The 80/35 music festival was started by the Des Moines Music Coalition in 2008. Since its inception, the festival has grown tremendously, placing Des Moines, Iowa on the national music map.
Originally made up of local bands, the festival now draws big name artists including Wilco and Weezer (2015’s headliners), Wu-Tang Clan, Death Cab For Cutie, Girl Talk, Of Montreal, Modest Mouse, and many more. Although 80/35 doesn’t rank quite on the level of festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza in terms of size, it’s steadily becoming a music event not to miss.
The 2015 festival was held in Western Gateway Park on July 10 & 11, and I could not have picked a better place for my first music festival experience. The festival featured music of many genres from country to rock to dubstep, with a great mix of already established and still rising bands. The food trucks were amazing, the crowd was great, and the music was much better than expected.
The most pleasant surprise was St. Lucia, an alt-pop band from New York that has very quickly rose towards the top on my list of favorites.
Not featured on this playlist is The Olympics, a rising band in Iowa City that’s worth checking out. They’re one of the best bands that performed all weekend on a smaller stage and I wouldn’t be surprised if they headline one of the main stages in the future.
This playlists features the best bands—old and new—that played throughout the weekend.
1. Elevate – St. Lucia
2. All Eyes On You – St. Lucia
3. Closer Than This – St. Lucia
4. Say It Ain’t So – Weezer
5. Beverly Hills – Weezer
6. How Good Does It Feel – Empires
7. Please Don’t Tell My Lover – Empires
8. You and I – Wilco
9. Do It Like You Do – Lettuce
10. Move On Up – Lettuce
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