Concerts 50
Concerts 50

Top 11 Live Music Venues in Iowa in 2021

Iowa is a great entertainment state. Some concert halls set the parameters for shows from other countries. The options of the concerts in Iowa are endless, which can overwhelm visitors; Here is our list of concert venues worth visiting during your visit:

1. Wooly's - Des Moines, IA

Wooly's - Des Moines, IA

Hot spot featuring diverse acts in a space with up-to-date lighting & sound systems plus a bar.

Address: 504 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 515-244-0550

Wooly's Reviews:

  • Wooly's is a great venu for live bands from all tastes of music. Big enough to attract a great selection of talent, but small enough yo get up close. Great bar service. Not a fancy place, more of a dive motif, but it has a lot of character. You can reserve tables on the floor or booths along the side...booths are slightly elevated so can see from seating whereas tables are just on the floor so if you spend extra get the booth and not the tables.
  • Wooly's is your typical bar, concert venue. Some shows are all ages and others are age specific. The drinks are your typical price for a bar/concert and the atmosphere is as well. My husband and I like that most concerts at Wooly's are affordable and if you purchase your tickets at the box office, you can save money on the fees, pro tip there. ;)
  • Music is always good, sound is always good, drink prices slightly higher than average especially in busy nights. Would be a 5 star but drinks take 45 minutes to get on busy nights. (Source)

Wooly's Concert Tickets

2. Vaudeville Mews - Des Moines, IA

Vaudeville Mews - Des Moines, IA

Nightclub featuring everything from hip-hop & folk acts to comedy & burlesque gigs plus a full bar.

Address: 212 4th St, Des Moines, IA 50309, United States (Directions)

Vaudeville Mews Reviews:

  • For many years I have taken my daughter to numerous shows here, we've always had a blast and have met some really cool people. From seeing Davey Suicide, to Farewell, My Love, to Vampires Everywhere, to Switchblade Saturdays, plus more; its all been a blast. Helpful people working at the bar, never snobby or pretentious. Yes, its by no means a huge place. All of the other reviewers nail it when they speak of the size of this place.
  • Small, quaint with definite atmosphere. Bar is well stocked and friendly staff. Musical concert there is fun and was with quality musicians
  • Simply the coolest and most welcoming venue in our city. Compassionate staff and great prices on drinks. Intimate setting that puts you close to the music. (Source)

Vaudeville Mews Concert Tickets

3. Hoyt Sherman Place - Des Moines, IA

Hoyt Sherman Place - Des Moines, IA

With the help of the Des Moines Women's Club and the Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation, this historical landmark is alive with concerts, art exhibits, tours, weddings, and business affairs. In 2015, Hoyt Sherman Place was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n' Roll Music Association Hall of Fame for its continued excellence in providing a beautiful venue in which musicians can perform and for its rich history of presenting music to the masses.

Address: 1501 Woodland Ave, Des Moines, IA 50314, United States (Directions)
Capacity: 1,252 Theater Capacity
Phone: +1 515-244-0507

Hoyt Sherman Place Reviews:

  • What an amazing venue. The theater was great and my only complaint was not enough time to see more of the house. The staff was very helpful and was able to answer all of my questions.
  • Drove in from Nebraska for Grace Potter. Such a fun venue - loved exploring before the show. Performance felt super intimate. I can't imagine there is a bad seat in the house. This is on my list of venues to keep an eye on.
  • Awesome venue for concerts. Not a bad seat in the house. Love seeing a historic venue holding some awesome but not huge shows. Sound is awesome too. (Source)

Hoyt Sherman Place Concert Tickets

4. Adler Theatre - Davenport, IA

Adler Theatre - Davenport, IA

The Mississippi Lofts and Adler Theatre is an apartment building and theater complex located in downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by its original name, the Hotel Mississippi-RKO Orpheum Theater. Wikipedia

Address: 136 E 3rd St, Davenport, IA 52801, United States (Directions)
Capacity: 2,400
Phone: +1 563-326-8500

Adler Theatre Reviews:

  • I have attended many concerts at the Adler. The sound and lightning have always been good. It's a little crowded in the lobby sometimes. The seating is just okay, but the views from any seat are good... even the back row or balcony. I like the venue overall, and they get quite good, but less expensive acts.
  • I really don't think there is a bad seat in the place! Staff is great. Very clean. The acoustics are fantastic. Drinks, soda, water, candy and popcorn are available.
  • I have great memories at the Adler Theater. It was exciting to get dressed up and go to a play such as "The Nutcracker" which my Mother loved so much when she was alive. I was also a very proud Mother watching my Daughter play her trumpet and other events she participated in. The Adler Theater is historical, great service and all around a place to visit in Davenport. (Source)

Adler Theatre Concert Tickets

5. Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon - Iowa City, IA

Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon - Iowa City, IA

High-energy restaurant & watering hole offering BBQ grub, booze & dancing in casual, bi-level digs.

