Mission Creek announces first round of events and headliners for 2015

Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch and his band, SQÜRL, are set to perform at Mission Creek 2015. — Illustration by Adam Burke

Our friends over at Mission Creek have been busy curating another impressive event list for 2015. The festival is celebrating its tenth birthday and will take place March 31 through April 5 in a variety of venues throughout Iowa City.

Over the past decade we’ve seen Mission Creek grow and evolve from a music festival to an expansive celebration of art and culture in many forms. In the past few years the festival has developed fantastic literature, film, tech and culinary programming.

In addition to an eclectic musical lineup that includes filmmaker Jim Jarmusch and his band, SQÜRL, and bands Foxygen and Father John Misty, this year’s schedule of events promises to expand its non-musical offerings to include a local craft fair (which many will recognize as a reincarnation of What a Load of Craft). The festival also has new partnerships with the University of Iowa, which include a food seminar and a multimedia performance called First Kiss, presented in conjunction with professors from the Intermedia graduate program.

Confirmed Lineup

Thus far…


  • Father John Misty
  • Foxygen
  • Glenn Kotche and Jeffrey Zeigler
  • Silver Apples
  • Amen Dunes
  • A Winged Victory for the Sullen
  • Betty Who
  • Ben Frost
  • Horse Feathers
  • Jozef Van Wissem
  • Diamond Rugs
  • Sir Richard Bishop
  • Tashi Dorji
  • Chris Forsyth


  • Kiese Laymon
  • Eula Biss
  • Kerry Howley
  • Arna Bontemps Hemenway
  • Christopher Beha
  • Tom Lutz
  • Luis Alberto Urrea


  • Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno
  • SQÜRL (ft. Jim Jarmusch) live score of films by Man Ray.

Included below is a rundown of the current Mission Creek lineup, confirmed as of Dec. 2, with more announcements to follow in 2015.


Father John Misty (formerly J. Tillman) will make his Iowa City debut in support of his new album I Love You, Honeybear, due out in February. There will be a special collaborative performance by Glenn Kotche (Wilco) and Jeffrey Zeigler (Kronos Quartet). Critically acclaimed indie rockers Foxygen will also be on the bill, as well as Diamond Rugs, a new band led by boisterous frontman John McCauley (Deer Tick). Dance-popstar Betty Who, indie folksters Horse Feathers and electronic-psych legends Silver Apples will also make appearances.


Mission Creek will welcome author Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America. Laymon will be 2015’s Mission Creek writer-in-residence and will engage in public readings and community outreach throughout the week. Tom Lutz (Los Angeles Review of Books) and Christopher Beha (Harper’s Magazine) will read from their work and host a special editors’ panel to discuss trends in modern publishing. Award-winning non-fiction writer, Eula Biss will also read from and discuss her new book On Immunity.


The culinary element of the festival is shaping up to be bigger and better than before. The festival will host exclusive dinners at restaurants like The Motley Cow and Leaf Kitchen (more TBA), and a special Sunday brunch at The Mill. New this year will be a food seminar as a part of the Food for Thought themed semester at the University of Iowa.


The festival’s film programming will also play a heavier role this year due to an expanding relationship between Mission Creek and FilmScene. Isabella Rossellini will perform a live version of her acclaimed Sundance Channel series, Green Porno, a wildly entertaining set of short films in which Rossellini acts out unique mating rituals of various animals. Also on the bill is SQÜRL, a musical ensemble fronted by eccentric filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. SQÜRL will perform a live score to films by surrealist artist Man Ray, as well as a separate rock show.


Many readers may be familiar with What a Load of Craft. The popular alt craft fair brought in local and regional DIY artists annually to a large hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. After a decade of successful crafting, WALOC held it’s final fair in its standalone form in December 2013. After some uncertainty about how/if the fair would continue, it is officially confirmed to re-emerge in the spring of 2015 as a part of Mission Creek with more details to come.


Not much has been revealed about Mission Creek: Innovation—the fest’s tech/entrepreneurial conference that debuted last year—except for the fact that it has been expanded to fill two full days for 2015. Stay tuned for more information.

Tickets and Passes

Festival Passes are currently available for purchase online at Midwestix and the Englert Theatre Box Office. Tickets to individual events will be available beginning in January.

For $125, a Silver Pass grants access to all music and comedic performances, as well as guaranteed entrance to all ticketed Blue Moose and Englert events. Tickets for FilmScene screenings, culinary events, and Innovation conference can be purchased in addition, but are not included with this pass.

The Deluxe Pass guarantees entrance to all ticketed music and comedic events, as well as one film screening at FilmScene (SQÜRL’s engagement is available on an extremely limited basis, officials note), a complimentary dinner at one of the official Mission Creek dinners during the week (Motley Cow, Leaf Kitchen and more), complimentary Sunday brunch on April 5 at the Mill, ten complimentary drink tickets for use at the Englert Theatre, and an invitation to a special VIP event on Friday, April 3. The Deluxe Pass will be available for $350.

Steve Crowley has been involved with Mission Creek in years past and now teaches in Minneapolis. He loves you and misses you very much.

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