From Farm Show To Rock Fest

The Daily Dig

Central Iowa Expo grounds provide entertainment for everyone. From the rock-star to the rock-star farmer, the grounds provide multiple purposes of use.

Published on: May 13, 2013

Ever wonder what the grounds at the Farm Progress Show look like after the show is over and everyone has gone home? Usually it takes a few weeks for the few remaining pieces to be removed off the property, but after that, the show site is a ghost town. That is, except for this past Friday night.

I was on my way up to Boone, Iowa on Friday afternoon when I got a text from my boyfriend reminding me that Lazerfest (a hard-rock and heavy-metal concert) was going on. He kindly reminded me of this as he was stuck in traffic on Highway 17 and 30 – waiting for some 15,000 fans to park. Luckily, my destination was about 5 miles south of this chaotic scene; however, that did not stop my curiosity.

Aeral photo of the 2013 Lazerfest in Boone, Iowa. If you look closely, to the right of the photo you can see the main stage set up. Slightly to the left of the main stage is the 2nd stage. Photo by Matt Reinken
Aeral photo of the 2013 Lazerfest in Boone, Iowa. If you look closely, to the right of the photo you can see the main stage set up. Slightly to the left of the main stage is the 2nd stage. Photo by Matt Reinken

This was the 2nd year that the Central Iowa Expo hosted the music festival. I know what the site looks like in the middle of the Farm Progress Show, so I was expecting a lot of movement. I waited for the traffic to slow down as the concert started around 1 p.m. ending 14 bands later.

It was about 6:30 when we drove around the grounds. I was amazed to see that the crowd took up just shy of the northwest quarter of the grounds – if that. It wasn't until then did it really sink how just how BIG the Farm Progress Show is. But still, 15,000 people, 2 stages, 14 rock and heavy-metal band and about 300 porta-potties later- it was still an impressive site.

Aeral photo of the 2013 Lazerfest in Boone, Iowa. To the left of the photo you can see the line of people waiting to get in - stretched all the way back to Highway 30. Photo by Matt Reinken.
Aeral photo of the 2013 Lazerfest in Boone, Iowa. To the left of the photo you can see the line of people waiting to get in - stretched all the way back to Highway 30. Photo by Matt Reinken.
Driving back around the site on my way into town Saturday morning the place was back to a ghost town. You wouldn't even have known a huge concert took place there if it wasn't for the mass row after row of porta-potties, a few straggler cars and one guy stuck in the ditch. Apparently he didn't want to wait for traffic either and decided to take the ditch. Not thinking that the 4 inches of snow and water standing would keep him from getting far. He finally gave up and climbed out of his window to escape.