The 10 Best Music Festivals in Iowa

There are many music festivals in Iowa, and the best ones always seem to sell out quickly. If you’re planning a trip to Iowa and want to experience the best of its music scene, we’ve rounded up the top ten festivals you won’t want to miss.

1. Hinterland Music Festival

Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater, Saint Charles

When: August (three days)

A three-day music festival in the Iowa countryside, Hinterland Music Festival has already hosted a number of world class acts. Food vendors, merch stands, and a craft beer garden make Hinterland one of the most unique festival experiences in Iowa.

Don’t forget to explore all of the booths from local artisans! They have some stunning items and services for you to enjoy.

2. Mission Creek Festival

Downtown Iowa City

When: April (three days)

Showcasing a wide variety of international and local artists celebrating music and literature. With access to some of Iowa City’s most popular indoor venues, those with passes can pick from several different shows and events.

The festival relies on the close relationships and emotional investment between artists and audiences. It’s a great opportunity to get an unforgettable experience and learn more about the Iowa City artistic community.

3. 80/35 Music Festival

Des Moines, Iowa

When: July (two days)

Des Moines Music Coalition–a nonprofit striving to enhance the city’s music scene in terms of both strength and diversity–proudly presents 80/35.Come for the food, stay for the art, and leave with your mind blown by great music.

Featuring a range of genres and styles, this festival is one of Iowa’s most anticipated music events. With a convenient location in downtown Des Moines, it’s the perfect place to experience something new!

4. 515 Alive Music Festival

Des Moines, Iowa

When: August (two days)

515 Alive Music Festival is an annual multi-day camping festival that takes place in Des Moines, Iowa. The music lineup at the festival typically consists primarily of EDM  and hip-hop artists as well.

Nearly 100 artists will playing their music live for you to enjoy, alongside light shows and a variety of vendors. You’ll find plenty of food options too, so you can make a night of it!

5. Guthrie’s River Ruckus

Guthrie County Fairgrounds

When: July (three days)

An Iowa State University alumni and his childhood friend started this event in their hometown to bring some of the biggest names in the music industry together. Now, in its 15th year, Guthrie’s River Ruckus has become one of the most talked about festivals in Iowa.

The two-day extravaganza will make use of the Guthrie Center Fairgrounds’ amphitheater to host 10 to 15 artists for the live audience.

6. Country Thunder Iowa

Heritage Park, Forest City

When: June (three days)

Formerly known as the Tree Town Festival in Forest City, Country Thunder Iowa is one of the best country music festivals in America and has retained its popularity since it began.

Visit for the day or camp out at the event’s grounds over the weekend! Take advantage of showers and restrooms on site, as well as luxurious tents available for rent.

7. Saturday in the Park

Sioux City

When: July (one day)

If you’re a fan of any genres under the “country” umbrella, as well as rock and blues mixed with some jazz flavor– this event is perfect for you!

And to make it even better, there are delicious food options available too. Top the night off with an incredible firework show that you won’t want to miss.

Saturday in the Park is held annually and features a number of local bands and food vendors. The event also includes family-friendly activities such as free face painting, rides, and more!

8. The Big Country Bash

Saint Charles, Iowa

When: July (two days)

The third major country festival in Iowa, this event spans two days and offers a variety of performances. Besides the music, you’ll find food vendors and an array of activities to keep you entertained.

The Big Country Bash brings together some big names in country music as well as up-and-coming stars for a unique experience.

9. Camp Euforia

Lone Tree, Iowa

When: July (three days)

Camp Euforia is an annual event that celebrates music and the outdoors. Attendees can camp in the nearby fields, participate in a variety of activities and enjoy live music performances from some of the best bands around.

10. All-State Music Festival

Ames, Iowa

When: November (three days)

Each year, Iowa’s best high school musicians and vocalists come together to perform at the All-State Music Festival. The festival is held in Ames and features a variety of performances from soloists, small group ensembles, bands and orchestras.

The event is open to the public and showcases the talents of Iowa’s young musicians, who are sure to impress!

Final Thoughts

With so many great music festivals to choose from in Iowa, there is something for everyone. Whether you like country, EDM, rock, hip-hop or classical music, you can find a festival that suits your tastes. So check out one of these events and have an amazing time!