Arts & Culture

Mitski, Jenny Lewis headline Mission Creek 2019

Initial lineup announcement features music, literature and more

Bao Ngo

Mitski will perform at Mission Creek 2019.
Bao Ngo Mitski will perform at Mission Creek 2019.

Indie powerhouses Mitski and Jenny Lewis will headline Mission Creek Festival in 2019.

The festival, slated for April 2 to 7, will feature music, literature and community events at venues around Iowa City.

Singer-songwriter Mitski has garnered critical acclaim and popular appeal with her five albums, including 2016’s “Puberty 2” and this year’s “Be the Cowboy.” That album has landed at the top of a number of “Best of 2018” lists, including earning accolades from NPR as second best album of the year and taking the top spot from New York magazine’s culture and entertainment site Vulture.

Jenny Lewis, meanwhile, first gained fame as lead singer of the band Rilo Kiley and has since released a number of solo records. Her next album, “On the Line,” is set for release in spring 2019 and will feature appearances by Ringo Starr, Beck, Ryan Adams and others. She has made several visits to Iowa in recent years, including playing at Codfish Hollow in 2016 and the Gentlemen of the Road Festival and 80/35 in 2015.

Poet Kevin Young headlines the literature side of the festival. Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and poetry editor at the New Yorker, he is the author of 13 books of poetry and prose, including 2018’s “Brown,” and 2003’s “Jelly Roll: a blues,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His 2017 non-fiction book, “Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts and Fake News,” also garnered critical acclaim.

Here is the initial lineup announcement; more acts will be announced later.


Mitski, Jenny Lewis, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Kweku Collins, Makaya McCraven, Moor Mother (performance and reading), Jay Som, Mark Guiliana with SPACE HEROES and BEAT MUSIC, Noura Mint Seymali, Lilly Hiatt, Becca Mancari, The Cactus Blossoms, Mock Identity, Ratboys, Middle Western, Guerrilla Toss, Hurray for the Riff Raff


Pete Dominick


Kevin Young, R.O. Kwon, Stephanie Burt, Sabrina Orah Mark, Michael Martone, Daniel Gumbiner, Mesha Maren, Visual Poetry Synthesizer with Maxwell Neely-Cohen, Maria Kuznetsova, Abraham Smith, Jennifer Cheng

Featured presses: The Believer, The Iowa Review, Container Press, Two Dollar Radio, The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, Fonograf Editions, Monsters of Poetry


ICE CREAM Comics and Zine Fair, Lit Walk, Literary Magazine and Small Press Book Fair, Big Free Show and Vinyl Market at Big Grove Brewery & Taproom, Underground Showcase


A tentative schedule of performances is at, where festival passes are on sale now; they also are available at The Englert Theatre box office, 221 E. Washington St., Iowa City. Tickets to individual shows will go on sale in January. New this year are a premium pass, $250, and a student weekend pass, $40. Other options include a full week pass, $150, and a $75 weekend pass, which includes Friday and Saturday only.

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