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Live Music & Entertainment

With live music on two stages and pop-up performances across the Festival site, you never know what you'll discover at the Des Moines Arts Festival.

Thanks to our great sponsors, entertainment is FREE TO ATTEND! 

The Festival features two stages - the Hy-Vee Main Stage offers an explosive variety of live music from regional and national touring talent. The Roots Stage is a laid-back vibe of Americana and new music. Seating is casual and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome.

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Performances By

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Strolling Entertainment

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St. Paul & The Broken Bones
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Friday, June 28, 8:30 p.m.
Free!

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Founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 2011, St. Paul & the Broken Bones consists of Paul Janeway (vocals), Jesse Phillips (bass), Browan Lollar (guitar), Kevin Leon (drums), Al Gamble (keyboards), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Chad Fisher (trombone), and Amari Ansari (saxophone). The eight-piece ensemble burst into the world with their 2014 debutHalf the City, establishing a sound that quickly became a calling card and landing the band a slew of major festivals including Lollapalooza, Coachella and Glastonbury. Critical praise from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, SPIN and NPR followed, leading to shared stages with some of the world’s biggest artists—Elton John and The Rolling Stones among them—and launching an impressive run of headlining tours behind what Esquire touted as a "potent live show that knocks audiences on their ass.”

The group has continued to expand their sound with every record, branching out well beyond old-school soul into sleek summertime funk and classic disco on albums like 2018's Young Sick Camellia. Their forthcoming LP, Angels In Science Fiction, stretches their limbs further afield, building on the shadowy psychedelia and intricate, experimental R&B of 2022’s The Alien Coast.

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Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 8:30 p.m.
Free!

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When you wake up and want to put a smile on your face, you think of the songs that always manage to reach down and touch your soul the moment you hear the first note. The Marshall Tucker Band is one such group that continues to have a profound level of impact on successive generations of listeners who’ve been "Searchin’ for a Rainbow" and found it perfectly represented by this tried-and-true Southern institution over the decades. “I’ve been in tune with how music can make you feel, right from when I was first in the crib,” explains lead vocalist and bandleader Doug Gray, who’s been fronting the MTB since the very beginning. “I was born with that. And I realized it early on, back when I was a little kid and my mom and dad encouraged me to get up there and sing whatever song came on the jukebox. It got to the point where people were listening to me more than what was on the jukebox! There’s a certain gift I found I could share, whether I was in front of five people or 20,000 people. I was blessed with that ability and I’m thankful I can share with others." 

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The Deslondes
Roots Stage
Friday, June 28, 8:00 p.m.
Free!

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Deslondes

We shed old skin in order to evolve and move forward. We let go of who we were in the past and embrace who we’re meant to be now. The Deslondes have taken such steps as not only bandmates, but as brothers. The New Orleans quintet—Dan Cutler, Sam Doores, Riley Downing, Cameron Snyder, and John James Tourville—have weathered ups, downs, and everything in
between only to strengthen the bond between them.
Infusing everything from saxophone, flute, and synth to string arrangements and a full drum kit for the first time, the group naturally progress and evolve in real-time on their third full-length offering, Ways & Means [New West Records].

Sunny War
Roots Stage
Saturday, June 29, 8:00 p.m.
Free!

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Sunny War

“I feel like there are two sides of me,” says the Nashville-based singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso known as Sunny War. “One of them is very self-destructive, and the other is trying to work with that other half to keep things balanced.” That’s the central conflict on her fourth album, the eclectic and innovative Anarchist Gospel, which documents a time when it looked like the self-destructive side might win out. “Everybody is a beast just trying their hardest to be good. That’s what it is to be human. You’re not really good or bad. You’re just trying to stay in the middle of those two things all the time, and you’re probably doing a shitty job of it. That’s okay, because we’re all just monsters.”

Halfloves
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Halfloves
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Friday, June 28, 6:45 p.m.
Free!

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Halfloves, the 5-piece indie rock band from Iowa City, blends rich sonic textures, tight & spacious grooves, eccentric tones, & infectious pop sensibilities to create an emotionally charged sound of driving guitars, synthesizer sorcery, & lush harmonies.

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Brother Trucker

Brother Trucker
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 6:45 p.m.
Free!

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The Americana Roots Rock Band Brother Trucker's first 3 albums were released on what was widely considered the seminal, Iowa Independent record label, Trailer Records. Based out of Iowa City, Trailer Records featured the very best of what was nationally coined as “The Iowa Sound.”

Brother Trucker has toured the Midwest extensively since 2000. In 2009, Brother Trucker scored the original music for the award-winning film, by Rod McCall “Becoming Eduardo.” Brother Trucker's much anticipated 6th release is expected in the summer of 2024.

