80/35 Music Festival is an annual music event that takes place in Des Moines, Iowa every year. Its unique name is derived from highways I-80 and I-35, which have an intersection point in the city. This outdoor event is held in Downtown Des Moines. Apart from the main stage where the headliners perform, several smaller stages are set up across the venue. These host performances by local upcoming artists and bands.
The festival was first started in 2008 and has grown in strength since then. It is organized and run by the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition and dedicated volunteers. The Greater Des Moines Music Coalition is a non-profit organization that works toward developing the music economy of the region.
Over 45 bands and musicians bring the stages alive every year. Artists like The Flaming Lips, The Avett Brothers, Weezer, Elle King, Liz Phair, Starry Nights, Ramona & the Sometimes, Elephant Revival, The Maytags, Jenny Lewis, Cloud Nothings, Hot Buttered Rum, and Ziggy Marley have performed at 80/35 Music Festival in the past.
More than 30,00 people attend the event every year. Proceeds from the festival go towards supporting the community and various local programs. In addition to world-class music, guests can enjoy other interactive performances and choose from the great food and merchandise on offer. Centered in the middle of the country, travelers will enjoy adding this event to the itinerary with nearby camping.
General Admission and VIP passes go on sale a few months before the event. You have the option of choosing between single-day or two-day passes. They range in price from $50 for single-day General Admission passes to $220 for two-day VIP passes. A VIP pass will give you access to exclusive lounges, air-conditioned bathrooms, premium viewing areas, and many other perks.
To gain access to the Lagunitas Lounge, you'll need to purchase an additional wristband. Children under the age of ten can enjoy the festival for free. For more information on tickets and pricing, take a look at the official website.
The 80/35 Music Festival takes place in Downtown Des Moines in the areas around Locust Street and 12th Street. Before starting on your drive, be sure to check if any road alerts have been issued and take a look at the weather forecast for Iowa. The unique name of this festival gives light to where attendees will come to absorb all that is Des Moines in the community near I-80 and I-35.
You may be able to park in the streets surrounding the venue for free during some times, but be sure to note the length of your camper as some spots will be for smaller vehicles. Be sure to get there early since the area is bound to be pretty busy on the days of the event. Another option is to park at the Nationwide Parking Ramp about a mile away, which may be free on Saturday and Friday evenings.
The most convenient way to get to the festival venue is by hopping on one of the buses operated by The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART). The pick-up and drop-off point is walking distance from the main staging area. Many festival-goers also choose to use taxi-hailing services to and from locations in the area.
Onsite camping is not permitted on the festival grounds. Fortunately, there are some great RV parks nearby where you can book a spot in the Des Moines area.
Des Moines offers some excellent summertime camping, so it's not surprising that RVers from all over the country flock to this cultural center. Many of the RV parks in the area are situated by the lake, so you can enjoy fun water activities like fishing, rafting, and more. They are also well equipped with facilities like laundry services, full-hookups, and WiFi. Additional RV options may also be found just along the edges of the city within a 25-minute drive of the 80/35 Festival site.
Stages are within walking distance from each other, and guests can easily move around on foot. Patrons with mobility disabilities can maneuver using the wheelchair-accessible pathways that connect the different parts of the venue. There is also a designated accessible viewing area close to the main stage.
Most festival attendees will be dressed in casual summer attire. Choose lightweight natural fabrics like linen or cotton to stay cool and comfortable during the day. Carrying a jacket is recommended since it gets considerably cooler after sundown. Wear comfortable shoes, preferably flats, since you're likely to be doing a good amount of walking.
Only small backpacks and bags will be allowed into the 80/35 Festival area. Pack this with a few essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, bug spray, an empty refillable water bottle, and a small snack. Chairs can be used in certain areas of the venue, so carry a low backed one or a lightweight blanket to sit down and get off your feet.
Make use of the free filtered water stations to stay hydrated and drink alcohol responsibly. A small amount of food can be brought into the festival site, so carry some nuts or a snack of your choice to keep your energy up. Illegal drugs, weapons, fireworks, and outside alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited.
Cooking or open flames of any kind will not be allowed at the venue. Campfires are permitted in most campgrounds in the area, and you can, of course, prepare meals on the stove associated with your RV. Nearby campgrounds also sometimes have onsite general stores where you can purchase essentials like firewood and groceries. Depending on where you intend to begin your travels, you may find it beneficial to stock your RV kitchen before arriving in the city.
From unique steakhouse experiences to authentic Vietnamese food, there's a whole lot of delicious food to be had at Des Moines. You'll find so much more than fried snacks and fast food joints in the city. Travelers to the area also like to check out the ice cream shops downtown that are well-loved by locals.
Food and drinks from top local eateries will be on sale at the venue. Chefs and caterers go out of their way to offer festival-only treats. Don't miss out on the jerk chicken, funnel fries, and handmade ice cream sandwiches. There will also be a large variety of beers, wines, and non-alcoholic beverages on offer at 80/35 Festival. Some vendors may prefer cash, so consider bringing multiple forms of payment.
Security personnel will be stationed inside and outside the venue. They will also be making rounds, so you can flag them down if you or someone you know requires assistance. All bags and belongings will be checked before entry. 80/35 Festival requests that guests review and follow event guidelines before arrival.
Iowa weather is typically warm with plenty of sunshine for festival-goers to enjoy. Summers bring a slim chance of rain, and the festival will go on despite light showers. Be sure to check the weather forecast on the day of the event so you can go prepared with the right gear.
There will be first-aid areas where festival guests can get medical assistance. Accessible portable toilets will be available all over the grounds. Any information related to the facilities or the accessibility of the venue can be found at the information booth. You can also contact the organizers directly for any special requests. Additional medical and pharmacy services can be found within a 10-minute drive of the 80/35 Festival venue.