80/35 is back, with a killer lineup at Water Works Park

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80/35, Iowa's largest non-profit music festival, returns to Des Moines July 12 and 13. 80/35, el mayor festival de música sin fines de lucro de Iowa, vuelve a Des Moines el 12 y 13 de julio.
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By Tony Dehner, Cece Mitchell, Iowa Public Radio

The state’s largest non-profit music festival is back, with a new location and a killer line-up! 

In 2023, the festival announced it would be moving from it’s long standing location in downtown Des Moines to Water Works Park. This year we can expect two days of music with a paid and a free stage July 12 and 13. Here’s who we’re most looking forward to seeing there this summer:

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Killer Mike

The 2024 80/35 festival will actually be Killer Mike’s second 80/35 appearance. He was here in 2015 with Run The Jewels, the groundbreaking hip-hop duo that he’s probably best known for. Mike’s 2023 solo album, Michael, is well worth checking it out if you haven’t already. A winner of three Grammy awards (a triumphant evening that was marred by Mike’s arrest during the ceremony), it’s a very personal record with a powerful sound. We’re hoping Killer Mike has a choir with him, as he did when he appeared on Stephen Colbert’s show.

OK Go

When you think of OK Go, you undoubtedly think of “Here We Go Again” and their legendary, Grammy award-winning 2009 video on treadmills. The band is so much more than that though: having started in 1998 and now with four acclaimed albums, OK Go is an indie rock powerhouse to be reckoned with. We absolutely recommend pregaming their 80/35 performance with a viewing of their many elaborate music videos, like “Upside Down & Inside Out” in zero-gravity and “This Too Shall Pass” that features a Rube Goldberg machine.

Hiatus Kaiyote

Australian jazz/funk band Hiatus Kaiyote have been at it since 2011, delivering chill sounds and immaculate vibes over five records. Having received endorsements from Erykah Badu, Questlove and Prince, Hiatus Kaiyote was the first Australian act to be nominated for a Grammy in an R&B category. The band has also been sampled by numerous big names in hip-hop, including Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Their unique sound definitely lives up to all the hype — be prepared to get up and dance to the beat.

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Bully

Alicia Bognanno, better known by her stage moniker Bully, has been consistently delivering solid alt rock since 2013. Last year’s Lucky For You record was one of the best indie albums of the year, combining a somewhat nostalgic rock sound with brilliant songwriting and Bognanno’s magnificently grungy voice. This set will appeal to a wide variety of music fans, from those who favor pop punk to riot grrrl sounds and plenty in-between. Get ready to headbang and let loose a little at this set!

The Finesse

2023 was the year of The Finesse in Des Moines, and beyond. They released their debut album, Abraham, and it’s a must-listen for fans of soul, funk, jazz, and everything in between. They also went on a tour of Japan, and a few months ago they released the music video for the single “Colors,” which has more than 180,000 views across multiple platforms. They’ll be taking a well-deserved victory lap at this year’s 80/35, and it’s also sure to mark the next chapter for the band.

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The Maytags

The Maytags have appeared at 80/35 multiple times, including in 2019 when they were a last-minute replacement for YUNGBLUD after he fell victim to van problems the day of the show. This incident led The Maytags to dub themselves “Des Moines’ most available band.” Lead vocalist and songwriter Dustin Smith has put out some great Americana-leaning solo music in recent years, but we can’t deny that we’re excited to hear The Maytags’ soulful horns and funky rhythms again.

Tripmaster Monkey

For the second straight year, 80/35 will include a reunion by one of the OG Iowa indie rock bands. Last year, it was House Of Large Sizes, and this year it’s Tripmaster Monkey. Hailing from the Quad Cities, Tripmaster Monkey had a moment in the mid-’90s when they were signed to a major label. They reunited in 2019 for a new album and some shows, including a performance in IPR’s studios. Their upcoming performance at 80/35 will no doubt be a special moment for lots of longtime Iowa music fans.

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Susto

Susto is an Eastern Iowa favorite, hailing from South Carolina. The band has been a fan-favorite at Codfish Hollow since before the first Garp Festival, a now defunct event held at the barn. Since then, Susto has played a couple legendary two day shows at the barn, and we are ecstatic to see them on the 80/35 lineup for this summer in Des Moines. The band has five full length albums out, and on each one, they sing about spirituality, weed and getting into trouble with your friends. We’ve been playing them on Studio One for a while, and you can also hear live cuts of the sets they’ve played recently at Codfish on our weekend music show All Access.

Tickets can be purchased from 80/35’s website through local ticket seller MidwestTix for $130. One of 80/35’s strengths is bringing bands to town that we wouldn’t normally see in Des Moines. We’ll be following up about Tropa Magica, Heavy Crowns, Dreamer Isioma and Foxy Shazam, who after a brief listen will be awesome, and are new to us bands.

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