Rock Out In The Sunshine State Best Venues For Live Music In Sarasota FL

Hey there music lovers! Are you tired of searching high and low for the best live music experience in Sarasota, Florida? Do you want to uncover the hidden gems of Sarasota’s live music scene? Look no further, because in this article, we’ve got you covered.

By reading this article, you’ll discover the perfect places to catch live music in Sarasota. Whether you’re looking for a night filled with jazz, rock, or acoustic tunes, we’ve got something for every taste. You won’t have to waste any more time scouring the internet or the city for the best live music spots because we’ve already done the research for you.

We’ve talked to locals and tourists, read reviews, and scoured the web to uncover the best live music in Sarasota. All the spots we recommend have been tried and tested, and they are guaranteed to offer you a night to remember. So sit back, relax, and read on to discover the most incredible live music experiences that Sarasota has to offer.

Best Live Music Venues in Sarasota FL

Sarasota, Florida, is a thriving city full of vibrant culture, art, and music. With a range of live music venues throughout the city, there is something for everyone, from classical music to modern pop, rock, jazz, and everything in between. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the top live music venues in Sarasota and what they have to offer.

Sarasota Opera House

Built-in 1926, the Sarasota Opera House is a magnificent historical building that has been carefully restored to its original glory. It is one of the most popular live music venues in Sarasota, known for its exceptional acoustics and intimate atmosphere. The opera house is home to the Sarasota Opera, which presents several opera productions each season. The opera house also hosts a variety of other musical performances throughout the year, including concerts, recitals, and ballets.

  • The Sarasota Opera House was originally built as a movie theater and was later converted into an opera house in the 1970s.
  • The first opera ever performed at the Sarasota Opera House was Verdi’s Aida in 1979.
  • The opera house has a seating capacity of 1,119 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

If you have never been to the Sarasota Opera House before, we highly recommend visiting it at least once. The interior of the building is breathtaking, with its Spanish-style décor, vibrant colors, and ornate finishes. The acoustics are exceptional, and you will be impressed with the sound quality, no matter where you are seated.

Pros Cons Comparison
Intimate atmosphere Limited seating capacity Sarasota Opera House vs. Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall (bigger venue)
Exceptional acoustics Mostly classical music and opera performances Sarasota Opera House vs. Jannus Live (different music genres available)
Beautiful historical building Higher ticket prices Sarasota Opera House vs. White Buffalo Saloon (more affordable prices)
Various musical performances throughout the year

Overall, the Sarasota Opera House is an excellent venue for anyone who loves classical music, opera, or ballet. The intimate atmosphere and exceptional acoustics make it an unforgettable experience. While the ticket prices may be higher than some other venues, it is well worth the cost for the quality of the experience.

In summary, the Sarasota Opera House is an iconic venue in Sarasota, Florida, known for its exceptional acoustics, intimate atmosphere, and beautiful historical building. Whether you are a fan of opera or not, a visit to the Sarasota Opera House is a must-do for anyone who loves music and wants to experience one of the best live music venues in Sarasota.

Top Bands to Catch in Sarasota FL

Live music is one of the things that Sarasota FL is known for, with numerous venues featuring the best of the best local and international artists that guarantee an exceptional experience. In this article, we will discuss the top bands that are a must-see when you are in Sarasota FL.

The Cherry Bombs

The Cherry Bombs are a popular all-women rock band based in Sarasota, FL. The band, led by Amanda Cogan, is famed for their high-energy performances and an impressive stage presence that often leaves the audience amazed. The band draws its musical influences from legendary rock and roll icons like AC/DC, Van Halen, and Guns N’ Roses, among others. Their repertoire includes rock and roll classics that span several decades, with a little bit of country and pop-rock thrown in for good measure.

The Cherry Bombs have earned great acclaim and have been featured in several publications, including the Sarasota Magazine, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, among others. They often perform at popular venues like the Sarasota Opera House and the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, among others.

If you love rock and roll, the Cherry Bombs are a must-see!

The Arch Band

The Arch Band is one of the most dynamic bands in Sarasota, FL. Led by the incredible vocals of Matthew Frost, the Arch Band delivers a mix of classic and modern rock, pop, R&B, and reggae covers with outstanding musicianship. Their performances are thoroughly entertaining with a vibe that is impossible to ignore.

With over twenty years of experience playing for some of the biggest events in Sarasota, The Arch Band has become a household name among those who appreciate great live music. The band consists of top-level musicians with a keen ear for top-notch sound quality. They are known for their ability to read and engage with the crowd, ensuring that everyone enjoys the show.

  1. Pros of The Arch Band
  • Their wide range of music styles caters to a broad audience
  • They have a strong stage presence that keeps people entertained
  • Their band members are top-level musicians with decades of combined experience
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  • Cons of The Arch Band
    • They may not appeal to people who are looking for niche genres that are not part of their repertoire,
    • They may not be affordable for everyone

    The Reverend Barry and Funktastic Soul

    The Reverend Barry is the leader of the Funktastic Soul, one of the best bands in the Sarasota area. The band specializes in classic R&B and soul music, topping it off with funky grooves that get people dancing. The band has played at some of the most successful festivals in the area, including the Sarasota Blues Festivals, and the Bradenton Blues Festivals, among others.

