Jul/Aug: Out and About

Summer Soundtrack

This summer’s steady stream of concerts at Water Works Park continues with the Field Daze (mostly) rock series July 3, 13, 14 and 20; Music Under the Stars big-band concerts July 9 and 16; and a pair of Des Moines Symphony pops concerts featuring the music of ABBA on Sept. 2 and “heroes and legends” on Sept. 3. On any given Sunday afternoon, you can hear live local music at the new Des Moines Biergarten (pictured), which will be especially lively during Oktoberfest, Sept. 24-26. Photo: Two Hoyles Photography


Air Band

More than 40 bands, including headliners Big Boi and the War on Drugs, hit the stage during the 80/35 music festival July 7-8 in downtown’s Western Gateway. The Des Moines Music Coalition’s executive director, Mickey Davis, will be hustling behind the scenes to help things run smoothly but plans to set aside time to see Etran de L’Aïr (pictured) perform on the free stage Saturday night. The guitar-powered band from Niger are regulars on the “wedding circuit” in the Aïr, a mountainous region in the Sahara, and made their U.S. debut in March. Photo: Abdoulmoumouni Hamid


All That Jazz

Pack a picnic and toss the lawn chairs in the trunk: Jazz in July returns July 11, 18 and 25 at Hoyt Sherman Place. Each night starts with a pair of different bands at 5:15 and 6:30 on the new stage on the front lawn before the headliners perform inside at 8 p.m. All of the musicians live in Iowa or have Iowa roots except for the award-winning Chicago singer Alyssa Allgood (pictured), who rounds out the final night. Photo: Matt Baker


Walk and Talk

See your world in a whole new way during a downtown walking tour. The Iowa Architectural Foundation continues its popular “Architecture on the Move” series with ticketed tours that start at 5 p.m. July 14, Aug. 11, Sept. 8 and Oct. 6 at Capital Square. From there, local architects and historians lead groups on four different routes among downtown’s nationally and even internationally significant buildings, like the 1924 Equitable Building (pictured), which was Iowa’s tallest building for nearly half a century, until work crews finished the Financial Center in 1973. Photo: Chris Boeke


So. Much. Spandex.

Nobody really knows how many cyclists the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa will bring to town on July 26, but it’s likely they’ll break the world record currently shared by 48,615 people who pedaled a mere 18 miles around Udine, Italy, back in the summer of 2000. Des Moines has hosted RAGBRAI five times before (in 1973, 1988, 1992, soggy 1997, and 2013) and plans to concentrate most of this year’s festivities at Water Works Park. Photo: Catch Des Moines


Head for the Hills

Bon Iver (pictured), the indie folk rockers from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, headline the first night of this year’s Hinterland festival, Aug. 4-6 in St. Charles. They’ve been frequent Grammy nominees ever since they won the best new artist award in 2012. At Hinterland, they share top billing with country star Zach Bryan and the propulsive, cerebral singer-songwriter Maggie Rogers, who last year released the album “Surrender” as part of the coursework for her master’s degree in religion and public life from Harvard Divinity School. Photo: Graham Tolbert


Stick With It

A dozen teams from the U.S. and Canada duke it out in Iowa’s first Major League Quadball Championship, Aug. 26-28 at the MidAmerican Energy Company RecPlex in West Des Moines, to the delight of sports fans and Harry Potterheads alike. Inspired by the enchanted game of Quidditch at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, quadball players mix elements of basketball, dodgeball and rugby — all while clenching a “broomstick” between their legs. Muggles at Vermont’s Middlebury College invented the sport in 2005 and have watched it spread to more than 600 teams in 40 countries. Photo: Major League Quadball

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