The lineup for 2018 Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City is here

Courtesy photo

Roxane Gay writes about weight in her new memoir “Hunger”
Courtesy photo Roxane Gay writes about weight in her new memoir “Hunger”

The lineup for the 2018 Mission Creek Festival is here.

The festival of music, literature, art and more produced by the Englert Theatre returns to downtown Iowa City April 3 to 8, 2018 with band Built to Spill; writers Carrie Brownstein, Roxane Gay and Amber Tamblyn in conversation; and comedian Bassem Youssef among the highlights.

Full week passes will are available for $150, and a weekend-only pass for April 6 to 8 is $75. Individual tickets to select shows will go on sale in January.

Headlining this year’s festival are musician and writer Carrie​ ​Brownstein, best-selling writer Roxane​ ​Gay and​ ​poet Amber​ ​Tamblyn​ ​in conversation at The Englert Theatre. All proceeds from ticket sales for this event will benefit Girls Rock! Iowa City, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering creativity and self-esteem in young girls and trans-identified youth through musical instruction and expression. This event is copresented by local literary speaking agency, The Tuesday Agency.

This year’s music program will include indie rockers Built​ ​to​ ​Spill, rising singer-songwriter Julien​ ​Baker and returning festival favorite Margaret​ ​Glaspy, who performed with Andrew Bird and Bridget Kearney at Mission Creek in 2017. Mission Creek will partner with University of Iowa student group SCOPE Productions to present soul singer-songwriter and poet Jamila Woods and dream-pop duo Wye​ ​Oak.

In 2018, Mission Creek Festival also will feature avant-garde composer Kaitlyn​ ​Aurelia​ ​Smith, rapper​ ​Cakes​ ​Da​ ​Killa, Atlanta band Algiers; world-music band Xylouris​ ​White featuring Cretan lutist Giorgos Xylouris, Australian drummer Jim White and Bon Iver member S.​ ​Carey.

The lineup also will have Iowa representation, including Iowa City-based, nationally-known indie pop outfit The​ ​Weepies, Extravision, Squirrel​ ​Flower, Sister​ ​Wife, Paul​ ​Cary, Purcha$e, Collidescope,​ ​Peanut​ ​Ricky​ ​&​ ​The Fiends, Elizabeth​ ​Moen,​ ​Jack Lion, Younger, and Hot​ ​Tang.

Egyptian comedian and satirist Bassem Youssef will perform at Hanchers, and comedian Quinta​ ​Brunson will perform with a roster of comics. Chef​ ​Dave​ ​Wieseneck (former owner of Motley Cow Café) will return to prepare a special meal on the opening night of the festival.


Literary programming includes the Lit Walk, a book​ ​fair hosting independent writers and presses,​ ​ICE​ ​CREAM comics​ ​and​ ​zine​ ​fair and readings and conversations. The Saturday keynote​ ​reading will present memoirist Lidia​ ​Yuknavitch, poet and singer-songwriter Jamila​ ​Woods and poet and essayist Hanif​ ​Willis-Abdurraqib. Additional readings include Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program graduates Sarah​ ​Viren, Lina​ ​Maria​ ​Ferreira​ ​Cabeza-Venegas, and Sandra​ ​Allen, among others.

Festival passes are available online at or at the Englert Theatre Box Office.

The confirmed​ ​lineup includes:

Music: Built to Spill, Wye Oak, Jamila Woods, Julien Baker, Margaret Glaspy, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Algiers, Cakes Da Killa, Laurel Halo, Xylouris White, The Weepies, Horse Lords, S. Carey, ONO, Alex Zhang Hungtai, Horse Feathers, Current Joys, Gordi, Paul Cary, Squirrel Flower, Younger, Peanut Ricky & The Fiends, Hot Tang, Collidescope, Extravision, Jack Lion, Mission: Beat, Sister Wife, Purcha$e, Dana T, Bstar, Elizabeth Moen

Comedy: Bassem Youssef, Quinta Brunson and Friends

Literature: Roxane Gay + Carrie Brownstein + Amber Tamblyn (In Conversation), Lidia Yuknavitch, Jamila Woods, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Deb Olin Unferth, Sarah Viren, Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Venegas, Sandra Allen, Jesus Carrasco, Lyz Lenz, Brandon Taylor, Stephen Ira, Hafizah Geter, William Johnson, Cathy Linh Che, Helene Achanzar, Melody Gee, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, VIDA, The Believer, The Rumpus, Dorothy, a publishing project, Forklift, Ohio: A Journal of Poetry, Cooking, & Light Industrial Safety, The Iowa Review, Two Dollar Radio. Iowa Youth Writing Project, Rescue Press



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