80/35 Music Festival rundown

Fans pile against the main stage to listen to MGMT on the first night of the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines. The festival brings an estimated attendance of over 30,000 people annually since 2008.

The 80/35 Music Festival, held in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park, returns for its eleventh year this weekend. The festival has been a key event in Des Moines’ summer schedule since 2008.

This year’s festival features headlining acts from Portland rock-and-rollers Portugal. The Man and Americana/blues singer Elle King. The event offers free admission to visit various arts and crafts vendors, food trucks and free stages offering live music. Tickets for the event vary in price, with two-day tickets costing $90. Friday tickets are available for $50, while Saturday tickets cost $60. VIP tickets are still available for $220, and tickets to the Lagunitas Lounge are $25.

The Hy-Vee Main Stage hosts the largest and most popular acts of the festival, with Elle King performing 9:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s concert will feature music from Portugal. The Man at 9:15 p.m.

Portugal. The Man made waves in 2017 with their album “Woodstock,” which reached number four on Billboard’s Hot 100. The album features the omnipresent single “Feel It Still,” which dominated radio waves during the summer of 2018. 

The Alaskan band now works out of Portland and are a constant fixture in the Portland sports scene, being present at various events throughout the year. The group also advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples in each state they visit. It is commonplace at Portugal. The Man concerts for an indigenous group to perform an opening musical act or give a short speech. 

Portugal. The Man puts on a lively show. Seen at various festivals throughout the year such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, the group has solidified a reputation as one of rock’s best ambassadors in this decade. 

Elle King has been performing and writing music since the turn of the century. The two-time Grammy winner has released two albums, the most recent in the form of 2018’s “Shake the Spirit.” Her 2014 song, “Ex’s and Oh’s,” reached number 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and skyrocketed King to national notoriety

King has toured with a multitude of bands, including indie-rock juggernauts Modest Mouse. Inspired by listening to music by AC/DC, Johnny Cash and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, King picked up the guitar during her early teens. Heavily influenced by the country artists she listened to, King also learned the banjo. 

Along with the paid concerts comes free concerts from more local and lesser-known entertainment. This year, the 80/35 festival will have three free stages. The Nationwide, Gen Z Showcase and IPR Live Sessions stages all offer free, live music. 

Food trucks at this years festival include Caribbean Kitchen, Thelma’s, Top Bun Food Truck and many more. Other artists in this year’s lineup are Metric, Misterwives, Liz Phair, Open Mike Eagle and Lissie. 

Tickets are available throughout midwestix.com.