UTG PREVIEW: Everything To Catch At This Year’s 80/35

2015 80/35 des moines music festival

With festival season in full swing across North America and beyond, all eyes are set on the beautiful city of Des Moines, Iowa this weekend for the all-too-stacked two-day lineup at 80/35.

More than just a slew of amazing artists playing across three stages this July 10-11, 80/35 is an entire experience—from the food to the beer to the after parties. It’s one of those SXSW-esque “up at 10 a.m. and doing things until 3 a.m.” festivals. And there’s no better way to do a festival. So, what’s the scoop? Where should you hang out? What should you see? Here’s a breakdown of everything music and beyond to keep an eye out for during this weekend’s Midwest festivities:



Look no further than the main stage for Friday night’s premier entertainment. The lineup includes the trifecta combination of St. Lucia, Jenny Lewis and Wilco—and that’s really all the music one person needs to feel satisfied, right? It’s peculiar, mixing the pulsing, ambient electronics of St. Lucia alongside the smooth melodies of Jenny Lewis, topped off with the avant-garde rock stylings of Wilco.

It will be both fun and aesthetically compelling, but undeniably entertaining.


The festival really heats up on Saturday—from the noon performance of up-and-comer Boh Doran to Weezer’s headlining set, there isn’t a minute of music worth missing throughout the day. Here’s who to check out and why:

Watch The Kickbacks because it’s clever indie rock loud enough for Millenials and cool enough for Baby Boomers; Watch Cloud Nothings because it’s Cloud Nothings and you’re a fool to miss it. Watch The Orwells to get a taste of true rock ‘n’ roll. Watch Christopher The Conquered because you can’t go to 80/35 without catching one of Des Moines’ finest. Watch The Maytags because there’s no better music to dance to all weekend. Watch Run The Jewels because their live show is rumored to be one of the best in the business. Watch Weezer because “Island On THe Sun,” “Sweater Song,” “Beverly Hills,” “Buddy Holly” and every other irresistible single this band’s produced in the last two decades.

Yeah, Saturday’s going to be a busy one. Hold on to your butts, Des Moines—this is going to be a day you’re not going to forget any time soon.


Let’s pick one after party from each night that is the must-attend, okay?


Wooly’s in Des Moines’ East Village is hosting a free St. Lucia DJ after party. That’s right—if you miss this vibrant electronic set during the festival, you can catch a DJ set after. Support on the bill comes from Togetherness and UTG alumni MAIDS. Will there be dancing? Of course. Is it going to be a good time? Guaranteed. The show starts at 11 p.m., so come ready for a good vibe-only electronic nightcap. RSVP here.


Des Moines’ recently launched label, Station 1 Records, is set to host a showcase featuring homegrown Iowa talent. This includes the folk taste of Field Division, the electronic vibes of MAIDS (yes, the same duo from the video above), the indie artistic slyings of The Olympics and the poignant rock ‘n’ roll offering of Dylan Sires and Neighbors. Spent too much time at the main stage during the festival and felt you didn’t support the local scene enough? Here’s your chance to make up for lost time and catch three amazing local acts. Check out full details here.



Everything from Cuban sandwiches to ice cream can be found at this year’s festival. Try the Powered By Fries food truck for something quick and simple—it’s said to be unique french fry concoctions with specialty sauces. Also, you can’t come to the festival in the Midwest without grabbing a bite of BBQ; BULU BBQ will be serving up pulled pork sandwiches.


Iowa’s own Peace Tree Brewery will be present with a batch of Soundcheck Session IPA. It’s hoppy and brisk; perfect for a summer afternoon at a festival. It’s like, with being named Soundcheck, they knew it would be perfect for a music festival, or something…

Other cool things:

Last but not least, check out the Iowa Public Radio live sessions taking place during the festival. There will be exclusive interviews and live performances from the acts. It’s a great opportunity to catch some insight from the performer and maybe see one of your favorite songs performed in a different fashion.

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