The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Indigo De Souza, Neko Case to headline The Englert’s Mission Creek 2024

The annual spring music and arts festival hosted by the Englert Theatre will bring artists like Indigo De Souza, Neko Case, Osees, and MacArthur Fellow Hanif Abdurraquib to Iowa City in early April.
Larry Phan
Indigo de Souza opens for Lucy Dacus at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022.

Timed to a tee as a shard of hope for students in the thick of finals week, the Englert Theatre has just announced a decorated lineup for next year’s Mission Creek Festival, featuring musical headliners Neko Case, Indigo De Souza, Osees, and author Hanif Abdurraqib.

From April 4-6, the festival will take place at various venues across downtown Iowa City including the Englert, Gabe’s Iowa City, Riverside Theatre, and Hancher Auditorium among others.

Last year’s lineup set the bar high with headliners like Sudan Archives, Snail Mail, and Michelle Zauner putting Iowa City on the map as a hub for good music. 

Though some tough acts to follow, the Mission Creek festival’s 2024 lineup was handpicked by the festival’s director, Brian Johannesen, and his team at the Englert. 

“Mission Creek is all about celebrating independent voices and elevating the Iowa City community,” Johannesen said, “and for our three music headliners, we captured that.”

With a programming budget of around $115,000 for the 2024 festival, Johannesen said he chose each musical headliner carefully, aiming to appeal to as many music tastes as possible. 

For fans of 2000s indie nostalgia, the three-day-long festival will introduce singer-songwriter Neko Case to the Iowa City music scene as one of its headliners. 

“Neko Case is a legend, been around forever, has done a ton of stuff, and has such an amazing reputation for her songwriting and voice,” Johannesen said.

On the other hand, those wishing to barricade themselves with their elbows in a mosh pit will enjoy songs like “Sacrifice” and “A Foul Form” from rock band headliner Osees (also known as Thee Oh Sees). 

On his choice to bring this genre to the spring festival, Johannesen said: “Osees has embodied the independent spirit for decades now by refusing to conform or be a part of a machine. They do their own thing.”

For rising indie singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza, her work has already resonated with younger generations — with well over a half million streams on Spotify alone and an episode of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert to her name, the young star has found her target demographic in Iowa City: College students. 

Though not her first time in town, De Souza’s 2022 performance saw a sold-out concert of fans eager to be in the singer’s presence, even swarming the front of the stage when she walked on. 

“[De Souza] has been doing amazing work as the capstone up-and-comer [and has] made unique art within the indie pop world,” Johannesen said. “She is really representative of the student population in Iowa City.”

Between the three musical headliners, Johannesen felt that the lineup covers a lot of ground in terms of genre variety. 

Additionally, award-winning poet and essayist Abdurraqib will join as the literary headliner of Mission Creek this spring, delivering a reading from his work and a Q&A for festival goers.

As for the local artists on Mission Creek’s lineup, Johannesen shared that the process of narrowing down from a submission pool of over 150 artists was “excruciating.”

“There were so many bands, as there are every year, that we wanted to be a part of the show, but due to the spots we had in the lineup … we boiled it down to what we connected with,” Johannesen said. 

A limited quantity of Early Bird festival passes are now available starting at $95 per pass but will climb to $105 toward the middle of January. Regular three-day passes will be on sale in Feb. for $115 per pass as well as individual day passes which range from $55-$65 for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, respectively. 

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About the Contributors
Avi Lapchick, Arts Editor
Avi Lapchick is an arts editor at The Daily Iowan. A fourth-year student studying English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa, she previously held the positions of staff photojournalist, summer arts editor, and assistant arts editor at the DI. She is happiest when she is writing or painting.
Larry Phan, Photojournalist/Videographer
Email: [email protected] Larry Phan is a Photographer and Videographer at The Daily Iowan. He is a fifth-year undergraduate student at the University of Iowa, majoring in civil engineering with a minor in arts.