The Iowa City Jazz Festival, a three-day weekend of live jazz that's part of Iowa City's Summer of the Arts series of festivals, brings the spark back to Downtown Iowa City on July 1-3, 2016. Music by national and international jazz artists and up-and-coming performers will be played on four stages throughout the event. Additional festival fun includes Culinary Row, Artist Row, Beverage Garden, Fun Zone, and the City's fireworks display over the Pentacrest, which wraps up the three-day event on Sunday night. 

The Jazz Festival will call for some street closures, parking changes, and alterations to bus routes, as follows:

Street closures

  • On Thursday, June 30, beginning at 2 p.m., Clinton Street (between Washington and Jefferson Streets) and Iowa Avenue (between Dubuque and Clinton Streets) will close.
  • During the festival, the left turn from Clinton Street (northbound) to Washington Street (westbound) will be permitted for all traffic. This portion of Washington Street is typically reserved for buses only.
  • On Friday, July 1, beginning at 7 a.m., Dubuque Street (between Jefferson Street and Iowa Avenue) will be closed.
  • On Sunday, other streets in the area of the Iowa Memorial Union and Hubbard Park will be closed to accommodate the fireworks display.

 The street reopening schedule for Downtown is as follows:

  • On Sunday, July 3 at midnight, both Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Street will reopen.
  • At noon on Monday, July 4, Clinton Street will be reopened from Washington Street to Iowa Avenue, followed by the block between Iowa Avenue and Jefferson Street.

Downtown parking

  • On-street parking will be extremely limited over the weekend, due to festival-related street closures -- and some of the available on-street parking spaces will be reserved for festival staff and vendors. To avoid being towed, watch for posted signs indicating restricted parking.
  • All five City parking ramps located near the Jazz Festival activities -- Tower Place, Chauncey Swan, Dubuque Street, Court Street Transportation Center, and Old Capitol Town Center -- will be open throughout the festival.
  • On Sunday, the Old Capitol and Dubuque Street ramps will be staffed and parking fees will apply. Chauncey Swan, Court Street and Tower Place ramps do not charge on Sundays.
  • An area for bike parking will be available on Dubuque Street, near the intersection with Iowa Avenue.


  • Due to Downtown construction, the bus interchange on Clinton Street has been temporarily relocated to the Court Street Transportation Center at 150 E. Court.
  • On Friday, July 1 and Saturday, July 2, Transit will operate on its normal schedules. Festival-related and existing Transit detours will be in effect. Fares will be free both days.
  • There will be no bus service on Sunday, July 3 or on Monday, July 4, due to the holiday.

The following bus stops will be closed and not serviced during the Iowa City Jazz Festival:

Outbound bus closures:

  • Stop 7200: Washington Street and Linn Street
  • Stop 7201: Washington Street and Gilbert Street
  • Stop 7400: Clinton Street and Jefferson Street
  • Stop 7401: Jefferson Street and Linn Street  

Inbound bus closures:

  • Stop 7079: UI Lindquist Center
  • Stop 7206: Market Street and Linn Street
  • Stop 7207: Clinton Street and Jefferson Street
  • Stop 7244: Burlington Street and Dubuque Street  

Normal schedules will resume on Tuesday, July 5.


The City’s fireworks display will wrap up the Jazz Festival on Sunday, July 3, following the end of the final jazz performance.

Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the fireworks  from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, although the display will also be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.

Fireworks will be launched from Hubbard Park, at the intersection of Madison Street and Iowa Avenue, and will get underway sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Inclement weather may call for flexibility in the start time. Rain date for fireworks is Monday, July 4, same time, same place.

To accommodate the fireworks set-up and show, streets and other areas within range of the fireworks area will be closed to the public. The Iowa City Fire Department urges drivers and pedestrians to adhere to barricades, caution tape and other street closure/no parking signs, as these are put in place to protect people’s lives and safety. Vehicles parked in the fireworks launch area after 8 a.m. on Sunday may be towed.

Link: Additional 2016 Iowa City fireworks information 


Pets who accompany their owners to the festival must be on a leash and under the control of an adult at all times, and must be up-to-date on rabies vaccines. Pets will not be allowed in Culinary Row, the Beverage Garden, or in the playground area on the Ped Mall outside the Library. 

A pet hydration station will be set up at the Jazz Festival at the corner of Dubuque Street and Iowa Avenue, where animals can cool off and get a drink.

Before bringing your pet to the festival, please consider the following information from Iowa City Animal Services and Adoption Center:

  • If your pet is not completely comfortable around all sorts of strangers, including children, it would be best for them to stay at home. Watch for signs of stress: fear, excessive panting or vocalization, or exhaustion. If any of these occur, remove your pet from the situation.
  • Keep pets hydrated and make sure to keep the pads of their feet cool, too, by walking them on the grass instead of hot concrete or asphalt streets.
  • A dog’s ears are much more sensitive than a human’s. Do not take your dog close to the festival stage or speakers when music is being played. Dogs should never go to fireworks shows, according to the Animal Center.

Information and assistance

For information and assistance, attendees may stop by one of the festival information booths at the east end of Iowa Avenue or the south end of Clinton Street. Festival-goers can also look for City of Iowa City staff wearing "Ambassador" shirts, as well as police officers, for assistance.
An accessibility shuttle golf cart will be available to people with mobility issues who need help getting back and forth from the parking ramps to the main festival area. Call 401-584-2787 during festival hours to request a pick-up.

To view the full schedule for the Iowa City Jazz Festival and other Summer of the Arts activities, visit

For more information, contact Shannon McMahon, City of Iowa City Communications Coordinator, at 319-356-5058 or

Date of publication

Friday, June 24, 2016