Ninth annual Maximum Ames Music Festival lineup announced

Courtesy Fred Love

The lineup for the annual Maximum Ames Music Festival has been revealed and features over 50 new and returning artists.

The event, now in its ninth year, will return to downtown Ames September 5-8, with acts performing at nine different Ames venues. Tickets for this year’s festival are set at $20 each and are available through

Venues for the shows this year are: London Underground, the Ames Public Library, The Angry Irishmen, Ames Vinyl Grind, Ames United Church of Christ, the KHOI Radio studio, Time Out, Morning Bell Coffee Roasters and Della Viti. Tickets for individual shows are available at the venue where the show is occurring. The event acts as a showcase and celebration of local and regional acts.

Fred Love is a Maximum Ames regular, who also volunteers as a promotor for the event. 

“We bring together a range of artists, music fans, volunteers and business owners to put on an event that provides a safe and inclusive environment for people to get together and celebrate music,” Love said. “It’s important for any community to have an outlet like that, where people can feel comfortable being themselves and experience music up close and personal. Our partnership with Ames Pridefest enhances that experience tremendously as well.”

This year’s festival features many familiar faces. SLICE, the Celestial Sorcerer, who doubles as an Iowa State lecturer, will be in attendance along with Lizzy Poppyseed, Lionessa and The Fred Love Explosion, among others.

The event will also see the return of the Iowa Women of Rock Showcase and the Flavor Basket Pizza Party, which serves as a memorial event for Ames icon Charlie Vestal, who performed under the name Flavor Basket. 

A diverse lineup of regional acts will be joining local acts throughout the festival. Iowa City-based indie-rock band Halfloves, acoustic artist Matt Woods, Miss Christine and Gloom Balloon will all perform sets at this year’s event. 

Above all, Love said, the event is brings people together to celebrate what makes Ames great. 

“The festival is almost like a family reunion where most all those people get together for a few days and play music and support one another,” Love said. 

For the second year, Maximum Ames will be working with Ames Pridefest, which occurs downtown on the same weekend. The festival’s diverse lineup reflects the celebration of diversity that Pridefest embodies. Past festivals have drawn popular acts such as the Zombies, Meat Puppets and Lavender Country. The latter is known for releasing the first LGBT-country album in 1973.

A full list of performers is provided below (list is subject to change):

Bryce Kai, Free the Snakes, Lizzy Poppyseed, Jordan Mayland, SLICE, the Celestial Sorcerer, Tione, Pink Kodiak, DJ All Day/All Night, Theyself, Kemble, DJ Elliot James, Morning Sex and the Good Weed, The Fred Love Explosion, Obsidian’s Dream, English, Great Caesar’s Goat, Crash Cuddle, Miss Christine, Dear Rabbit, Gloom Balloon, Wiitch Tiit, Halfloves, Elizabeth, Zimmerman, Mark Haugen, Teri Underhill, Levitation, Lizzy Poppyseed, Evelyn Davis, Sleeping Jesus, Kickstart the Sun, Chris Meyers and the Bad Dads, Ghost Town Radio, Mountain Eats Mountain, Gary Behind the Building, Tom Hummer, Chris Patterson, Greenlake, Bleujack, Moonrabbit, Diego Danger, Origami Animals, Equal Parts, Sell the Future, John June Year, Neil McCall/Rogue the Wolf, Googolplexia, Spincer, Jim Coppoc, Mighty Victory, Matt Woods, JinErik and the Offbrands, Marc Bailey, The Host Country, Bitter Canyon, Indigo Monks, The Axolotls, Fat Sky, Ben Schrag and the Cautionaries, Lionessa, Paul Hertz.