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U.S. Regional and Local Music Scenes
Local Des Moines Music Scene


Des Moines is known more its farmland than music scene. The area has produced musicians who went on to play in national acts such as Slipknot and Stone Sour. In the 2010 Census the metropolitan area had over 569,000 residents. Campuses include Drake University, Grand View University, Simpson College, Upper Iowa University and William Penn University. The local scene is covered by The Des Moines Register and Cityview. The history of the Des Moines music scene has not included a long list of nationally know artists.

Des Moines Music Acts

Ariel Currant * Cirrus Minor * Cerebral 1 * Jacey * The Knobs * Dirty Little Rabbits * Royal Beats * Devi Sri Prasad (DSP) * History On Repeat * Blue Island Tribe * Mary McAdams * Julie Love * Rocket Transfer * Michael J. Murray *

Local Highlights

The Des Moines Symphony entered its 80th year for the 2017-2018 season. The non-profit organization will present its "Masterworks" concert series through May 2018. The opening performance on September 23 withh Carl Maria von Weber's "Invitation To Dance." Some of the shows will be a collaboration with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Acts scheduled for the 2017 annual summer festival known as 80/35 in Downtown Des Moines were announced in April, with MGMT headlining. The region's largest indie music festival features about 50 performing acts including rapper Action Bronson, folk band Elephant Revival and hardcore rockers Modern Life Is War. The two day event will be held July 7 and 8 in Western Gateway Park. In 2016 the festival drew about 28,000 people and was headlined by Nas and the Decemberists.

The 80/35 Festival hit an all-time attendance record the weekend of July 11, 2015. With headliners Weezer and Wilco, the event attracted 36,000 people, surpassing 2014 figures of 30,000, according to WhoTV. Organizers believe that moving the event back a week from Fourth of July weekend helped attract more people. The festival brings in over $2.5 million to the Des Moines metropolitan economy. It's a festival of music, food and a wide variety of vendors selling souvenirs from around the globe. The event is organized by project manager Amedeo Rossi of the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition.

Des Moines Music Scene is a website dedicated to local music, keeping you up to date on events and which artists are gaining followings. The site promotes awareness about local scene venues and artists. It's a key place to find insider access that connects customers with musicians. Dsmmusicscene.com is owned and operated by Amanda Hitgen. She is a multimedia journalism major at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Rock singer Devi Sri Prasad is the top ranked artist in Des Moines, according to ReverbNation in February 2014. Close behind is alternative band Cirrus Minor and hip hop artist Hurricane Isaac. Other notable local artists include hip hop act MarKaus, rock band Through the Darkness, singer-songwriter Jacey, country band Crawford County, instrumentalist Milla Beatz, indie band Mighty Shady and pop ballad songstress Ariel Currant.

In 2012 the 80/35 Music Festival marked the union of the Des Moines and Ames music scenes, as reported in this 7/4/2013 Ames Tribune article. The second annual festival was held in July 2013. The concept of two different community organizations working together on the same event have proven to help both communities. Fairfield has a small music scene that also contributes to the region that covers central Iowa.







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