Where and When to Catch Live Music in Northwest Florida
July 6, 2022
Destin and 30A in Northwest Florida may be known for their sugar-white sand and emerald green water, but the music scene is one that is well-established and always growing. From nationally acclaimed artists who call Destin and 30A their home away from home to local singer-songwriters, Northwest Florida is a haven for the musically inclined and offers a variety of unique venues to enjoy live music year-round.
Luckily, Destin and 30A have plenty of options for live music venues including restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat while listening to a solo artist and outdoor concerts with rocking bands. The area’s live music schedule is constantly rotating so be sure to check with these venues before heading out to catch a show.
Year-Round Live Music in Destin
Destin is well-known for the white sandy beaches, beautiful crystal-clear waters and fantastic fresh seafood. The area is also popular for local and visiting musicians to perform at a variety of unique venues. These venues have different concert series throughout the year and bring different types of artists in to play for visitors.
Mattie Kelly Concerts in the Village
In the heart of Destin, the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation hosts concert series in the spring, summer, and fall called Mattie Kelly Concerts in the Village. On Thursday nights, the Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village is transformed into the ultimate outdoor concert space. Tickets are $15 and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs, beverages of choice, and food items along for the best experience. There are typically food trucks on-site if you want to grab a bite out to eat that night. Musical stylings range from yacht rock to country and all your favorite throwback sounds. The venue is family-friendly with plenty of space for the kiddos to run around and dance to the beat. Check the website for a full list of concert dates.
HaborWalk Village runs along the Destin Harbor and offers up plenty of entertainment throughout the year. Concert series run every season with shows on various days of the week. If you’re more into club beats, HarborWalk Village brings the party: the silent disco party. Mondays during the summer a live DJ spins tracks into your personal headphones so you can dance to the beat of your own drum. Restaurants in HarborWalk Village also host plenty of duos and solo artists to enhance the ambiance of your waterside dining experience. HarborWalk Village’s Facebook page lists all the artists performing so you can plan your outing accordingly.
The Village of Baytowne Wharf
The final year-round venue in Destin is the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Like HarborWalk Village, Baytowne has seasonal concert series outdoors and plenty of live music opportunities at the restaurants and bars that call Baytowne home. The Village Door and Rum Runners typically have live shows and Rum Runners serves as a dueling piano bar. Musicians take requests from the audience for tips and will play all your favorites for an entertaining night out. Some of the other regulars at Baytowne Wharf include locals Casey Kearney and Forrest Williams Band. So grab a drink and stroll through the Village with music in your ears and serenity in your soul.
Year-Round Live Music on 30A
30A is the place to be for all things nightlife and live shows. The venues range from small and intimate to large, outdoor spaces. The area has caught the attention of big-time recording artists like Luke Bryan and Brian Kelly, who own shops on 30A, but the local talent is equally impressive.
AJ’s Grayton Beach
AJ’s Grayton Beach is the perfect party spot on 30A. The venue attracts bachelor and bachelorette parties and the live shows should not be missed. They have a designated Sunday band called the Sunday Bunch that’s perfect to wind down your Sunday Funday. For a twist on the typical live show, stop by for karaoke on Thursdays and perform your own song!
The Red Bar is one of the most iconic staples of 30A. Almost as iconic, the Red Bar Jazz Band. This group and all of its iterations have been a part of the bar for nearly as long as its existed. To this day, the Red Bar Jazz Band performs Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Order some tuna dip and pizza bread for the table as the perfect pairing to an evening of live entertainment.
The Big Chill
The Big Chill on 30A, formerly the Hub, is a collection of shops, restaurants, and a huge green space with a stage. The Big Chill has live music throughout the week for families to enjoy. The Big Chill is your designated spot for good drinks, good eats, and good music. Bring your music-loving pup along to enjoy the musical stylings of musicians like Adam Calvert and Krista Lynn Meadow.
Some music events are bigger than others along the Emerald Coast. That’s what makes these unique festivals so fun and totally worth planning your vacation around.
30A Songwriters Festival
Each year 30A Songwriters Festival kicks off in January and runs for a full weekend with more than 180 artists from all around performing. It’s an incredible opportunity to experience all the venues 30A has to offer from Grand Boulevard down to the Pearl in Rosemary Beach. Each show is unique and can help you experience a brand-new musical styling. The best part of the festival is that it’s an all-day event, so you won’t run out of shows to see.
Moon Crush Music Festival
Moon Crush is a new music festival in Miramar Beach. The purpose of the festival is to offer vacationers an intimate experience in the evening after a day spent lounging on the beach. The festival is small so there isn’t any worry that you’ll get lost in the crowd, lose your seat, or miss your favorite artists. Big names Brandi Carlile and My Morning Jacket have performed in the past and the show and the weekend truly is an unforgettable music vacation.
When you plan your next trip to Destin and 30A, don’t forget to check out the local live music scene. You might be surprised by all the entertainment the area has to offer off the beach!
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