Hinterland Music Festival 2018
- Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater
- Address: 3357 St Charles Rd, Saint Charles, IA 50240
- August 3, 2018 - August 4, 2018
- 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
- Price: See website for complete list of prices.
Two days of music curated for all who love both music and the outdoors. True to its name, Hinterland is held in St. Charles, a beautiful rural escape just outside Des Moines, Iowa. The annual festival features a blend of music, camping, art, craft vendors, family engagement and more.
Not sure where to start with this year’s Hinterland Music Festival lineup? Don’t worry, we made a list to help.
Sturgill Simpson - Rival to commercial country award shows. Destroyer of Saturday Night Live performances. Headliner of Hinterland Music Festival. Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson returns to Iowa following a sold-out 2016 performance at Hoyt Sherman Place, a gig that came in support of “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth,” Simpson’s third full-length take on soul-stirring country rock.
The album suited Simpson well, earning him a Grammy Award for “Best Country Record” and nomination for “Album of the Year” in 2017.
Signs point to Iowans hearing new music this August from the songwriter known for speaking his mind about the status quo of modern country: Simpson erased his social media accounts last October, indicating a new album cycle may be forthcoming.
Before the “Sailor’s Guide” and the Grammy Awards and the tidal wave of critical praise, Simpson played Vaudeville Mews in downtown Des Moines … to about 20 people. That's a far cry from the 9,000 or so Hinterland draws in an afternoon. Welcome back to Iowa, Sturgill.
Band of Horses - New music may be coming from Band of Horses. The group took to Instagram last weekend to post an update from the studio, saying they returned to the room where they crafted 2016 release, “Why Are You OK,” to “soak up its vibes for our newest endeavor.”
If that new endeavor is a new studio album, it would mark the band’s sixth and first since guitarist Tyler Ramsey and bassist Bill Reynolds departed Band of Horses last May.
The band last played Des Moines in 2016, a headlining show at Hoyt Sherman Place. Before that, fans caught Band of Horses at Val Air Ballroom in 2010. Hinterland marks the third confirmed show on the band’s calendar, following a pair of festival sets in April.
CHVRCHES - Finally, central Iowa scores a CHVRCHES show.
The Scottish dark pop trio, fronted by Lauren Mayberry, heads to Hinterland in anticipation of releasing its third record. Fans don’t yet know the release date of the new album, a follow-up to to 2015’s “Every Open Eye,” but they do know two-time Grammy Award-winning “Producer of the Year” Greg Kurstin collaborated on the lead single, “Get Out.”
The track dropped last week and has since raked in more than 1 million spins on Spotify alone. Regarding the track, Mayberry said: “(Kurstin) doesn’t try to make you write a certain kind of song. He just listens and then Jedi puppet masters the best work out of you."
While new to the Hinterland stage, this August won’t be CHVRCHES first Iowa appearance. The group performed in Iowa City in 2015 as part of a University of Iowa-sponsored show.
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats - Missouri-born Nathaniel Rateliff returns to the Hawkeye state in anticipation of “Tearing at the Seams,” the latest studio effort alongside his band the Night Sweats — due out March 9.
The band dropped a new single, “You Worry Me,” in January, a track NPR’s Bob Boilen described as building on “the twin sax, trumpet, guitar and piano-driven sound that makes the Night Sweats such a fun group to hear live.”
The “I Need Never Get Old” songwriter holds an interesting connection to Iowa’s music community. He co-curates the annual GARP Music Festival, an intimate, two-night event of music at Codfish Hollow, eastern Iowa’s music-turned-barn venue. Rateliff co-headlined last year’s gig, saying he’d return every fall for the event.
Like Simpson, Rateliff also played Vaudeville Mews early his in career, appearing at the Iowa music club in 2010.
Blackberry Smoke - Georgia-bred American southern rock hits the Hinterland stage with Blackberry Smoke, a group that's toured with the likes of ZZ Top, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church and more.
The group released its latest studio effort, “Like An Arrow,” in October 2016, but Hinterlanders may hear new music this summer — the band is set to release its sixth album, “Find A Light,” in April.
Blackberry Smoke is an alum of the Nitefall on the River and Wooly’s stage, appearing at the former with Warren Haynes-fronted Gov’t Mule.
Margo Price - Margo Price released the best country album of 2017. Just ask Rolling Stone.
“No other country act, and precious few from any genre, went nearly as deep as Price did this year,” the cultural publication proclaimed in its end-of-the-year country list, placing Price’s “All-American Made” in the No. 1 spot.
Released under Jack White’s Third Man Records, “All American Made" has been praised by critics at Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. The album, Price’s sophomore effort, got raves for her honest, no-nonsense look at society (in the chorus of “Pay Gap,” she sings: pay gap, pay gap,why don’t you do the math?/Pay gap, pay gap, ripping my dollars in half).
Not convinced? Listen no further than the Willie Nelson collaboration on the album, “Learning to Lose.”
Price, an Illinois native, performed in Des Moines last fall, providing main support for Chris Stapleton during his appearance at Wells Fargo Arena.
Tash Sultana - Tash Sultana performs during Splendour in the Grass 2017 in Byron Bay, Australia. (Photo: Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images/Special to the Register)
As a relative newcomer to American touring, Hinterland plans to be the Iowa debut for this 22-year-old NPR described as “rapturous and resonant.” Her first American club tour, last year, sold out coast-to-coast dates.
Anderson East -
This soulful songwriter dropped his latest studio album, “Encore,” in January, a release critics say spends time “surrendering to the immediacy of feeling.” The 11-track effort comes via Elektra Records, East’s second effort on the major label.
Pop culture tidbit: East dates award-winning country singer Miranda Lambert; he co-wrote tracks on Lambert’s latest album, “The Weight of These Wings.” He joins Simpson and Rateliff in previously appearing at Des Moines’ Vaudeville Mews.
J Roddy Walston and The Business - J Roddy Walston of J Roddy Walston and The Business performs onstage at WFANs Big Hello To Brooklyn at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on February 1, 2014. (Photo: Larry Busacca, Getty Images/Special to the Register)
And that’s what you’ll do during a Walston set. The Vagrant Records group brings a taste of piano-pounding rock to the stage, touring in support of 2017’s release, “Destroyers of the Soft Life.”
Tyler Childers - An alum of Rolling Stone’s “country artist you need to know” feature, Tyler Childers returns to the region following a sold out at Vaudeville Mews last November.
Harnessing sincere storytelling in his songwriting, the 2017 album from this 26-year-old Kentucky native, “Purgatory,” was co-produced by Simpson and Johnny Cash engineer David Ferguson.
Joshua Hedley - An up-and-coming artist self-described as “this generation’s country classic champion,” Hedley could be one of those “Remember seeing him when?” acts. He’s backed by Third Man Records and plans to put out a debut record, “Mr. Jukebox” on April 20.
If the title-track single is any indication, it’ll be the “so glad I got here early” festival set of the summer.
The Nadas - Hinterland taps a tried and true Iowa act as the first of two local groups on the bill. The Nadas play the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in support of the group’s newly-released studio effort, “Louder One,” which dropped in January.
The show comes as the Nadas spend 2018 celebrating 25 years of crafting folk rock for fans in Iowa and beyond.
Ancient Posse - Ancient Posse performing live at the 2017 8035 Music Festival. (Photo: Danny Carman/For The Register)
The 80/35 Music Festival alum and Des Moines Register “artist to watch in 2018”released its debut single, “Windless,” last July. Plans for this year include dropping a full-length album, produced by Iowa’s own Brandon Darner (known for working with Imagine Dragons and Des Moines band Holy White Hounds).