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Weary Ramblers
Roots Stage
Friday, June 28, 6:30 p.m.
Free!

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Weary Ramblers

Newly formed Iowa folk duo, Weary Ramblers bring years of experience to the stage with award-winning songwriting and chemistry. Chad Elliott and Kathryn Fox showcase multi-instrumental performances with tight harmonies and great storytelling.

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The Bird Hunters

The Bird Hunters
Roots Stage
Saturday, June 29, 6:30 p.m.
Free!

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The Bird Hunters claim the genre “Midwest Country” drawing influence from the radio they grew up listening to and the stories they’ve been told their whole lives. Iowa is known for its non-regional diction so you won’t find any fake accents but the twang is well represented in their telecasters and the rhythms are made for two-stepping.

Principal songwriter and vocalist Ethridge Netz (Cory Waller & The Wicked Things, Ronley King Band) is joined by producer and bassist Blake Van Houten (Golden Bear Records), Chris Hansen (Brad & Kate, Maddie Poppe, Iowa Master Angler) on drums, and Trevor Hill on pedal steel and auxiliary instruments.

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Cedar Country Cobras 
Roots Stage
Sunday, June 30, 1:15 p.m.
Free!

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Cedar County Cobras play American Roots & Blues music from the last century. The music takes on an "old time" blues feel that would most likely be found in a juke-joint down a gravel road in rural Iowa. Arriving with an upright bass, foot-drum, a mandolin, and a collection of guitars this duo plays music that is best described as contagious, acoustic rockabilly swamp blues, or old-time country with the gritty sound of soulful blues. The Cobras have played hundreds of shows across Iowa from the local brewery to large festival stages.

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Cedar Country Cobras
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Feel Right Band

Sharane Calister & The Feel Right Band
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Friday, June 28, 5:00 p.m.
Free!

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Sharane Calister & The Feel Right Band is a smooth blend of Neo-Soul, Pop, R&B, and Jazz sounds, led by The Voice Season 14 finalist Sharane Calister and backed by 5 of Des Moines top musicians and singers. Performing todays top hits songs, just like their name says, The Feel Right comes to make you “feel right all night”

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Allegra Hernandez
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 5:00 p.m.
Free!

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Allegra Hernandez is a musician and guitarist from Des Moines, IA. Their music is layered with intricate dynamics and rich, melodic, guitar on top of heartfelt vocals. Allegra lets the music speak for itself onstage, with an organic and loud performance. With elements of rock, melodic hooks, and splashes of technical skill, Allegra taps into a realm of musical versatility. Strong songwriting and vocals are combined with exceptional guitar playing, big chunky distortion, searing leads, and first-person vignettes.

Allegra Hernandez
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Luke Fox

Luke Fox & the Mangled Roots
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Sunday, June 30, 3:00 p.m.
Free!

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A purest at heart and cut from the clothe of the troubadours and balladeers we all know and love, Luke, has been working hard through the years to carve out his own unique sound while passing down the line, songs of old and taking pride in shedding light on the new.. with just his guitar, a voice filled with all the character you’d imagine an old crooning storyteller might have, a harmonica, and kick drum… Luke, in vivid imagery, paints landscapes where devils and angels roam and collide. Drawing from personal heartache and triumph, He’s been known to get the feet moving and the tears flowing… He’s a true original. Powerful, yet visibly vulnerable with each performance, He cares deeply about music and it shows. Seeing him LIVE is the best way to really witness his unique brand of folk, country, rock, and Americana.

For fans of Tyler Childers, Sturgill Simpson, Ray LaMontagne, Colter Wall, Zack Bryan, William Elliot Whitmore, Gregory Alan Isakov, Shakey Graves, the Avett Brothers and the Lumineers… you’re bound to appreciate what Luke’s been up to…

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Some Friends
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 3:30 p.m.
Free!

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Reggae Rock band from Des Moines, IA. Guaranteed to bring good vibes.

Some Friends
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Chip Albright

Chip Albright
Roots Stage
Friday, June 28, 5:00 p.m.
Free!

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A true Midwesterner with rural Kansas roots and Des Moines branches, Chip Albright is an Americana-influenced singer-songwriter. Drawing inspiration from the stylings of music legends like John Prine, Chip has a penchant for storytelling, humor and insight.

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Soultru
Roots Stage
Saturday, June 29, 5:00 p.m.
Free!

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Soultru

Performing Solo for this year's festival Soultru brings his spin on Indie Soul with Influences Gospel Singer Smokie Norful to Allen Stone, John Legend to pop/blue eyed soul artist Gavin Degraw. The raspy voiced, 35-year old has experimented with musical styles and genres but connects most with listeners through his voice and guitar.

