ISU alums take stage at 80/35


The 80/35 music festival in Des Moines will return for its seventh on Friday and Saturday. Volunteer positions and tickets are still available for the event at the 80/35 website.  

Maggie Mcginity

On July 5 and 6, the 80/35 Music Festival took over part of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, filling the Western Gateway Park and surrounding streets with three stages, 47 musical acts and thousands of fans.

At 9 p.m., on July 5, SUBliminal Chaos took the Kum & Go Stage. Dan Green, the DJ behind SUBliminal Chaos, first began his career in Ames while he was attending Iowa State, from which he graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

“Starting in Ames was kind of tough, just ’cause it’s a little bit smaller,” Green said.

Green said he started DJing “just to have fun,” but ended up finding a career from it.

“I’ve always loved music … it kind of just seemed like the natural route for me,” Green said. “I love being the guy at the party that had the control of the music, whether I was actually DJing or picking songs off iTunes.”

Lead singer Nate Logsdon of Mumford’s graduated from Iowa State in 2008 with a degree in English literature.

Logsdon said Mumford’s began in the summer of 2008, when Logsdon and former Mumford’s member Kate Kennedy opened The Space for Ames after local music venue The Boheme closed.

“We started hosting jams at The Space, and through that I met people that I invited to be a part of Mumford’s,” Logsdon said.

Mumford’s, a group described by Logsdon as “a psychotic, country, party rock band,” has gone on national tours thanks to its energetic performance and unique style of music. 

“I’ve never written a song that is true,” Logsdon said, who writes melody and lyrics during Mumford’s’ collaborative song-writing process. “I’ve only written songs that are fictional narratives, but within those narratives I think that there’s often messages that are very true.”

Despite Mumford’s national success, Logsdon sticks with his Ames and Iowa State roots.

“I love Iowa State,” Logsdon said. “I’ll always represent as an alumni, and I’m so glad I went to school there, because while I was in school, I met the musicians who inspired me to become a musician.”

Logsdon said Mumford’s is also proud of their Iowa roots.

“Mumford’s is going nowhere, we are from Iowa, we’ll always be from Iowa, and 80/35 makes us proud,” Logsdon said.

At the 2012, 80/35 festival, Logsdon performed a marriage ceremony for the cities of Ames and Des Moines during Mumford’s’ performance, inspired by the cities’ merging music scenes.

“Over the past few years, the music scene in Ames has really developed. Meanwhile, the music in Des Moines has really developed,” Logsdon said. “But what really inspires me is that as they’ve both developed, they’ve really supported each other and grown together.”

While celebrating the one-year anniversary of this marriage, Logsdon proposed to his girlfriend, Adrien Daller of Iowa band Trouble Lights, on-stage during Mumford’s’ 2013 80/35 set.

“We’re both performers, and we both really love our community, so it just made sense to me to ask her to marry me in a way that was part of a performance, that was for the community and with the community,” Logsdon said.

The proposal was part of one of Logsdon’s favorite Mumford’s performances, he said.

“This is by far the best festival we’ve ever played and also by far the best festival in the state of Iowa,” Logsdon said. “I also run a festival in Ames, so I’m saying this with a lot of respect. I think 80/35 is so well executed, so well conceived.”

Green, who owns and operates 515 Alive, a Des Moines urban music and art festival, also placed 80/35 above his own festival.

“It is the best music event in Des Moines,” Green said. “It just brings everyone together here, which is something that Des Moines needs.”

Because of his job booking acts at venue Wooly’s and his connections in the Des Moines DJ scene, Green was asked by 80/35 organizers to help find DJs for their festival.

“They kind of just reached out to me and it was a pretty big honor,” Green said.

Like Logsdon, Green has also seen growth in the central Iowa music scene.

“I really think that Des Moines is growing in their music scene. I think stuff like 80/35, 515 Alive, Wooly’s even, are just all like the stepping stones that are making this place a hotbed for music,” Green said.