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Maximum Ames Music Festival unveils lineup of local and regional acts; 8th annual festival to be held Sept. 27-30 in downtown Ames


AMES, Iowa – The eighth annual Maximum Ames Music Festival will draw a dizzying range of genres and artists to downtown Ames Sept. 27-30.

Festival organizers announced the first wave of acts on Thursday, highlighting the rich diversity present in the Midwestern music scene. This year’s festival will feature more than 60 acts performing at more than 10 Ames venues. Performances will cover an expansive range of musical territory, from guitar-driven rock to intimate songwriter showcases to jazz to soul and hip hop.

Highlights from this year’s lineup include:
— Los Angeles-based electronic pop/rock project Digisaurus
— Iowa gem and Ames native Leslie Hall, performing an all-ages show for children
— Des Moines alt-rock stalwarts The Wheelers
— Japanese theatrical rock and roll act The Depaysement
— Grinnell lounge-folk group Pink Neighbor

Also appearing are Bowling By Myself, of Omaha, Nebraska, and Feed Your Head, of Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Iowa Women of Rock Showcase and the Ames Intergenerational Song Circle, both popular events from previous Maximum Ames festivals, will return for 2018. The festival again will pay tribute to beloved Ames musician Charlie Vestal, who performed under the name Flavor Basket before his death in January 2017, with a showcase named in his honor. Additional information about the lineup is available at

Venues hosting festival performances include the Ames Public Library, DG’s Tap House, Deano’s 119 Main, Time Out Ames, Della Viti, Ames Vinyl Grind, London Underground, Wheatsfield Cooperative, Little Woods, Morning Bell Coffee Roasters and the KHOI Radio studio.

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The music festival coincides with Ames Pridefest, which will take place in downtown Ames on Sept. 29 featuring drag performances, live music and more. The overlap furthers the Maximum Ames mission of providing a safe, inclusive environment that fosters creativity and understanding through music and art.

“This year’s Maximum Ames Music Festival showcases the vibrant spirit of community present in both Ames and the larger Midwest music scene,” said festival organizer Mara Spooner. “We think of festival goers as participants who actively strengthen the experience and make Ames a better place. We’re making the Maximum Ames Music Festival as accessible, as fun and as powerful as possible, and collaborating with Ames Pridefest helps us do that.”

All-weekend passes for the 2018 Maximum Ames Music Festival cost $15 and are available through MIDWESTIX ( Tickets for individual performances will be available through the venues hosting the events. Festival organizers will announce the full programming schedule with set times in the coming weeks.

Festival sponsors include London Underground, Della Viti, Ames Vinyl Grind, Smiles, Prints Copy Center, Mucky Duck Pub and Inkblot Studio.

The Maximum Ames Music Festival began in 2011. The event has drawn diverse, nationally acclaimed performers such as the Zombies, Wanda Jackson, Meat Puppets, Lavender Country and John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

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