Feb 23, 2024 - News

Val Air Ballroom opens Sunday with hopes of besting a world record

A photo of the Val Air Ballroom.

The Val Air Ballroom was the answer to yesterday's "Where's Jason" contest. Axios DSM reader James Trent won one of our shirts. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

Val Air Ballroom reopens Sunday with a free event aiming to beat the world record for the most amps played through at the same time.

Catch up fast: Val Air first opened about 85 years ago as an outdoor dance venue that was later enclosed in the 1950s for music and other social events.

State of play: Metro music promoter Sam Summers purchased the ballroom in January 2022 for $1.9 million and closed it for renovations later that year.

  • The property has since gone through a $15 million revamp, including functionality for modern touring production equipment allowing artists to perform their full shows, Summers tells Axios.
  • The venue's capacity is now around 2,200, down by roughly 300 to make room for the modern amenities, dsm Magazine reports.

What's happening: Local musician Jon Locker of The Nadas will attempt to play around 80 amps at the same time Sunday, about 30 more than the world record, Iowa Public Radio reports.

  • The "Sneak Peek" also includes an open jam, free cocktails and access to areas of the ballroom normally closed to the public

If you go: Noon to 4pm.

  • 301 Ashworth Rd. in WDM.

🎻 1 fun thing go: More than two dozen concerts are already announced, including Greensky Bluegrass on Feb. 29.


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