Des Moines: The Next Music Destination? Do We Have What It Takes?

DES MOINES, Iowa – Last month, the city placed public pianos on sidewalks for the public to play but the urge to make Des Moines a “musical” city doesn’t stop there.

Downtown Community Alliance President and CEO, Glenn Lyons, says for the last decade Des Moines has fought to earn it’s way on a “Top 10″ list to be recognized nationally for it’s music scene.

“I think we aspire to be a city like Portland or Austin but in our own way.”

On Saturday, downtown hosted both the Music Under the Canopy: Jazz Festival and the 515 Alive music event. Earlier this summer, the 80/35 music festival attracted thousand of people in Western Gateway Park.

But what will it take to potentially make a “Top 10 List?” Lyons says the city is seeing a huge boom in music interest and the music scene will continue to grow if new music venues like the Brenton Skating Plaza, develop.

“They wont keep happening if there isn’t a demand for them. We’ve got more venues to choose from.”

Des Moines Music Coalition program manager, Christopher Ford, says the city’s location works in its favor. Bands and artist often pass through Des Moines while on tour.

“What were really seeing is that people are coming here from other places because they are hearing that this is the place to be.”

The demand for more music events continues to increase but in order for continual growth, Ford adds the importance of making the music scene inclusive for everyone.

“Providing cultural opportunities like this keep people here keep them engaged and they feel like they can change their community and be apart of something interesting.”



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