Culture of Iowa City

The variety of shows and productions include live music, comedy, dance, plays, lectures, film screening, civic events, public and awards ceremonies, anniversary celebrations, and more. Some names that may catch your eye include Janis Ian, Tracy Morgan, and Keller Williams, just to name a few.

First on the list, a theater building withstanding character historically known from when it was first built. The year 1912 was when The Englert Theatre opened and it has continued to thrive hosting a mix of unique talent.

A timeless venue for an audience of 725 seats has stood for years as the heart of the community. Nationally known, this particular provides live events more than 225 nights annually. If you want to check out one of Iowa City’s proud historic buildings or to see a great show, The Englert Theatre is the place to go.  

Music is a unique component to the pulse of this aesthetic town. Iowa City can have bands ranging in genre from hard rocker to soulful country music. Not only is the music a large component to an adequate performance but also, the venue.

A dim light space known for the moose overlooking all audiences, The Blue Moose Tap House is a venue meant for big shows, with up to 600 people has been known to rock the house with some ultra popular bands. 

Downstairs is a decent space with keg bar stools and lots of quality beers on tap at a decent price, occasionally served in a large glass boot, many locals are fond of.

Gabe’s Bar, the local hub for alternative rock band fans has hosted battle of the bands, dub step concerts, and more. An outdoor patio, intended to host those who prefer to sit and get away from the music to enjoy the weather when it’s nice out. Two floors, one with a main stage equipped with a small bar and tables for those who want to rest tiresome legs after standing during a long concert.

A venue with moderately cheap shows at a venue with outdoor seating and booths as well as indoor bar downstairs and upstairs with stage area, seating, and bar. The acoustics in the building are great for any kind of music along with moderately economically priced tickets and cover charges. 

More of a grassroots band or jazz fan? The Mill is just for you. The ambiance of this smaller venue is a great setup to have a fresh craft beer and slice of delicious pizza.

Wooden framing embellishes the outdoor patio to create an inviting outdoor conversation area. Details one must keep in mind when deciding an outdoor location for venues during the spring season.

A more recently thriving venue, The Yacht Club also provides historical character to Iowa City. A building once the location of Hohenschuh Mortuary in the 1980’s, it became what it is today in 2003. A venue hosting various local bands in the dimly lit basement, now, comedy shows have become the popular shows to see.

The main stage and bar area are said to be where the bodies from the mortuary were. Comedy shows titled, “Catacomb’s of Comedy” happen every Monday night at 10 p.m. with an open mic night just for those who aspire to be comedians. 

Public Space One and Java House are two hidden venues many locals don’t know host poetry readings or comedy stand up acts. Public Space One is a hidden area in downtown, but the location doesn’t scare away ambitious artists or writers. Attracting many within and outside the community arrive to show what they have to offer to the public. 

Iowa City is a city of character and spunk these venues plus more can be experienced. Culture here is embraced through the arts by which the community provides with ease, be sure to check it out and enjoy it yourself!

•The Englert Theatre

-Address: 221 East Washington St.


•The Blue Moose Tap House

-Address: 211 Iowa Ave


•The Mill

-Address: 120 E. Burlington St.


•The Yacht Club

-Address: Yacht Club: 13 S. Linn St.


•Public Space One

-Address: Basement of 129 East Washington St.


•Java House

-Address: 211 ½ East Washington St.