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9 Super Cool Outdoor Music Venues
Want to catch some great music and views at the same time? Check out these nine super cool outdoor music spaces in Iowa.
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2014 Summer Concerts
Sit back in your lawn chair and take in the music at these summer concerts. Browse our full
live music calendar
for even more options.
Burlington Steamboat Days
June 10-15, Burlington
Main stage entertainers include country superstars Toby Keith, Jerrod Niemann and Chris Young, pop star Karmin, alt-rockers Halestorm and 80’s cover band Hairball. Combine this with a second stage full of up-and-comers and you’ve got a week full of great music.
Glenn Miller Festival
June 12-15, Clarinda
Step back in time and enjoy the big band sounds of Iowa-born Glenn Miller during this festival featuring Shades of Blue, Tonic Sol-fa, the Lonny Lynn Orchestra, the Tamana Girls High School Band and The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.
America’s River Festival
June 13-14, Dubuque
Celebrate the Mississippi River with a ton of live music. This year’s headliners include Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Kevin Costner and Modern West, the Gin Blossoms, Brett Eldredge and Parmalee.
Country on the River
June 20-21, Council Bluffs
Go boot scootin’ with some of the hottest country acts. Headliners Bret Michaels and Gary Allan are backed up with some solid supporting acts including Thompson Square, Tracy Lawrence, Montgomery Gentry, Lonestar and Joe Diffie.
Cedar Basin Jazz Festival
June 27-29, Cedar Falls
Three days and three stages of free jazz music. Bands include the Barehanded Wolfchokers, New Red Onion Jazz Babies, St. Louis Rivermen, Drew Six and the Saints Dixieland Jazz Band. The festival runs concurrently with Cedar Falls’ Sturgis Park After Dark concerts on Friday and Saturday nights.
Mississippi Valley Blues Festival
July 3-5, Davenport
This three-day festival held on the banks of the Mississippi River at LeClaire Park features the best in blues musicians including George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Savoy Brown, Tinsley Ellis, Eddie Shaw and the Wolfgang, Curtis Salgado, Deanna Bogart and more.
80/35 Music Festival
July 4-5, Des Moines
Join 30,000+ music fans as they flock to Des Moines to hear everything from indie to hip-hop to jam bands. This year’s lineup includes Cake, Conor Oberst, Ziggy Marley, Best Coast, Dr. Dog, Dawes and Xavier Rudd. The festival also features free stages with local and up-and-coming acts.
Iowa City Jazz Festival
July 3-5, Iowa City
Gather in front of the Old Capitol for one of the top ten jazz festivals in the country. Performers include Tom Harrell Colors of a Dream, Joe Lovano Us Five, Etienne Charles, Anat Cohen Quartet, Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio and Nordic Connect.
Saturday in the Park
July 5, Sioux City
Headliners The Avett Brothers and Bonnie Raitt will rock Sioux City's Grandview Park with a free concert. Other acts include Ziggy Marley, Wild Feathers and Helmet. There is also a "Second Stage" lineup with emerging bands and an Arts Alley with everything from jewelry and clothing to paintings and pottery.
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival
July 31-August 3, Davenport
This festival pays tribute to Iowa native Bix Beiderbecke, one of the most influential jazz soloists of the 1920s. Performances take place in three venues and feature Rock River Jazz Band, Jim Cullum Jazz Band, The River City 6, Josh Duffee & His Graystone Monarchs and The Fat Babies.
Iowa State Fair Grandstand
August 7-17, Des Moines
In addition to stellar free entertainment, the Iowa State Fair pulls in huge crowds for the grandstand shows. Check out Lady Antebellum, Foreigner, Styx, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line, Chevelle, Halestorm and the Goo Goo Dolls.
Live at the Lake
Various Dates, Okoboji
Back in the day, big bands and old-time rock n’ roll ruled the stage at the fabled Roof Garden. While the sound has changed, the spirit remains the same. Each summer, Arnolds Park Amusement Park hosts
Live at the Lake
, a concert series on Preservation Plaza.
Nitefall on the River
Various Dates, Des Moines
From June through September, the Simon Estes Amphitheatre in Des Moines hosts outdoor concerts with several big-name bands. This year see Matt Nathanson, Ingrid Michaelson, Trampled by Turtles, Sister Hazel, Yonder Mountain String Band and more.
Stir Cove Summer Concert Series
Various Dates, Council Bluffs
Some of the biggest bands hit Council Bluff’s Stir Cove Amphitheatre. This year check out Lorde, Foster the People, Arctic Monkeys, REO Speedwagon, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, the Counting Crows and more.
Summer of the Arts Concert Series
Friday and Saturday Nights, Iowa City
On Friday and Saturday nights in downtown Iowa City, you’ll be able to take in several local and regional bands. See their website for the full schedule.
Footloose Friday Nights & Sunday Unplugged
Fridays & Sundays, Fireside Winery
Kick back with free live music on the lawn at Fireside Winery. Great music and delicious wines among the wood burning fire pits - total relaxation.
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