What is the Island Fever Showcase?   Island Fever Showcase is a nationally recognized music festival featuring Trop Rock music sponsored jointly by the Isle of Iowa Parrot Head Club & the Surf Ballroom & Museum that will be held over Labor Day weekend in 2023.  The event features musicians, bands & artists that tour the country performing to fun-loving crowds at parrot head (Jimmy Buffett fans) functions.   Proceeds raised from the event will be donated to the Music Enrichment Center to support programming for people of all ages. The event has been nominated for the Trop Rock Music Association’s Event of the Year at the 2019 awards ceremony.  

Where will the event be held?  Island Fever Showcase will be held in Clear Lake, Iowa at the historic Surf Ballroom.  Clear Lake is located in north-central Iowa approximately 90 minutes north of Des Moines and 2 hours south of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

What makes this event so unique?  The Surf Ballroom is one of the most iconic stages in American music history.  Designated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a Rock & Roll Landmark the Surf was the final venue in which Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. ‘The Big Bopper’ Richardson performed.  The three rock & roll icons were killed in a tragic plane crash just outside of Clear Lake as they left en route to their next tour performance.  The tragedy is widely referred to as “The Day the Music Died” and the Surf became “…the bedrock of where the sound and attitude of rock and roll changed forever.”  Trop Rock music graced this iconic & sacred stage in 2018, 2021 & will return for an encore edition in 2023. Musicians, fans & promoters of the genre all agree that Island Fever Showcase is unquestionably one of Trop Rock’s greatest moments!  

What is Trop Rock music?  Trop Rock music is a genre of music that incorporates elements and influences of rock & roll, reggae, country & Calypso music with Caribbean themes.  The music often creates an “island sound” that represents a laid-back way of life. Jimmy Buffett is often referred to as the “king of Trop Rock” and other major label artists include Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Jack Johnson & Bertie Higgins among others.  

So, will Jimmy Buffett be performing?  Most likely not (though one never knows just where he might show up)! Independent singer/songwriters are the major force in Trop Rock music. The line-up will include some of the best acts in the genre. They write, produce & perform their own original music.  Many who will be included in the line-up have received numerous awards & recognition from the Trop Rock Music Association.  Regardless of who is on stage, you will likely hear a number of your favorite Buffett tunes!      

When will the entertainment line-up be released?  Musicians are being booked as you read this but, due in large part to contractual obligations of some of the artists (Hint! Hint!), the line-up will likely not be finalized until later this year!  Entertainment announcements will begin in September & additional artists will continue to be announced right up to the actual event. To receive all of the latest announcements, like (and follow) the Island Fever Showcase on Facebook & visit the event website at islandfeverphlocking.com.  

What type of event tickets are available? Two types of tickets will be sold – VIP tickets and General Admission ticketsVIP tickets are extremely limited (and the hottest item in the Trop Rock world) and include a reserved seat (at a table) on the actual ballroom floor right behind the dancing section.   In addition to your seat, you will also receive a special laminate event badge & a cool Bling Bag filled with a variety of treasures. These tickets are $190 per person if paying by check. Checks can be made payable to the Isle of Iowa PHC and sent to Gordy Smith, 225 Rock Valley Lane NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405. If ordered per PayPal on the website tickets are $195.00 per person.  

General Admission tickets are available.  Both two day & single day general admission tickets will be available.  The two day and Saturday one day tickets also include admission to the Surf on Friday night. They do not include any of the special “perks” that you get with the VIP ticket.  General Admission tickets do not guarantee a seat (only entry). You are able to purchase a booth upgrade (if available) through the Surf for an additional fee to ensure you will have a place to sit.    

Two day General Admission tickets are $140 per person.  They include admission to all of the activities at the Surf Ballroom on Friday September 1, Saturday, September 2, & Sunday, September 3, 2023.  Single day general admission tickets are available for both days. Single-day General Admission tickets are $80 per person. Single day Friday tickets also include admission to the Surf on Friday night.   

 Are tickets refundable in the event that I can’t attend?   Unfortunately not, but the proceeds from your ticket purchase will be used to support the charitable cause of the event.    

When will the event be held?    The Island Fever Showcase will be held over Labor Day weekend 2023 in Clear Lake, Iowa.  The three main event days are scheduled for Friday evening, September 1, Saturday, September 2 & Sunday, September 3.  Additional activities will be held throughout the town of Clear Lake on Friday, September 1 (all day) and on Monday, September 4 (early in the day).  It is anticipated that there may also be an additional event in the evening on Thursday, August 31, 2023 hosted in the downtown area.  

Where is the best place to fly into for this event?   While Clear Lake, Iowa is located right in the heartland of America and is drivable from many places, there are many airports that provide commercial air service within a relatively short drive.  The closest airports include Des Moines, Iowa (100 miles); Rochester, Minnesota (100 miles); Minneapolis-St. Paul (130 miles); & Cedar Rapids, Iowa (140 miles). Many flight options are available at all of these airports. There is now a United Express flight available from Chicago O’Hare Airport to the Mason City Airport

What are my options for lodging accommodations in the area?  There are many great hotels located in Clear Lake, Iowa, but they are not large properties.  We recommend that you make your lodging reservations ASAP. One of the hotels in Clear Lake has established a room block under Isle of Iowa/Island Fever.  These properties include Best Western Holiday Lodge; Microtel Inn & Suites; AmericInn by Wyndham; & Rumorz Neighborhood Hideaway.  Also, there is a new Fairfield Inn that is now open. Please refer to the hotels’ page on our event web site for more information about our partner hotels.  

There are also many additional hotel accommodations available in Mason City, Iowa (just a short 5-mile drive from the Surf Ballroom).  

Since Clear Lake is a well-known Iowa tourist destination, there are also many private residences that offer rentals through Vacation Rental by Owner or through Airbnb (Airbnb.com).

If you would prefer to camp, there are also many camping options available around Clear Lake.  These options include

What is the charitable cause that the event is supporting?     Proceeds raised from the Island Fever Showcase will be directed to the Music Enrichment Center, a non-profit organization that is devoted to providing cultural & educational opportunities to people who reside in North Iowa.  As part of their mission, they provide programming to children from pre-school through 12th grade with an emphasis on music.  Funds from this event will help to “keep the music alive” for future generations.    

I may not be able to attend in person but I still want to support this great event!  How can I get involved?  Island Fever Showcase represents an incredible opportunity for Trop Rock music and for the artists who are associated with the genre.  Even if you are not able to attend, there are many ways that you can support the event. Businesses and/or individuals who may have an interest in serving as an official event sponsor or purchasing an advertisement in the official event guide are encouraged to contact our sponsorship/advertising coordinator Gerald Ptacek at [email protected] or via phone/text at 319-551-9006.    

The Isle of Iowa is also coordinating both silent & live auctions at the event and is actively seeking donations to support these activities.   Businesses and/or individuals who have an interest in donating products, merchandise or other items to support these activities should contact our donation chair Linda McConnell at [email protected] or via phone/text at 319-431-5963. Proceeds from these activities will be directed to the charitable cause for the event.    

All donations are tax-deductible.   

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