Here's the first confirmed concert for Des Moines' anticipated Water Works amphitheater
ARIE DEN BOER ARBORETUM is host to over 1,000 crabapple trees that bloom for a few days a year. Rodney White and Michael Zamora, The Des Moines Register
Music fans learned Monday a taste of what’s coming to the anticipated Water Works amphitheater in Des Moines.
English rock 'n’ roll group The Struts play the amphitheater July 15, a Monday night. Tickets cost $25 before fees and can be purchased Friday via firstfleetconcerts.com.
Canadian rock group The Glorious Sons open the show.
The Struts last played Des Moines in November 2018, a sold out performance at Wooly’s in the East Village. The group opened for Foo Fighters at Wells Fargo Arena in 2017.
It’s the first confirmed concert booked at the outdoor venue, called the Lauridsen Amphitheater, which organizers hope to open in June. Discussed since 2014, the amphitheater plans to offer a summer home for ticketed concerts, symphony performances and heritage festivals.
The $13 million project plans to include:
- An two-sided amphitheater stage that could attract a crowd of 15,000-plus eventgoers on its large side and around 2,000 on the small side. The Struts plans to be a small side show.
- A "marketplace" area to park food trucks or host other booths and tents.
- A 30-acre “great lawn” field, placed near the park’s Fleur Drive entrance, to be used for Frisbee, kite flying and picnics.
- Two playgrounds made of natural materials that mimic the park's riparian forest.
- A pavilion with restrooms.
- A Fleur Drive underpass that connects Water Works and Gray’s Lake Park. This plans to be completed in 2020.
Iowa-based First Fleet Concerts, the group responsible for Hinterland Music Festival, Nitefall on the River and Wooly’s, hopes to bring about 10 shows to the amphitheater in its inaugural season — a number that could increase in future summers.
Tours may range in popularity from what’s similarly seen at a sold out Nitefall on the River stop to as sought after as Hinterland and 80/35 Music Festival headliners, said First Fleet promoter Sam Summers.
More shows plan to be unveiled in the coming weeks, Summers said; the biggest to-be-announced names could draw crowds of 8,000 to 10,000 to the venue.
"For the summer, it’s great,” Summers said. “If someone wants to play outdoors, this is perfect opportunity.”
Sam Carrell, Water Works executive director, said that despite a winter bringing record cold and snow to the metro, the venue should still be on schedule to hold its first event in June.
The Water Works board has raised about $10.5 million for the project, Carrell said. The renovations and additions impact about 90 of the park's 1,500 acres.
“We were able to get the canopy up just after Christmas,” Carrell said. "The stage is already poured. … From the construction standpoint, we’ll be fine.”
The Register’s Kim Norvell contributed to this story.