Just announced: 80/35 brings Nas and the Decemberists to Des Moines

80/35 music festival

Various — Fri., Jul. 8 and Sat., Jul. 9

Holy White Hounds
Des Moines’ Holy White Hounds will be playing the 80/35 festival. — photo by Alyssa Leicht

Des Moines music festival 80/35, coming into its ninth year, has announced the first list of acts for its summer event, running Jul. 8 and 9. Headlining the festival are rapper Nas (Friday) and indie folk rockers the Decemberists (Saturday). The full lineup can be seen below.

Nas is consistently ranked near the top in “best of” lists of MCs and lyricists, by everyone from MTV to He’s released 10 albums since he first kicked things off in 1994, including 1996’s It Was Written, which debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and 2012’s Life is Good, which was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Rap Album. He also has a history of political activism, including joining a 2007 free concert for Virginia Tech in the wake of the shootings there.

Portland, Ore.’s indie folk band the Decemberists broke onto the scene in 2001 with their debut EP 5 Songs. They are known for their dedication to and love of storytelling through song, often drawing from history, literature and folklore for their material. Their most recent album, 2015’s What a Terrible, Beautiful World, hit number seven on the Billboard Top 200. It includes the song “12/17/12,” named for the date of President Barack Obama’s speech responding to the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Also on the roster are recently-reunited Canadian rockers Wolf Parade. On hiatus since 2011, the band announced their reunion on Jan. 15 of this year. They’re starting things off with an already-sold-out residency at The Bowery in New York City in May. Singer and keyboardist Spencer Krug has stayed busy with his Moonface persona; a collaboration between Moonface and Helsinki-based Siinai, My Best Human Face, is due out Jun. 3. Singer/guitarist Dan Boeckner’s current band, Operators, also has an upcoming album: Blue Wave, due Apr. 8.

Notable local acts on the lineup include Holy White Hounds, whose recent album Sparkle, Sparkle LV reviewed in December; MarKaus, who will be recording his song “Fallout” as one of the just-announced Iowa Music Project finalists; and MAIDS, who play the Yacht Club this Friday (Apr. 8) as part of the Mission Creek Festival. More bands will be announced in May.

Tickets for 80/35 are on sale now. Two-day tickets are $65 and one-day tickets are $42; day-of tickets will be $90 for a two-day pass and $50 for one day. VIP tickets are sold out.

80/35 Lineup


Wolf Parade
Craig Finn
Holy White Hounds
The Pistol Whippin Party Penguins
Courtney Krause
The Smoothsayers


The Decemberists
Black Lips
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
Jeff Austin Band
Colleen Green
Green Death
Vic Spencer
Mikel Wright & The Wrongs
The Dead Line String Band
The Cardinal Sound
Easy Fruit
Odd Pets

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