Des Moines cancels 80/35 Music Festival

In response to COVID-19’s disruption of organizing and putting on the festival, the Des Moines Music Coalition announced it would cancel the 2020 80/35 Music Festival this summer.


Wyatt Dlouhy

Sidewalk Chalk performs at the Kum and Go stage during the 2019 80/35 Festival in downtown Des Moines on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Josie Fischels, Arts Editor

The 2020 80/35 Music Festival at Western Gateway Park in Des Moines has been canceled due to the spread of COVID-19. 

80/35 was scheduled for July 10 and 11. The 2020 lineup had yet to be announced. 

According to a statement posted on the 80/35 website on Monday afternoon, “It’s with a sad song in our hearts to inform you, our friends, volunteers, artists and passionate music fans, that we have decided to cancel the 13th annual 80/35 festival originally scheduled for July 10 & 11.”

The statement said that because the Des Moines Music Coalition is a nonprofit organization that relies on ticket sales, volunteers, community grants, and corporate sponsorships, the COVID-19 pandemic made them unable to put on the festival in a manner that would ensure its success in the future.

“A future without 80/35 was something we couldn’t risk,” the statement said. 

RELATED: Mission Creek Festival canceled, dates for new event to be announced next week

The coalition’s plans will now focus on planning the 2021 80/35 Music Festival and finding ways to support artists and venues, including hosting virtual concerts and online music educational programming.

80/35’s 2020 cancellation comes after the cancellation of the Mission Creek Festival, organized annually by Englert Theatre. The status of Iowa’s other large-scale summer music festival, the Hinterland Music Festival, has yet to be announced.