Today, we come to our community with an important announcement regarding the 80/35 Music Festival. As we adapt to the future needs of the festival, today we are announcing that the 2023 80/35 will be our final year in Western Gateway Park.
In 2008, a small group of committed individuals launched the very first 80/35 in what was a rising neighborhood in the Western entryway of downtown Des Moines. The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park had not yet even opened, and many of the now-bustling storefronts and warehouses were empty or underutilized. Since then, for 14 iterations of 80/35, the festival has grown with and adapted to a changing downtown.
As we look to celebrate year 15 in 2024, the festival faces anticipated construction in the park during the 2024 festival dates and unprecedented rising production costs at this location. The Des Moines Music Coalition and the 80/35 planning team believe strongly in two important values of 80/35:
- To showcase diverse artists on stage and pay them living wages, and
- To keep the festival as accessible as possible to our community by ensuring ticket prices remain affordable for the weekend.
Moving the festival to a new location will allow us to keep 80/35 open to all and to continue supporting acts from across the city, state, country, and world.
The new location for 80/35 2024 will be announced on stage at this year’s festival. The new festival location will be located in the city limits of Des Moines and will maintain DMMC’s commitment to an urban experience accessible by multiple modes of transportation. With the new location comes opportunities for new experiences, partnerships, and activations, and we’re so excited to share what’s in store for our 15th anniversary next year.
Whether this year will be your first or your 14th time attending, we hope you will join us to celebrate the legacy of this event and the exciting changes ahead of us.
80/35 and the Des Moines Music Coalition
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why are you moving the festival?
Rising production costs in using Western Gateway Park, along with anticipated park construction in 2024, have influenced this decision. Our current location does not have any existing event infrastructure, and that has impacted our ability to use the space while keeping much of the festival free and accessible.
When will the festival be moving?
2024 will be the first year in our new location.
Where is the festival moving?
We will announce the new festival location from stage at this year’s 80/35. The new location will be located in Des Moines and will maintain the festival’s commitment to an urban experience accessible by multiple modes of transportation.
I think I know where you’re moving. Can I guess?
Nice try! We will announce the new location from stage at this year’s 80/35. Until then, we’re keeping it under wraps! I’d encourage you to buy a ticket for this year’s festival to experience it in its last year at Western Gateway Park.
Will this change this year’s festival at all?
No! We plan to celebrate our original home one last time as this year’s festival, and we hope you join us.
Will the festival still have free stages?
We are committed to a mix of free and ticketed stages at our future home.
What will change at the new location?
While much of the festival will look and feel the same, with a new venue comes new possibilities. And we will celebrate our 15th anniversary! For now, we’re focused on putting on the best 80/35 ever this summer, July 7 and 8.