Des Moines summer music update: Nitefall canceled, Blues Traveler has a new date


DALLAS, TX – MARCH 20: John Popper of Blues Traveler performs after the 2016 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon on March 20, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. on March 20, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series)

DES MOINES, IOWA — The 2021 summer music season continues to take shape in Central Iowa as we’re hopefully in the waning days of the pandemic. There will be one fewer concert series in Des Moines in 2021, though.

The organizers of Nitefall on the River announced this week they are canceling this year’s concert series as both of their venues – Simon Estes Amphitheater and Brenton Skating Plaza – are both closed for the summer. Organizers are instead encouraging Iowans to check out shows they’re hosting at another “riverside” venue.

“Hello, everyone! We wanted to let you know this year’s Nitefall on the River season is going to look a little different. Since our normal venues of Brenton Plaza and Simon Estes Amphitheater are closed this summer, we are taking a pause on Nitefall on the River at this time. However, our production team is putting on some great concerts at the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park.”

Nitefall on the River Facebook message

That schedule at the Water Works Park amphitheater includes another re-scheduled date for Blues Traveler. The band was originally scheduled to play Water Works last summer, but that was postponed by the pandemic. The show had been moved to July 1st of this year, but it is now set for July 9th. The full summer schedule for the park follows:

  • Jamey Johnson – June 12th
  • Blues Traveler – July 9th
  • Cody Johnson and Friends – July 16th
  • Umphrey’s McGee – August 15th
  • Wilco and Trampled by Turtles – September 16th
  • The Dead South with Chance McCoy – September 26th

The 80/35 Music Festival has also been canceled for 2021, but a new one-day festival at the newly renovated Riverview Park will take place in September. Organizers have promised to return next year after a two-year hiatus.

The Hinterland Music festival will return to Madison County in August after being canceled in 2020. The show is offering limited ticketing for now but more seats could be made available in the future.

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