Zach Boyden-Holmes/Juice Fans pack the main stage during a show by Yeasayer during the first day of 80/35 Friday, July 5, 2013.
Solid attendance at this year’s 80/35 Music Festival
Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
About 30,000 music fans turned out for the two-day 80/35 Music Festival Friday and Saturday in Western Gateway Park. That included 6,000 fans in the paid main stage area Friday, and an estimated 9,000 paid fans Saturday, with the rest attending the festival’s two free stages.
The festival, organized by the Des Moines Music Coalition, was headlined by David Byrne & St. Vincent on Friday and Wu-Tang Clan Saturday. Other acts that performed included Deerhunter, Yeasayer, Umphrey’s McGee, Wavves and Tea Leaf Green. More than 40 acts performed at the festival.
Bradford Cox, frontman for the Atlanta rock band Deerhunter, expressed appreciation for the Des Moines weather compared to his muggy hometown, where the band spend the Fourth of July holiday.
“This is American Fourth of July weather,” Cox said to the crowd on Saturday afternoon. “You guys have it figured out here in Des Moines.”
Organizers were positive about this year’s festival.
“I think it’s been a solid event,” 80/35 project manager Amedeo Rossi said Saturday night. “We brought a lot of new acts to Des Moines, and there’s a lot of enthusiasm about music.”
Briana Stone, 20, is a Des Moines native, but traveled to the festival Saturday from Columbia Mo., where she is attending the University of Missouri. Stone sat near the back of the festivals grounds in the shade. She said Wu-Tang Clan was the act that convinced her to attend.
“The crowd is spectacular, I’m loving the costumes” Stone said. “It’s not an expensive show, maybe $50 to see a ton of bands.”
Perhaps one of the festival’s biggest moments came on its smallest stage, the free Hy-Vee stage. Mumford’s singer Nate Logsdon proposed to his girlfriend Adrien Daller on stage. Daller, whose band Trouble Lights also performed at 80/35, said yes. The couple was swarmed by well-wishers after leaving the stage.
Temperatures reached the 90s both days but Unity Point Health, which had paramedics on the scene, said it transported only one person to the hospital. Similarly, Des Moines police reported only one arrest.
Attendance was down from last year’s record crowd of 17,000 paid fans over two days, 34,000 counting the paid areas. Attendance was more in line with the first year when The Flaming Lips and The Roots headlined to a crowd of total crowd of around 30,000.