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Iowa's live music hotspots: summer 2012

BY JORDAN MONTGOMERY | MAY 10, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa City Jazz Festival

The Iowa City Jazz Festival has been a a popular part of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts. This year's festival, from June 29 to July 1, marks the event's 22nd year.

"One of the great things about the Jazz Fest is that it provides a wide variety of jazz music, so anyone that enjoys any kind of music will find something they enjoy," said Summer of the Arts Executive Director Lisa Barnes.

There is continuous jazz on several stages throughout the festival. A large stage is set up on the Pentacrest lawn for national and international acts, while other stages are set up in the area for college, local, and youth performers.

This year, the festival organizers are working to make the event greener, among other new additions.

"We're expanding our green program, in which we'll have eco-education tents and bicycle valet parking," Barnes said. "We've also expanded our artist booths, and of course, we always have great musical performers."
 
Camp Euforia

In 2003, Camp Euforia began as "Eufórquestra's Fan Appreciation Party" with just five bands. The festival has grown since its humble beginning; this year's lineup features over 20 music groups.

"It was something we wanted to do just to give back to the local music scene that had been so supportive of us," said Eufórquestra guitarist Mike Tallman. "We try to offer all the positive aspects of the music festival experience on a small scale. It's very clean and organized, and we try to keep it as family friendly as we can. We want everyone to come out and feel comfortable and enjoy themselves."

This year, as in years past, Camp Euforia is sure to be a weekend full of fun and grooving to great, (mostly) local tunes.

"It's hands-down my favorite weekend of the year," Tallman said. "One tradition I have is to walk around the farm on Thursday night, taking in the peace and quiet as we finish up the final details and preparations. Then I like to walk the same lap on Saturday afternoon when things are crazy. It's pretty surreal."
 
80/35 Music Festival

Since its first year in 2008, this festival has grown and attracted nationally and internationally renowned artists to Iowa's capital city. And compared with many large music fests, tickets are relatively inexpensive. Until May 15, tickets are $49 for two-day passes.

"When you compare it to fests like Lolla or Bonnaroo, the tickets are super affordable," said 80/35 campus representative and UI student Mackenzie Sheehy. "For all the bands we have over two days, it's a really good deal — students will want to check it out."

Some of this year's acts worth highlighting are the Avett Brothers, Death Cab for Cutie, and Atmosphere.

"Another thing that's really cool is because it's a smaller fest, there is a better chance to meet your favorite bands during the meet and greet," said Sheehy, who saw Of Montréal in line for corndogs.


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