Back To The Top
Top 5 artists you can’t miss at Hinterland Music Festival

-Lucy Shanker, Roots N Blues Intern

If you told me three months ago that I would be camping in Iowa for two days, I would’ve laughed. Then I saw the lineup at Hinterland Music Festival. And bought a ticket. Now I’m camping in Iowa for two days.

This August 4-5 in Saint Charles, Iowa, some incredible artists will be performing at Hinterland. This festival is made for people who not only love music, but love the outdoors. Plus, Roots N Blues staff are all headed down there. Check out these five artists that will be playing in the beautiful, rural landscape of Iowa.

1. The Head and the Heart

This is one of my all time favorite bands. Despite having some inner turmoil with one of their members battling addiction, the Head and the Heart has never failed to put out incredible music. Their eponymous, debut album gained attention with songs like “Rivers and Roads” and “Lost in My Mind.” I first heard the Head and the Heart after “Down in the Valley” was the featured song of the week at Starbucks. I picked up a little business card with a picture of their album cover and a free link to download. Now I’m getting ready to see them in front of a crowd of tens of thousands.

2. Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr. is one of the most talented names in music and people know it, too. He’s collaborated with some of biggest acts across multiple genres — Alicia Keys, The Rolling Stones, and Nas.  Not to mention he’s playing at this year’s RNB festival, too. But after you see him at Hinterland, you’ll definitely want to see him again at Roots N Blues.

3. Shakey Graves

Shakey Graves puts on one hell-of-a performance. His rasp is like no other and can draw pure emotion from his audiences. He’ll make you want to dance and then cry with just a few songs of his set. If you see him here and want more, don’t worry. He’s playing in Columbia later this summer.

4. Nikki Lane

It’s hard to beat seeing a kick-ass woman musician. The only exception is seeing a kick-ass woman musician at Roots N Blues N BBQ. Nikki Lane does more than just sing: She tells a story. Her beautifully potent lyrics are sure to touch the audience at Hinterland next month.

5. Foxygen

I first saw Foxygen at Pitchfork Music Festival a few years ago. But it’s hard to forget the entertaining chaos that was Foxygen. They were jumping off speakers, running around the stage and full-fledged jamming out. There’s no doubt they were having the time of their lives. And subsequently, so was the audience. It had to have been around noon on a Sunday, but that didn’t stop this duo. And I doubt they’ll be stopped at Hinterland.


Hinterland Music Festival is a warm-up for Roots N Blues. Be sure to see this acts and perfect your festival outfit so that you’re ready for Roots N Blues this year!