He has played on festivals such as Alternating Currents in the Quad Cities, IA/IL, being added to Barrel and Flow Fest in Pittsburgh PA (2021), Lincoln Calling in Lincoln NE (2021, 2022), Gross Domestic Product Festival Des Moines, IA (2022) and Summerfest Milwaukee, WI (2022) Des Moines Capital City Pridefest (2023) Des Moines Whiskey Festival (2023) Mile of Music 10 (2023) and more to come in 2024. 

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28 Days Later

28 Days Later
Hy-Vee Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 2:00 p.m.
Free!

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28 Days Later is an Indie Rock band from the Des Moines, IA area. Natalie, Joey, Gino and Jake attended high school together and had many mutual friends. However, it was not until January 2022 that they were drawn together to blend their passion and talents as 28 Days Later. They quickly developed great chemistry. They have been prolific songwriters and performers ever since!The band has played gigs at venues across the Des Moines metro, including the 80-35 Music Festival, xBk Live, Exile Brewing, JR's at the Iowa State Fair, the Norwalk Music Fest, Scornovacca’s Party Room, Captain Roy's, Des Moines Arts Festival, and many others.In July of 2022, the band released 6 tracks on their first EP, "Dog Days", available on all streaming platforms. One track from the EP, "Right on Red", was added to the rotation to air on Des Moines' KFMG radio.Work on the self-titled LP “28 Days Later” began in late 2022. Bryan Vanderpool and Blake Van Houten of Golden Bear Records produced, and Chris Hesse (of Hoobastank) and The Lighthouse Recording studio mastered the tracks. The album was released on all platforms November 1st, 2023, garnering much attention worldwide, including countries as far away as the Netherlands and Australia.

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Andersen Coates
Roots Stage
Saturday, June 29, 3:30 p.m.
Free!

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Creating folky rock-'n'-roll with thoughtful lyrics and melodic sensibility, Andersen Coates is a rising singer-songwriter from Des Moines, IA.

Andersen Coates
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Mia Prosperi

Mia Prosperi

Roots Stage

Saturday, June 29, 12:30 p.m.
Free!

Mia Prosperi is a Singer-Songwriter who has been part of Iowa’s music scene since she was 11. In May 2022, her band "Plumero" debuted their EP, “Prune Juice” which gained over 67k streams. She has played at festivals such as 80/35, GDP, and Iowa State Fair, and venues such as XbK, Noce, Lefty’s, and many more. Currently she is studying music at “The School for Music Vocations” in Creston, Iowa. Mia’s songwriting style is Indie music with inspiration from Folk, Alt, Pop and Rock. Mia Prosperi’s music expresses everything you’re (over)thinking in an energetic and honest way!

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Des Moines Playhouse: Cast of School of Rock
Main Stage
Saturday, June 29, 12:30 p.m.
Free!

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Wannabe rock star Dewey Finn has been kicked out of his own band and makes a desperate attempt to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Clearly unqualified to teach, Dewey dreams of turning his classically trained, straight-A students into guitar-shredding rockers who can win the Battle of the Bands. Can they do it?Des Moines, IA.

DM Playhouse
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Central IA Music

Central Iowa Music Lab All-Stars

Roots Stage

Sunday, June 30, 3:00 p.m.
Free!

Founded in 2009, Central Iowa Music Lab is a first-rate music lesson studio, providing music education to students of all ages and ability levels. CIML has one location in Des Moines and one in Waukee; between the two, CIML has 20 instructors and approximately 400 students.

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Emmett Phillips Showcase
Roots Stage
Saturday, June 29, 2:00 p.m.
Free!

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Emmett Phillips is an artist and educator that will be curating and hosting an hour of impactful performances from artists in the community that deserve some extra spotlight! There will be a variety of youth and adult acts that will include Hip-Hop, poetry, and dance!

Emmett Phillips
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DSM Young Artist Theatre

Des Moines Young Artist Theatre
Main Stage
Sunday, June 30, 11:30 p.m.
Free!

Des Moines Young Artists' Theatre's cast of "The Prom" will be presenting a number from our summer show. Show dates are July 19-28 and will be performed at the Stoner Theatre! More information and links to purchase tickets can be found on DMYAT.org.

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Love & Co. Drag Show
Main Stage
Sunday, June 30, 1:30 p.m.
Free!

Drag Show
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Luther Bangert

Luther Bangert

Performance Times Throughout the Festival Weekend

Free!

A strolling juggler, Luther Bangert holds a Guinness World Record for “Most Things Juggled Whilst Sward Swallowing."

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Dennis Porter of Happy Faces Entertainment

Performance Times Throughout the Festival Weekend


Free!

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You never know what fun and silliness will happen with Dennis Porter of Happy Faces Entertainment. Watch for torch relays, mime chimes, magic, juggling or just playing around. The fun is in the unknown joy that comes from a professional street performer!

Happy faces
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