargo Arena come as part of a packaged bill — the same acts in each city, typically branded as a seasonal run of shows (such as Ozzy Osbourne’s upcoming summer “No More Tours II” or Blake Shelton’s spring “Friends and Heroes” tour).
Mammoth enlisted Cardi B to headline May 4 at the annual Flyover Festival outside of Kansas City, Kansas. Excitement surrounding the festival lineup announcement last week led to a conversation about booking a second day during her Midwest visit, said Mammoth co-owner Josh Hunt.
The festival sold out last year, snagging Post Malone ahead of his radio takeover.
“We didn't know if it was going to be possible to do other days before we announced but we’re big believers in Cardi B,” Hunt said. “We were already having the conversation of if she wanted to do something else.”
Mammoth first began booking Des Moines concerts in the 1990s, Hunt said. The group partners with local and national promoters to bring about about 50 concerts a year to the metro — including Willie Nelson at Wells Fargo Arena, Alice Cooper at the Civic Center or Melissa Etheridge at Hoyt Sherman Place.
The show could have landed in Omaha, a bigger market, but Hunt said Mammoth took into consideration the strength Iowa ticket buyers showed when Drake performed the arena in 2016. Roughly 13,100 attended that night (the night of #BringDrakeToDrake).
He points also to the growing success of 515 Alive, Iowa’s annual two-night EDM and hip-hop mainstay. Past festival headliners include Future, Gucci Mane and Machine Gun Kelly.
“It seems like people really have taken notice that some of these hip-hop shows are doing well in Des Moines,” Hunt said.
For Wells Fargo Arena — which Connolly said got a call from Mammoth early last week — the decision took minutes to confirm.
Now, Connolly said, it’s time to sell some tickets.
“We think we can sell it,” Connolly said. “It’s up to us now to market this thing well and sell it well.”
Tickets to see Cardi B cost $49.50 to $125 before fees and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via Hy-VeeTix.com, the Wells Fargo Arena box office (233 Center St.) or by phone, at 844-55-HYVEE.