80/35 Festival Brings More Than Music to Des Moines

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It’s the festival that put Des Moines on the musical map and it’s going on this weekend. And it's not just great music that the 80/35 festival brings to Des Moines; it's also a great place to do business.

The event is a money maker all the way around, having a $2.6 million economic benefit on the metro area. And in a time when most people buy a lot of stuff online, vendors say festivals like this are great for a face to face deal, or as Tim Reynolds of The Compost Pile put it, “it`s shakedown street. I mean you shake them down and if they`re gonna walk through I mean, you just gotta bring them in. You gotta have a salesmen pitch on it.”

Vendors like Ben Chaffee of Culture Cross bring rare merchandise from across the globe right here to Des Moines, as he explained to Channel 13 News, “We travel to Southeast Asia, and we go up into the mountains and get things directly from hill tribe people and then we go up to Tibet and Nepal and buy the jewelry from them and then we go to Thailand, and we go to Vietnam and we just buy jewelry from the local craftspeople over there.”

And for folks attending the festival, it's a no brainer; good music and good food at a great price...why not attend? Channel 13 News spoke with Kaehlin Terry  of West Des Moines who told us, “There`s not really another music festival in the area so this is like the prime place to go. You know Lollapalooza’s super expensive and this is really inexpensive and it`s you know 20 minutes from my house so, and a lot of good bands too. Weezer is gonna be here so I`m excited about that.”

Alec Rutherford of Grimes said of the festival, “I like food a lot, and they have a lot of good food trucks in here and I like seeing the local bands too, and especially the name bands for the price that you pay, it`s really good.”

Amedeo Rossi, who is the project manager for the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition and is also the organizer of the festival told Channel 13 News, “they`re gonna be shocked at the quality of acts that we`re giving away for free and you know I think that music inspires us and it helps build culture…The better scene we have, the more that we can retain our youth, you know kids that have a good music scene, are more likely to come back home then go to other communities.”