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Riverview Music Festival Just Announced Their Mainstage Lineup

Riverview Music Festival Header
Des Moines Music Coalition
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The inaugural Riverview Music Festival will take place on Monday, September 4 at Riverview Park in Des Moines. The Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC) just announced the lineup this Tuesday.

The lineup has just been announced for Riverview Music Festival, a brand new one-day event taking place on Monday, September 4 at the newly renovated Riviera Ampitheater in Riverview Park.

Riverview Music Festival announced its inaugural mainstage lineup on Tuesday, June 22. EARTHGANG is the headliner for the one-day festival, which will take place this Labor Day, September 4, at Prairie Meadows Riviera Ampitheater at Riverview Park in Des Moines’ Northside neighborhood.

EARTHGANG is a hip-hop duo from Atlanta signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville Records. Known for their Southern hip-hop sound infused with funk and soul influences, the duo has collaborated with Young Thug, Louis The Child and musical collective Spillage Village. They have released tracks with Duckwrth and Mick Jenkins, who have also made the Riverview lineup.

Tuesday’s announcement included VanJess, a Nigerian-American R&B sister duo; Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins; rapper-songwriter Duckwrth; R&B singer and violinist Sudan Archives and Dominican-Italian singer-songwriter YEИDRY. More acts will be announced at a later date.

The Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC) announced the brand new, one-day Riverview Music Festival this year in lieu of 80/35, the annual multi-day festival they have put on since 2008. The new festival, which will be held in the recently revitalized Riverview Park, was designed to serve its local Northside community.

“For 80/35, the focus had been on bringing the biggest musical acts to Des Moines and just having a huge music festival,” DMMC board president Kuuku Saah said. “But with this [event], we’re a little more deliberate on the community.

“One of the things that we realized as an organization [...] after the George Floyd murder and the protests was how our actions impacted equity. We realized that a lot of our programming was concentrated in the downtown area, [which] has pretty specific demographics. We were like, ‘Okay, how do we provide more programming to people not in the downtown area? How do we make our programming a little more equitable?’

With this event, we're a little more deliberate on the community.
Kuuku Saah, DMMC Board President

“The conscious decision was made to push out of downtown, push out into our neighborhoods, push out into our diverse neighborhoods and our underserved neighborhoods, a lot of times – unheard neighborhoods. The timing worked out because the Riverview Park [had just] opened up,” Saah said.

Northside, which includes the Oak Park, Highland Park and Union Park neighborhoods, is one of the most historical areas of Des Moines. Riverview Park sits on an island in the Des Moines River and was home to an amusement park and the legendary Riviera Ballroom for much of the early and mid-twentieth century.

“Before refrigeration, [Riverview Park] is where Des Moines got its ice from. Then, it was the first zoological center in the city, and then it turned into an amusement park and now it's a music venue. It’s just a little pocket of culture and community,” Saah said.

Early bird tickets for the Riverview Music Festival are now on sale for $30 until July 6 or until they are sold out. National acts, including those announced on Tuesday, are anticipated for the event alongside spoken word performances and regional and local music.