The 8th annual Maximum Ames Music Festival returns to historic Downtown Ames on September 27-30, 2018 for a four-day celebration of music and culture.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:

Iowa gem and Ames native Leslie Hall, doing a recording for Yarn House Live!

Los Angeles-based electronic pop/rock project Digisaurus

Originally from London, England, Allison opened up a recording studio in Columbus, OH and engineering sessions with groups like Phantogram and Maps Atlases, as well as producing records for bands in the area. Allison also performed with numerous groups on guitar, synths and vocals and his extensive performance background includes tour stints with Weezer, Crystal Castles and J. Roddy Walston & The Business. Now based in Los Angeles, Allison dedicates himself wholly to the evolution of music and art, through technology and collaboration under the moniker, Digisaurus.

Japanese theatrical rock and roll act The Depaysement

On a mystical morning in December of 2008, Maresuke Nishimori and Satoru Koyanagi crossed paths at a coffeeshop in Tokyo, Japan, a chance encounter that has proven to be the stuff of legend and proof that musical magic truly exists. What followed was the formation of the 4 piece Japanese rock n’ roll outfit known as the Depaysement. Words fall painfully short when describing the electric relationship between audience and artist when DPM takes the stage. A performance by the Depaysement is nothing short of a high intensity, dance worthy, explosively theatrical rock n’ roll happening. Fueled by a pure love for music and endless creative instinct, the Depaysement is founded on the familial chemistry of brothers / members Hikaru, Satoru, and Wataru Koyanagi and their brother from another mother, Mare Nishimori. Genre based descriptions of DPM’s peculiar combination of punk rock, psychedelia, funk, and dance ballad only tell part of the story.

Also performing is:

The Wheelers

Electric Jury

Strong Like Bear

Jinnouchi Power


DJ Elliot

DJ Nash

Bitter Canyon

Crystal City

Future Babies

Universe Contest

The Rewind

Never Knows Best

Starlight Therapy

Obsidian’s Dream

Mountain Eats Mountain


Indigo Monks

Fat Sky

Bowling By Myself

The Fool Sound


Happy Jack


Run On Sunshine

Chase Schweitzer

Rockets of Desire

Zap Tura

Pink Neighbor

Feed Your Head

Jon Marko

Brooks Strause

Soultru with FVNTVNV


Slice the Celestial Sorcerer

Ryan Sheeler

Cheshire Moon

The Coffee Committee

Michaela Thompson

Elizabeth Zimmerman

Andersen Coates

Fred Love

Ben Schrag and the Cautionaries

Holly Figueroa

Marc Bailey

Jim Coppoc

Diego Danger


Pale Blue Erf

The Leftovers

Chase Schweitzer

Tom and Will

Good Morning Midnight

Good Saint Nathanel

Evan Campbell

Dear Rabbit

Flavor Basket All-Stars

Origami Animals

Winter Wayfarer

Volcano Boys

Great Caesar’s Goat



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. 

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.

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.

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 and Gyros, Prints Copy Center, Mucky Duck Pub and Inkblot Studio.