DES MOINES, Iowa - The largest music festival in Des Moines was slightly smaller this year compared to last.
But organizers say that doesn't indicate a lack of success.
The two-day 80/35 Music Festival in Western Gateway Park, hosted by the Des Moines Music Coalition, brought in roughly 28,000 attendants over the weekend, according to organizers. That's just shy of the roughly 30,000 people who gathered in the same location last year.
The DMMC says overall attendance has ebbed and flowed over the nine years the festival has been put on, and it's largely based on the artists who headline the event. In 2015, Weezer had a broad-appeal that brought in a lot of different people, for instance. This year's headliners, Nas and The Decemberists, were a bit more niche and less radio-friendly, as organizers put it - but they say the goal of the festival is to bring new artists from different genres in every year.
"We're trying to attract bands that haven't been here, we're trying to support the local scene," said Amedeo Rossi, project manager for the festival. "We're trying to support the regional scene. I think, since the beginning, the name has taken off. Each year, kind of ebbs and flows as far as numbers, and what have you. But, it's really about what the music community can be, what the creative community can be, and we want to see growth in those areas - not just buildings, not just streets, you know, growth in the arts."
Rossi says the DMMC's mission is becoming realized - while the organization can't take full credit for Des Moines' growing music scene, he says the fact Drake added a stop in Des Moines for his tour, along with other star-studded appearances in town, proves that the Metro is now on the map for artists near and far.