Mission Creek Festival to bring Mitski, Jenny Lewis, Kevin Young and more to IC

Mission Creek Festival 2019

various venues — April 2-7, 2019

Mitski will be in Iowa City on Friday, April 5 for the 14th Mission Creek Festival. — Bao Ngo

Mission Creek Festival is back for its 14th year, with a new tagline, new pass options and, as always, a top-notch lineup.

Top of the bill is Purchase grad and indie superstar Mitski, whose fifth release, Be the Cowboy, scored the second place slot on NPR’s just announced 50 Best Albums of 2018. She’ll grace the Englert stage in the festival’s Friday night slot supported by Jay Som, who played a well-reviewed set opening for Preoccupations at Mission Creek 2017.

Kicking off the festival on Tuesday, April 2 is Jenny Lewis, formerly of Rilo Kiley and the Postal Service. Her fourth solo record, On the Line, is scheduled for release next spring, and Mission Creek Festival will be your only chance to catch her in Iowa for that tour.

The festival’s literary track, which for the third year in a row has received a $10,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, features Kevin Young, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor at The New Yorker. His latest book of poetry, Brown, came out earlier this year.

Also on the lineup are National Endowment for the Arts Literary Fellow R.O. Kwan, whose debut novel The Incendiaries released this past summer to great acclaim, and Stephanie Burt, poetry co-editor at The Nation.

In the realm of comedy, Pete Dominick — host of Sirius XM’s StandUP with Pete Dominick — will perform on Saturday of the festival at The Mill.

Mission Creek Festival is tweaking its tagline this year to “Music. Literature. Community.” This reflects, their press release notes, a renewed focus on “music and literary programming as well as maintaining plenty of free community programming for all ages.” They’re also offering an expanded array of access options, all of which go on sale today. In addition to the standard full-week pass ($150) and Friday-Saturday pass ($75), they have an elite, $250 option.

That Premium Pass includes access to the full week of events, guaranteed entry and “fast pass” at the Englert (allowing the holder to skip the line at that venue), eight drink tickets, festival merchandise and an invitation to the festival kick-off party. There is also a new Friday/Saturday Student Pass option, giving access to all festival events on those two days for only $40.

The free Saturday programming for the community is back in full force this year, with Lilly Hiatt and Middle Western among the highlights of the Big Free Show at Big Grove Brewery (which will also feature a return of Big Grove’s Vinyl Market that debuted this fall). The ICE CREAM comics and zine fair will also return, as will the Underground Showcase.

Here’s the full currently-announced lineup:

Music: Mitski / Jenny Lewis / Black Moth Super Rainbow / Hurray for the Riff Raff / Kweku Collins / Makaya McCraven / Moor Mother (Performance + Reading) / Jay Som / Mark Guiliana SPACE HEROES + BEAT MUSIC / Noura Mint Seymali / Lilly Hiatt / Becca Mancari / The Cactus Blossoms / Mock Identity / Ratboys / Middle Western / Guerilla Toss and more.

Literature: Kevin Young / R. O. Kwon / Stephanie Burt / Sabrina Orah Mark / Michael Martone / Daniel Gumbiner / Mesha Maren / Visual Poetry Synthesizer with Maxwell Neely-Cohen / Maria Kuznetsova / Abraham Smith / Jennifer Cheng | Featuring presses: The Believer / The Iowa Review / Container Press / Two Dollar Radio / The Missouri Review / Ninth Letter / Fonograf Editions / Monsters of Poetry and more.

Community: ICE CREAM Comics + Zine Fair / Lit Walk / Literary Magazine & Small Press Book Fair / Big Free Show + Vinyl Market at Big Grove Brewery & Taproom / Underground Showcase

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