Sunday, July 8, 2012


For the past four years I have wanted to attend Des Moines' biggest (and only?) summer music festival but it's always on the fourth of July weekend and for some reason or another I couldn't go. Usually I was at the lake for this weekend or out of town somewhere. This weekend that all changed!

The weather was almost unbearably hot, but we were troopers and we handled the heat like pros. At the beginning of the day I made a vow to myself to NOT complain about the heat. There's nothing you can do about it, so what's the point of bitching? I think I did a good job. Luckily, we had several avenues for respite from the heat. A friend had an apartment that overlooks Western Gateway Park (where the festival is located) and we cooled off in the air conditioning every so often. Also, running through the park is a deliciously relaxing stream that was perfect to just sit with your feet in it. Without both of these providing us a way to cool off, the 100 degree humid Iowa weather would have been intolerable!

Friday night we got to the festival around 6pm and I'm not really sure what time we left. I had a little too much fun Friday night and was feeling reallllly rough Saturday morning. Around noon I dragged my sorry butt out of bed and headed back to the festival. My plan was to stay for just a few hours and then head back home to nurse my hangover, but before I knew it the day was almost over and I was still going strong! I ended up staying the entire time and I'm so glad I did because I had a great time and met some really great people!

Here are some pictures from both days!

{Friday night started off just right. We snagged a table and camped there the entire time}

 {I took very few group pictures, but I love this one of Caroline and I!}

 {I'm so proud of Des Moines!}

 {So pretty. I love that all the lights are on in the downtown buildings}

 {Friday night we headed to Court Ave after the shows - this was probably a bad idea for me, but I had a great time anyway!}

 {Saturday in between acts I pulled out a book and enjoyed a little reading time! 
Yep, I was that girl. :p}

 {Notice the kid in the water? He's got the right idea. Gotta stay cool!}

 {The main stage with the Principal building to the right}

 {A steamy self portrait!}

 {Painted people! They were supposed to be robots - it was definitely interesting!}

 {I loved this. Mine are numbers 2 and 3!}

 {The couple that we were with are the bottom two. So sweet!}

 {The final act on the main stage, Death Cab for Cutie}

 {We got smart and watched the rest of Death Cab from an air conditioned apartment!}

So, that was my first 80/35 experience!

For those of you not from the area, here's a little history. Are you wondering why it is called 80/35? 80 and 35 are the two interstates that run through Des Moines. Yep, there are only two. We're a relatively good sized city, but it's still pretty small. I've lived in a big city before (Kansas City) and I think DSM is the perfect size. We have everything a big city offers, imo. (except an IKEA. Ha.)

Western Gateway Park, the area that the festival is in, used to be a dump. No, not a real dump, just... dumpy. In fact, all of the downtown area was pretty dreary. In the past decade the Downtown Community Alliance and the Greater Des Moines Partnership have really done so much for the city. As someone that has grown up here and lived here (almost) my entire life, I have seen downtown go from a ghost town to a thriving urban core. I love it!

When someone says "Iowa" what's the first thing you think of? (I'm guessing it is not "thriving urban core." LOL)


Amanda said...

It's true, I don't think "thriving urban core" when I think Iowa, but I do think LOVE. I adore Iowa. I spent 4 amazing years there for college in the total middle of nowhere and it was the best decision this California girl ever made :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Butter Cow.
Freezing Cold Winters.

I think that's what I think of!

Stephany said...

And YOU! :)

Also YES to your philosophy about the heat. Honestly. All people seem to do is complain about it lately. Like, WE GET IT. IT'S REALLY, REALLY HOT. DUH. Sigh.

Reads, Rants, Raves and Reviews said...

Home! It's hot in our new home, AZ, but no ne complains-it's a given!

Jayme said...

That's awesome. I might have to hit that up next year since I'll have an apartment to stay in over the summer. :)

Manon said...

Looks like you had a great time! When I think Iowa I think " a little piece of heaven". I lived in Austin, TX for 4 years, which has to be one of the most amazing places to live in the country--but came home with a whole new perspective on Iowa, and Des Moines in particular. I LOVE Des Moines and while I love to travel and spend time in other places, I can't imagine calling anywhere else home!