I’ve never found any of the national acts at RAGBRAI compelling enough to make the small effort needed to give them a listen so I am not concerned. I’ve enjoyed many musical moments and experiences during my brief association with RAGBRAI and national fame was not required to make my joy complete! I don’t know that all the acts on tap for the week have been announced yet but I would suggest that you just enjoy what’s there, whether someone from LA or NYC has heard of them or not.
Plus, you just never know. I remember attending the Arcola Broom Corn Festival in central Illinois quite some years back. I’m not a country fan. Don’t hate it but don’t seek it out either. They had some country band playing on the stage in the center of town. I did not pay them much attention at first but after a while it became apparent that they were uncommonly good by any standards and certainly for the headliner act in a small town in the middle of nowhere. Eventually I was curious enough to ask a “townie” who that was. I’m not sure the first few we asked even knew but eventually someone was able to tell us it was Garth Brooks. Never heard of him. And at that point in time I think the majority of Americans would have said the same. That was, however, very nearly the last point in time when you could have said that. Within two weeks he was a national act known by everyone.
So, don’t be so quick to dismiss an act because you’ve never heard of it. Listen to each one for what it is. Some really excellent acts never make it big. Every once in a while you will have the opportunity to tune into one that few know about today but everyone will adore a short while from now. Most all the music I have ever heard in Iowa has been worth a listen for at least a short while.