Things to do in Des Moines 2022: Concerts, ‘Hamilton’ and more



The start of the New Year means a new lineup of events on the horizon for venues in central Iowa.

While COVID-19 remains a concern for the New Year, there is no shortage of tours and other performances already on the schedule for 2022. Here are some of the highlights to come.

Iowa State Fair remains loyal

Appointment: August 11-21

The Iowa State Fair remains one of the most anticipated events of the coming year. In 2021, the event managed to attract over a million visitors despite lingering concerns over COVID-19 over the summer.

Announcements for the 2022 State Fair will roll out later this year, but already country star Keith Urban, known for hits like “Somebody Like You,” “Stupid Boy,” and “Days Go By,” is already planning to take the podium on August 20 after canceling last summer’s appearance.

In 2021, the State Fair broke its record for the busiest grandstand performance after country superstar Chris Stapleton drew 17,320 fans to the renovated space.

Following: Keith Urban announced as Iowa State Fair’s first 2022 grandstand act after its 2021 cancellation

Broadway Tony Awarded in Des Moines

“Hadesville”: March 22-27

“Hamilton”: May 17-June 5

Before the pandemic turned the world upside down, the Broadway tours of “Hadestown” and “Hamilton” were due to arrive in Des Moines in 2020. Now, the two Tony-winning shows have new dates in 2022 at the Des Moines Civic Center.

“Hadestown” takes the old tale of Orpheus and Eurydice and tells it like a vibrant folk opera. Although the story of the greatest musician who ever lived and his love that was stolen from the underworld is of Greek origin, “Hadestown” borrows its visual aesthetic from the American mining towns of the early 1900s.

Half a decade after Linn Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” won 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and spread months of sold-out shows, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t. not heard (much less heard of) the musical phenomenon which modernizes the history of the American founding father Alexander Hamilton through rap.

More information on these and other Willis Broadway Series shows can be found at

Following: Produced with support from Des Moines Performing Arts, Broadway’s “The Band’s Visit” arrives at the Civic Center

‘A Thousand Acres’ – opera adaptation

Dated: July 9th

This July marks the world premiere of the opera adaptation of “A Thousand Acres,” based on the Pulitzer-winning novel by University of Iowa graduate Jane Smiley. This modern tale of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” that Smiley wrote at the University of Iowa takes place on a farm in Iowa.

The story follows a farmer who decides to hand over his land to his three daughters. When her youngest daughter expresses doubts about the plan, she ends up being kicked out of the case.

In 1997, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange starred in the film adaptation of the novel.

You can find more information on performance at

Following: Des Moines Metro Opera to Present Preview Adaptation of Pulitzer’s Award-Winning Iowa Novel “A Thousand Acres”

Return of the Music Festival 80/35

Dated: July 8 and 9

After failing to host the 80/35 Music Festival in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the Des Moines Music Coalition has announced plans to bring back the two-day festival for 2022 in full force.

Although acts have yet to be announced for the next festival, the past few years have attracted names such as hip hop group Wu-Tang Clan, alternative group Wilco, rock group the Decemberists and a variety of artists. ‘other large groups. Typically, 80/35 attracts over 30,000 people to multiple stages in and around downtown Western Gateway Park.

You can find more information about the festival on

Following: New executive director announces dates for 80/35 Music Festival return in 2022 after two COVID-19 cancellations

Wells Fargo Arena concerts

Winter jam: 22 january

Éric Church: 12 February

Elton John: March 26

Justin Bieber: April 24

Morgan Wallen: April 29

In any given year, Well Fargo Arena offers an array of impressive touring acts, and 2022 is no different.

Winter Jam offers an annual Christian music tour with artists such as Skillet, Tauren Wells, KB, Colton Dixon and more on January 22.

Country music singer-songwriter Eric Church is known for songs such as “Drink In My Hand” and “Talladega”. This upcoming performance on February 12 is part of the artist’s “The Gather Again” tour.

Elton John is the famous British musical icon known the world over for songs such as “Tiny Dancer” and “Bennie and the Jets”. His life was the subject of the 2019 film “Rocketman,” named after his song of the same name. The appearance on March 26 is part of his Farewell Yellowbrick Road tour, which was originally scheduled for 2020.

