Surf Ballroom


MuseumAttractionsMeeting Venues

About Us

One of the last remaining ballrooms in the Midwest, the Surf is often filled to capacity as nationally known and locally recognized musicians take the stage. Fully restored and fashioned after a South Seas beach club, the Surf holds a place in music history as the final concert site of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. ''The Big Bopper'' Richardson. An annual tribute is held each February to celebrate the revolutionary styles of these performers.

To many, the Surf Ballroom is an American cultural icon as well as an important historical landmark. The Surf has a capacity of 2100 and accommodates visitors with 30,000 square feet of entertainment area, including a 6,300 square foot dance floor.

On January 27, 2009 the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (Cleveland, Ohio) dedicated the Surf Ballroom as a historic rock and roll landmark. The plaque reads: ''There are few buildings in existence today that represent a complete shift in our music history. As the last concert venue for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. ''The Big Bopper'' Richardson, the Surf is the bedrock of where the sound and attitude of rock and roll changed forever.'' In 2011 the Surf Ballroom was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2020 the Surf was honored to be named a National Historic Landmark, one of only 27 in Iowa.

Also available for private events, the Surf is an unforgettable venue for weddings, meetings, corporate parties and conventions.

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  • Guided Group Tours by appointment
  • Open Monday - Friday year-round & on Saturdays & Sundays Memorial Day-Labor Day
  • Fully restored & fashioned after a South Seas beach club
  • Available for private parties & events
  • Visit our website for Upcoming Concerts & Events!


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Surf Ballroom