Iowa City’s final Summer of the Arts festival of the 2015 season, the Iowa Soul Festival, will bring the impassioned dance, music, food, and art of the African and African-American communities to Downtown Iowa City on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 28-29. The event will kick off with the Iowa City Carnival Parade that will wind through Downtown Iowa City beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Linn Street.

The Iowa Soul Festival will require some Downtown street closures, parking changes, and alterations to bus routes, as follows:



On Thursday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m., Clinton Street (between Washington and Jefferson Streets) and Iowa Avenue (between Dubuque and Clinton Streets) will be closed so that festival set-up may begin. Iowa Avenue will reopen after the conclusion of the festival on Saturday night, Aug. 29. Clinton Street will reopen by noon on Sunday, Aug. 30.



Parking ramps: The Parking Division will run a normal weekday and weekend schedule from Thursday, Aug. 27 through Sunday, Aug. 30. The five City parking ramps located in the Downtown area -- Tower Place, Chauncey Swan, Dubuque Street, Court Street Transportation Center, and Old Capitol Town Center -- will be open and staffed, and all parking regulations will be in effect. To view a map of parking ramp locations, visit

On-street parking: The availability of on-street parking in the Downtown area will be extremely limited due to festival-related street closures. In addition, some parking will be reserved for Iowa Soul Festival vendors, artists, performers, and service vehicles. Watch closely for posted signs indicating restricted parking.

Bike parking: A designated free and secure bicycle valet parking area will be available on North Clinton Street, near Jefferson Street, to encourage festival-goers and families to ride bikes to the festival.



The following bus stops will not be serviced from noon on Thursday, Aug. 27 through Saturday, Aug. 29, due to street closures: 7400, 7401, 7202, 7205, 7206, and 7207.

Minor detours will be in effect for the following routes, as sections of Clinton Street will be closed: North Dodge, Night and Weekend North Dodge, Rochester, Eastside Express, Night and Weekend Manville Heights, and 7th Avenue.

On Friday, Aug. 28, Iowa City Transit will run a normal weekday schedule. The Soul Fest detours that began on Thursday will be in effect.

Iowa City Transit will run a regular Saturday schedule on Aug. 29, free of charge. Soul Fest detours will be in effect.


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. Walkers and wheelchairs may be placed on the back of the cart. To request a ride, call 319-325-6567 during festival hours to request a pick-up.

A designated seating area for people who use a wheelchair or other assistive mobility device, along with one guest, will be available near the front of the stage. The area will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.



Eco-Stations for recycling and composting will be set up in Culinary Row and throughout the festival grounds. Please use these bins to reduce the amount of waste going into the Landfill.



Please consider the following information from Iowa City Animal Services and Adoption Center before bringing your pet to the festival:

If your pet is not completely comfortable around all sorts of strangers, including children, they should not attend. People who do bring their pets should have them under the control of an adult at all times. Dogs are required to be on a leash. Pets must be up-to-date on rabies vaccines.

Pets will not be allowed in Culinary Row or in the playground area on the Ped Mall outside the Library.

A dog’s ears are much more sensitive than a human’s, meaning that all sounds, including music, are louder for a dog. Pet owners should not take animals close to the festival stage or speakers when music is being played.

Asphalt streets can get extremely hot, and may burn the pads on your pet’s feet. Make sure they’re walking on grass or cooler areas.

Keep your pet hydrated. There will not be a Doggy Hydration Station at this event, so bring a water supply with you for your pet to drink or cool off.

Watch for signs of stress in your pet: fear, excessive panting or vocalization, or lethargy. If stress is apparent, get them out of the situation.



For information and assistance, attendees may stop by one of the Iowa Soul Festivalinformation booths.

City staff working in the Downtown area, identifiable by their "Ambassador" shirts, as well as police officers who will provide foot patrol Downtown, will also be able to provide assistance.

A first aid booth with first aid-certified staff and volunteers will be available on the festival grounds.

The Iowa City Fire Department reminds the public of the festival's close proximity to Fire Station #1 on the corner of Washington and Gilbert Streets, and asks festival-goers to be prepared at all times to yield to emergency vehicles.

Inclement weather may result in changes to street closures, the stage location, and other festival details. Any changes will be announced in updates prior to the start of the festival.


For more information, contact Shannon McMahon, Communications Office Coordinator, at 319-356-5058. To view a schedule of Iowa Soul Festival activities, visit

Date of publication

Wednesday, August 19, 2015