Join us for our third season of Water Works Pops! This Labor Day weekend, enjoy two evenings of free music in the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park. These free, outdoor concerts on Saturday, September 3 and Sunday, September 4 are presented thanks to the generous support of Linda & Tom Koehn.

These family-friendly outdoor performances are free and open to the public. There is no reserved seating; concert attendees are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs. Bring your picnic basket and a bottle of wine, or purchase food from a variety of food trucks at the concerts! Free parking for the concerts will be provided courtesy of the Des Moines Symphony, and a free bike valet will be available for those riding the trails to Water Works Park. 

The Music of Whitney Houston

SAT SEP 3 7:30PM

The world will always love Whitney Houston! Broadway sensation Rashidra Scott joins the Symphony to celebrate the most-awarded female artist of all time.

She released seven albums and every one went gold, platinum or multi-platinum. She was the only artist to chart seven consecutive Billboard #1 hits. And her mega-hit “I Will Always Love You” is the biggest selling single of all time by a female artist. For one night only, Broadway sensation Rashidra Scott joins the Symphony in the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park to celebrate the extraordinary music of Whitney Houston.

From power ballads to dance-friendly pop favorites, hear all your favorite Whitney hits, including “Saving All My Love for You,” “How Will I Know,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.” Celebrate the legendary Whitney Houston at Water Works Park with the Symphony!

Hooray for Hollywood

SUN SEP 4 7:30PM

Join the Des Moines Symphony for a salute to the silver screen, from The Wizard of Oz to Star Wars and more!

Bring your picnic blankets and join us for an evening of beloved film favorites, including Ghostbusters, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Jurassic Park, played live by the musicians of your Des Moines Symphony. Join us under the stars in in the Lauridsen Amphitheater at Water Works Park for this free, family-friendly symphonic celebration.

Water Works Pops FAQ

Can I bring a cooler and snacks?
Yes, you are welcome to bring a picnic to the concerts. Wine and beer can be consumed on park grounds, but please take any trash with you when you leave. There will also be a wide variety of food trucks onsite selling treats, as well as a water bottle-filling station.

What else should I bring to the concert?
Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome on the lawn – no beach umbrellas or tents, please, as they may obstruct others’ view of the concert. 

When can I set out my lawn chairs?
You are welcome to lay down blankets and chairs on the lawn anytime throughout the day of the concert.

What time should I arrive?
We recommend arriving early to avoid traffic on Fleur Drive and George Flagg Parkway. The parking lot opens at 5pm, and vendors will begin selling food by 6pm. The Des Moines Symphony takes the stage at 7:30pm.

Where should I park, and how do I get there?
Follow the signage to enter Water Works Park from Fleur Drive; an attendant will direct you to our free parking lots. Parking lots are self-park with no valet option. You can view a full map of the concert grounds, including parking locations, here.

Is there ADA access?
Yes. Those requiring accessible parking may park to the south of the stage. An ADA drop-off zone will also be available; follow the signage from Fleur Drive. For those who would like additional assistance reaching the concert grounds, a golf cart will shuttle between the ADA lot and the concert grounds to transport up to five people at a time.

Is bike parking available?
Yes! We recommend riding the trails to the concert and using our FREE bicycle valet service. The bike valet opens at 5:00pm.

Can I bring my dog?
Well-behaved pets are welcome at Water Works Park, as long as they remain leashed. Please pick up any pet waste and take it with you when leaving the concert grounds.