Address: 4919 Walleye Dr SE, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 319-333-1750

Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon Reviews:

  • Great music! Good food! Friendliest staff AROUND. We had the brisket with potato salad and beans. Our friends had an amazing sampler platter, the chicken was so moist and flavorful. The band was a Tom Petty Tribute band called the Insiders, everyone loved them. We were shocked at how well they nailed Tom Petty’s vocals. The instrumentals were very good as well.
  • You want BBQ??? THIS IS THE SPOT RIGHT HERE!! My spouse and I were in the area for a concert from Chicago. Coming from the windy city where great BBQ can be found in abundance, we didn't have high expectations. We ordered the BBQ platter to get a taste of everything. We ordered a side of Mac and cheese with corn bread. We were blown away by the incredible flavor. The meat tender and succulent!! The Mac and cheese was delicious and you could tell this was hand crafted! The atmosphere was fun and we loved the country modern chic decor.
  • Best BBQ in town, easy! Nice selection of sauces. Oh and they have awesome concerts here, really fun indie wrestling, and even country line/square dancing nights if thats how you get down. Get the beef burnt ends and sweet sauce, out of this world! (Source)

Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon Concert Tickets

6. Hancher Auditorium - Iowa City, IA

Hancher Auditorium - Iowa City, IA

Hancher is a multidisciplinary performing arts presenter committed to connecting artists and audiences with transformational artistic experiences. For 45 years, Hancher has been the cultural hub of the University of Iowa campus—presenting world-class dance, music, and theater. Along the way, Hancher has extended its reach far beyond campus, engaging thousands of Iowans each year, on campus, throughout the community, and across the state. Hancher is one of the leading university presenters of the performing arts in the nation and has earned an international reputation for excellence.

Address: 141 East Park Rd, Iowa City, IA 52242, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 800-426-2437

Hancher Auditorium Reviews:

  • This was my first time going here since the flood of 2008. Fabulous venue for shows of all kinds. Loved going and hope to attend more shows in the near future.
  • The Iowa City community is so lucky to have Hancher Auditorium return to the area after the flood of 2008. We make it a point to take our kids to as much programming as possible each season. From musicals, poetry, art exhibits, or Broadway plays, Hancher brings it all. The theater seats are comfortable and there are no bad seats in the place. The acoustics are wonderful. We enjoy going early for a bite to eat in the cafe and delicious cocktails. You can even pre-order cocktails for intermission! Besides the stunning interior, Hancher is a feast for the eyes outside too. There are no straight lines, it almost seems as though the building bows to the city above. It is a beautiful backdrop for photos and photography shoots.
  • Never a disappointment at Hancher. The three shows that I have been to were all beautiful quality and surprisingly easy to hear, even from far away. This is a beautiful place to go to and you dont have to feel bad if you are casually dressed or formally dressed. They seem welcoming and inclusive for everyone here. (Source)

Hancher Auditorium Concert Tickets

7. Five Flags Center - Dubuque, IA

Five Flags Center - Dubuque, IA

Five Flags Center is a multi-purpose facility in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. It is named for the five flags that have flown over Dubuque; the Fleur de Lis of France, the Royal Flag of Spain, the Union Jack of Great Britain, the French Republic Flag of Napoleon & America's Stars and Stripes. Wikipedia

Address: 405 Main St, Dubuque, IA 52001, United States (Directions)
Capacity: 5,200

Five Flags Center Reviews:

  • We went to a "car show" here. Saw 2 Munsters movies in their beautiful theater. Seats are small and low. They had small bands and even had retro women's hair salon and a guy's barber. Good thing to start of the year.
  • Great venue with lots of history. We saw Jim McDonough and his Christmas show. It was outstanding. We sat in one of the balcony seats, which was great. The show and venue were excellent. We've done this for over a decade and continue to look forward to this annual tradition. Thank you.
  • Over 135 miles away but 5 seasons is well worth the trip. Thank you for your efforts in keeping the retro rewind car show alive! We go EVERY YEAR! outstanding venue! (Source)

Five Flags Center Concert Tickets

8. Val Air Ballroom - West Des Moines, IA

Val Air Ballroom - West Des Moines, IA

Live-music venue with a bar, offering a lineup of artists ranging from country to metal & hip-hop.

