Jun 3, 2021 - News

Why Des Moines' music scene could be big this fall

Illustration of a marquee with three fire emojis on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Global supply-and-demand problems are extending to the music industry and even our favorite artists are being turned away from big-city venues as entertainers reschedule postponed shows from last year.

Why it matters: If coveted weekend spots are called for at Midwest venues in Minneapolis, Chicago, Kansas City or Detroit — well, Des Moines may just be the next best thing.

The state of play: Touring is expected to resume this fall, and more artists are deciding last minute they want to schedule shows, said Sam Summers, owner of Wooly's and First Fleet Concerts.

  • But that could play to Des Moines' advantage, as entertainers who typically skip our mid-sized city decide instead to "underplay" a show — aka, book a venue that's expected to sell out.
  • "I just think it's going to be a really, really good fall for Des Moines," Summers said.

The big picture: Summers said long-term, he hopes our pent-up demand for shows will reflect in ticket sales, which will make Des Moines an easier sell to managers and agents in the future.

  • While most shows right now are local artists and cover bands, Summers said for this fall, Wooly's has a pending list of musicians that normally wouldn't play in Des Moines.

Yes, but: Travel plans and an abundance of weekend events will be vying for our attention by 2022, Summers added.

  • It's good news for consumers, but it means more competition for venues.

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