RAGBRAI XLIX registration is now open!

Music Choices

After not doing RAGBRAI in a decade, I enjoyed participating in the festivities again with this year’s event. However, what’s the deal with the live music? Is Iowa the place where time stopped after 1985?

7 Replies

“Bicycle Bill”, August 1, 2016 at 3:16 pm

No, 1985 is generally considered to be the time when punk, grunge, and ‘alternative’ music (indie rock) started to sweep the scene.  This was then followed by the rise of hip-hop and (c)rap music.

Meaning that since 1985 time in Iowa has not stood still; music has just sucked since then and the Iowans understand that.



ppayne1959, August 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm


Some of us over 55 like punk, grunge and indie music. One could argue music tastes for hours but in the end, eventually RAGBRAI is going to have to shift its demographic or fade away. Not all of us will be riding bikes 450 miles 20 years from now. I vote keep a good mix of music and keep it current too and that doesn’t mean just country current.


Sunny Carithers, August 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

The music seemed all the same to me. Wish we could have had atleast one night of country.


SFC JKL 2, August 1, 2016 at 9:56 pm

You have to go with the demographics. The average Ragbrai rider is starting to push 50 so those groups are in our wheelhouse. You can also pick up a fairly well known singer pretty cheap.


GORDON BROWN, August 2, 2016 at 9:35 pm

No matter the venue, the road and the ride isn’t the place for it. I wish those with LOUD speakers would respect the towns and neighbors and their fellow riders and keep a reasonable volume. Hearing hate rap for ten minutes behind you and ten minutes ahead of you while they pass is irritating.


KenH, August 3, 2016 at 8:21 am

They’d have to come up with a pretty good band indeed to get me to stay up past sundown! The music I miss the most are the small town bands and other non-commercial bands in pass through towns that I have seen in years past. Maybe I just got up too early and rode too fast this year to catch them, or maybe there weren’t any. My favorite RAGBRAI musical experiences were the Runnells HS pep band, a little Jazz group in Pella, an organ/carillon concert in Des Moines, and some town band in a town I can’t recall with a washtub bass. I can get all the commercial pop/rock/country music I want at home any time I want so I don’t really care about the overnight town’s bands. But if someone were to bring in a good blues band, now that would get my attention and make me stay up “late”….


Sam, August 3, 2016 at 5:16 pm

The best bands play off-route, or at least not at the campsites.


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