Just after my week of relaxing vacation time I headed back to the heartland to spend the first weekend in July at 80/35. Even though I could go on forever about how much I love this city, this festival, this community, here are five quick highlights from this year’s festival.


  • Avett Brothers & Death Cab for Cutie – easily the best headlining pair I’ve seen in awhile. Both were fantastic performers and played incredible sets.
  • Midwest Tix Lounge – In the 100+ degree heat I was absolutely overjoyed to discover the air conditioned lounge, located inside Proof, for concert goers who bought their tickets online with Midwest Tix. Though I didn’t spend a ton of time there, the burst of cold air was a nice reprieve from an otherwise scorching weekend.
  • New discoveries – Like Leslie and the LYs and Useful Jenkins. Seriously, check them out.
  • New Belgium beer on tap – Because, duh.
  • Somehow 80/35 is still one of Des Moines’ best kept secrets – Even after five years the festival still hasn’t become stiflingly overcrowded or over-rated. Here’s to hoping year six is the same way!

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