Address: 301 Ashworth Rd, West Des Moines, IA 50265, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 515-223-6152

Val Air Ballroom Reviews:

  • Ballroom really needs alot of work and updates while retaining it's charm. Great space for the kravitz concert. Parking was great!
    Great big place for party. Just watch your step a few one steps that you may not notice.
  • This place really needs a clean up. Very much in disrepair - and simple things like torn carpeting. Drinks were a different cash price everytime we ordered and depending on the staff member. Large bill changes came from a dude's pocket behind the bar, which made everything feel a bit sketchy?
  • Like was I really drinking captain Morgan, or the money dudes private stock of cheap spiced rum - poured into the Morgan bottle? (Source)

Val Air Ballroom Concert Tickets

9. Gabe's - Iowa City, IA

Gabe's Iowa City

Welcome to the legendary bar known as Gabe’s . What first started as The Pub in the early 70’s, then became Fox and Sam’s then Gabe and Walker’s then Gabe’s Oasis, then the Picador, and now back to Gabe’s. And While it has gone through many transformations, it is strangely the same – except that it is probably now in the best shape that it has ever been. We are bringing high quality local, regional and national shows to Iowa City and have made the downstairs and the beer garden a great place to hang out again. One of our favorite things about this place is that you can do ANY type of music upstairs. It is not uncommon to see a punk show followed by a metal show with a jam band show the next night and a hip hop show the night after. We have giant EDM and indy and rock shows too – anything goes.

Address: 330 E Washington St, Iowa City, IA 52240, United States (Directions)

Gabe's Reviews:

  • Easily the best bar I've ever been too. The staff is great. People that go there are great. The prices are fair. Keep up the good work. I love you guys.
  • Was my first time attending a show here. Was a great place for a show, good space, sounds and lights. Will return for future shows.
  • Legit venue to check out one of my favorite artists! Afroman had this place rocking. Good sound, easy to get a beer, and even made it to the front. (Source)

Gabe's Concert Tickets

10. Memorial Auditorium - Burlington, IA

Memorial Auditorium - Burlington, IA

Burlington Memorial Auditorium, located on Front Street along Mississippi River, was opened to the public in May of 1939. Built by the Works Progress Administration and first used as a U.S. Naval Reserve Training Center, and by the supply company of the 136th Medical Regiment of the Iowa National Guard.

Address: 200 N Front St, Burlington, IA 52601, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 319-753-8111

Memorial Auditorium Reviews:

  • Grown up at this venue between Steamboat days and Civic music. Along with area public school arts and music programs it's part of our local heritage here in Burlington.
  • Was there for RAGBRAI, beautiful venue
  • Always fun, family activities and shows. (Source)

Memorial Auditorium Concert Tickets

11. McGrath Amphitheatre - Cedar Rapids, IA

Hoopla - Mary Lambert, McGrath Amphitheater, July 10, 2014

Sprawling outdoor venue offering lawn seating & a lineup of well-known performers, plus events.

Address: 475 1st St SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401, United States (Directions)
Phone: +1 319-362-1729

McGrath Amphitheatre Reviews:

  • Really nice outdoor venue right on the river next to downtown. Small and intimate feel compared to many other amphitheaters. They had chairs put out on grass so it has a natural feel. The venue acts as a flood levy too, and I’m glad they were able to also use it as something cool.
  • Went for Uptown Friday night and saw a very fun band, The Mix Tape. Plenty of room for dancing and really liked the comfortable seating. I Had a really tasty Blackberry/Rosemary Spritzer drink and my cousin liked the wine selection. I do think $5.00 pop is a bit much, and they need to do some bug spraying...or more bug spraying...we had to move a few times because the biting gnats were pretty bad in the grassy areas.
  • Comfortable, well arranged. I had a great seat so very happy with my accommodations. (Source)

McGrath Amphitheatre Concert Tickets