Justin Bieber’s “Justice World Tour” will bring the Canadian pop star to Wells Fargo Arena on April 24 with special musical guests Jaden Smith, ¿Téo? and Eddie Benjamin. Bieber is famous for songs such as “Baby” and “Sorry”, and in 2021 he was ranked with his song “Yummy”.

Country music star Morgan Wallen released her album “Dangerous: The Double Album” in January 2021 and sings hits such as “The Way I Talk”. Wallen’s show on April 29 is part of his “Dangerous” tour and includes an appearance by special guest and fellow country singer Larry Fleet.

More information on these and other concerts to come at Wells Fargo Arena can be found at

Following: Controversial Country Star Morgan Wallen Announces Des Moines Tour Date

Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

Dated: February 26

The event billed as the world’s best bacon festival returns when Blue Ribbon’s annual bacon festival returns to the Horizon Events Center in Clive on February 26.

The theme for this year’s event will be “Bacon Gras” and features bacon-infused iterations of Cajun-style dishes. The event also features local music acts, a silent nightclub, and a bacon-eating contest.

Only 5,000 tickets are available for the 2022 event, now on sale via

Following: BaconFest Co-Founder To Replace Iowa State Fair Diamond Jacks With New ‘Pork-Centric’ Concession and Bar

Backcountry Music Festival

Dated: August 5-7

Sam Summers, owner of Wooly’s Concert Hall in Des Moines, hosts the Hinterland Music Festival in St. Charles, one of the state’s largest music festivals, drawing approximately 14,000 attendees in 2021.

Typically, the three-day festival invites more niche artists such as progressive bluegrass group Yonder Mountain String Band, multi-genre group Lake Street Dive, and indie folk group The Head and the Heart.

You can find more information about the event on

Following: 2020 Hinterland Music Festival canceled due to COVID-19 issues; the event will resume in 2021

“Gospel At Colonus” at Riverview Park

Dated: Spring 2022

Originally slated for a performance in the fall of 2021, “Gospel At Colonus” by Pyramid Theater Co. and Des Moines Performing Arts is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2022 at Riverview Park in Des Moines.

The 1980s adaptation of Greek playwright Sophocles’ “Odipus to Colone” is reinterpreted as a gospel musical. The story follows the mythical King Odipus near the end of his life as he searches for a place to be buried.

This local iteration of “Gospel At Colonus” was originally scheduled for September 17, 2021. However, due to concerns about COVID-19 associated with a cast that would combine local and national talent, the producers canceled the show in late August.

You can find more information about the event on

Following: Pyramid Theater Company Delays Production of ‘Gospel at Colonus’ Due to COVID-19 Resurgence

“On Gravity and Light” by Ballet Des Moines

Dated: April 22

Ballet Des Moines’ new artistic director, Tom Mattingly, unveils his new choreography for “Of Gravity and Light”, with new compositions by Beau Kenyon for a show that explores the science of space through music and dance. You can find more information about the original performance to come at

Following: New Ballet Des Moines Characters Add Modern Flair to Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”

Concerts at the Center civique des Moines

Tedeschi Truck Group: January 19

Bernadette Peters in concert: April 30

Steven Martin and Martin Short: May 14

Des Moines Civic Center offers its own tour lineup ranging from comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short to Tedeschi Trucks Band, the 12-piece soul and blues group that has performed for over a decade. The Tedeschi Trucks show on January 19 features the band’s songs such as “Everybody’s Talkin ‘” and “They Don’t Shine”.

Bernadette Peters, famous for her roles in the musical work of the late Stephen Sondheim as “Sunday In the Park With George” and “Into the Woods”, appears in Des Moines for a concert performance on April 30. During his career, Peters received three Tony Awards and a Golden Globe, with three Emmy and four Grammy nominations.

Famous comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short arrive with “You Won’t Believe What They Look Like Today!” the last of the touring shows the couple have performed since 2015. The comedic duo have appeared together in numerous projects, including the 1986 comedy “Three Amigos!” and the Netflix special “Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life”. This year, the duo teamed up with singer Selena Gomez for the Hulu crime comedy series “Only Murders in the Building”.

Following: Comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short, “The Price is Right Live! »Go to the Center civique des Moines in 2022

Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at Des Moines Register. Reach it at ihameau or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.


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