One of Iowa’s Coolest Music Venues is an Eastern Iowa Barn
In the past 8 years, I've seen concerts at venues all over Eastern Iowa: the Alliant Energy Powerhouse Arena, the Paramount Theatre, Xtream Arena, the UNI Dome, The Olympic Theater, the First Avenue Club, the McGrath Amphitheatre, Elray's Live & Dive (formerly Blue Moose)... the list goes on. But, one place I still haven't seen a show at is Codfish Hollow. Codfish Hollow is a barn located in Maquoketa that hosts concerts for both local bands and national indie acts, and Travel Iowa lists it as one of the coolest concert venues in the state!
According to the venue's website, Codfish Hollow was built back in 1954 by Arnold Stamp, owner Tiffany Biehl's grandfather, but the first official concert wasn't held until over 50 years later! An article from Urban Plains reports that in 2009, Sean Moeller of Daytrotter contacted Tiffany looking for a barn for their Barnstormer Tour, and she agreed to host them. After clearing out the cows, that first show was held on July 25th, and Tiffany was hooked! She started booking other musicians, and the rest is history.
Because Codfish Hollow is a barn, there is no heat or air conditioning, but there are fans inside for those hot summer nights. The venue also serves wine and canned and bottled beer, and there are typically one or two food trucks on-hand during each show. In addition to the food vendors, there are also art vendors outside the barn selling their creations. The venue is cash only, so make sure you have some if you plan to buy anything.
One of the most fun things about Codfish Hollow is that concert-goers don't have to walk from the parking lot to the barn. They're able to take a tractor ride instead! The parking lot is around a quarter of a mile from the venue, so it's convenient if you don't feel like making the trek.
Once you get to the barn, you'll notice a handmade wooden sign hanging on the building that lists the names of the artists performing at the concert. It's a cool little detail that helps set the venue apart from any others in the area.
Another cool thing about going to see a concert at Codfish Hollow is that guests are welcome to camp out the night of the show for free! The camping area is simply a field with some fire rings and it's located next to the parking area. Attendees can arrive up to two hours before the doors open to set up camp, but please note that there are is no running water or electricity to hook up to campers. Guests are welcome to bring tents, coolers, and portable grills/camp stoves, but not firewood. There is free firewood on-site.
There are currently seven upcoming concerts listed on Codfish Hollow's website, which you can check out HERE. The concert season typically runs from April through October, so enjoy the venue while you can!