Join us for our second 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 4 and Sunday, September 5 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 and to self-distance with plenty of space between groups. We strongly encourage all audience members to wear masks when moving around the concert grounds, visiting vendors, or using the restrooms. 

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. 

Aretha: A Tribute

SAT SEP 4 7:30PM

Capathia Jenkins joins the Symphony for a glittering tribute to the Queen of Soul.

Celebrate under the stars as Broadway diva Capathia Jenkins lights up the Lauridsen Amphitheater with all your favorite Aretha Franklin hits. This glittering tribute to the Queen of Soul includes iconic favorites from Respect and Think to A Natural Woman, Chain of Fools, Amazing Grace, and many more. Celebrate the legendary Aretha Franklin at Water Works Park with the Symphony!

A John Williams Celebration

SUN SEP 5 7:30PM

The movie magic of John Williams comes to life in a thrilling evening of film favorites at Water Works Park.

Join us for a thrilling evening of music and movies as the Symphony celebrates iconic composer John Williams! Bring your picnic blankets and join us for an evening of beloved film favorites, from Harry Potter to Star Wars and beyond, 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?
Absolutely! 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.

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.

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

Are masks and distancing required?
We strongly encourage all audience members to wear masks when moving around the concert grounds, visiting vendors, or using the restrooms. The concert lawn is very large with ample space to spread out; please distance yourself from nearby groups when setting up your chairs and blankets. Sound towers will be located throughout the concert grounds to ensure everyone can hear, no matter where you sit.

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.