    The band’s great sound is complemented by the Reverend Barry’s incredible vocal ability that leaves audiences begging for more. The band has shared the stage with Wilson Pickett, Billy Preston, Earth, Wind & Fire, and many others.

    “The Reverend Barry and Funktastic Soul” Pro and Cons
    Pros – They have an impressive repertoire of classic R&B and soul music, perfectly executed
    Cons – They may not appeal to people looking for other music genres that are not part of their repertoire


    These top bands are the best in the Sarasota, FL area, and they cater to the diverse tastes of music lovers searching for memorable live music experiences. Whether you enjoy Rock & Roll, R&B, Soul, or a mix of genres, there is nothing as exciting as catching these exciting bands live!

    The Economic Benefits of Live Music in Sarasota, FL

    One of the biggest reasons that live music is thriving in Sarasota, FL is because of the significant economic benefits it brings to the community. Here are a few key subtopics and examples of how live music contributes to the local economy:

    Increased Tourism

    Live music events are a major draw for tourists, bringing in visitors from all over the world who come to Sarasota specifically to experience the city’s vibrant music scene. According to data from the Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourism is a $3 billion industry in Sarasota County, and live music is a key part of that industry.

    One of the biggest music events in Sarasota is the annual Sarasota Music Festival, which takes place over three weeks in June and features some of the world’s top classical musicians. The event attracts thousands of visitors each year, filling local hotels and restaurants with tourists who come to Sarasota specifically to attend the festival.

    Another example is the Satchmo Summerfest in New Orleans, which is a three-day festival celebrating the life and music of Louis Armstrong. According to a study conducted by the University of New Orleans, the festival brings in an estimated $6 million in economic impact each year and supports around 130 jobs.

    Job Creation

    Live music events also create jobs in the local community, both directly and indirectly. For example, musicians, sound technicians, and event organizers all require support staff to help them run successful events.

    In addition, live music venues create jobs in the hospitality industry. For example, a live music performance at a restaurant or bar can attract additional customers, which in turn requires additional staff to serve those customers. According to data from the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry is the second-largest private sector employer in the United States, supporting around 10% of the country’s workforce.

    According to a study by Sound Diplomacy, a global music consultancy firm, the music industry in the United States supports over 2 million jobs and generates more than $160 billion in economic activity each year.

    Increased Spending

    Live music events also have a significant impact on spending in the local community. Attendees of live music events spend money on food, drinks, transportation, and souvenirs, all of which contribute to the local economy.

    For example, a study conducted by the Independent Venue Week in the United Kingdom found that attendees of live music events spend an average of $43 per person on food and drinks alone. In addition, attendees are more likely to spend money on other forms of entertainment, such as movies or shopping, before or after a live music event.

    According to data from the National Endowment for the Arts, spending on live music events in the United States increased by 6% between 2012 and 2017, from $3.72 billion to $3.94 billion.

    Pros Cons
    Increased tourism and job creation Potential for noise complaints and neighborhood disruption
    Increased spending in the local community Potential for overcrowding and safety concerns
    Opportunities for local musicians to gain exposure and build careers Risk of financial loss for event organizers if attendance is low

    Overall, live music is thriving in Sarasota, FL thanks to its broad economic benefits. By increasing tourism, creating jobs, and stimulating local spending, live music events are not only beneficial to the musicians who perform, but to the entire community as well.

    Discover Sarasota FL’s Music Scene

    Florida is popularly known for its beaches, magical weather, and vibrant culture. Sarasota, which is located in southwestern Florida, is home to a vast music scene that incorporates many genres of music. As a music lover, if you are looking for a place that oozes great live music, then Sarasota is the place for you. This city has something for everyone, from up-and-coming acts to established musicians, and whatever your taste, you can be sure of getting lost in the music.

    One of the most exciting features of the Sarasota music scene is that there are various venues that showcase live music. Each of these venues has a unique ambiance and atmosphere that cater to different tastes, and getting into the right place is a key part of an exceptional live music experience. If you are planning to visit the Sarasota Music Scene, then there are several things to consider before setting out on your quest for great music. Here are some subtopics that will help you Discover Sarasota FL’s Music Scene:

    The Best Live Music Venues in Sarasota

    If you are looking to experience the fantastic vibes of live music, then Florida has a lot to offer. In Sarasota, there are many great venues that offer live music throughout the week. Here are some of the best music hotspots in Sarasota:

    1. The Blue Rooster
    2. The Blue Rooster is one of the most iconic live music venues in Sarasota. It has incredible decor, and the stage is set up in such a way that it feels like you are right in the middle of the action. The restaurant bar is designed to incorporate the live music into an overall package that is unforgettable. They also have a rooftop deck that creates an excellent space for outdoor events. The Blue Rooster has a variety of local and regional artists performing, and the genres range from blues to reggae to rock.

    3. Sarasota Opera House
    4. The Sarasota Opera House is an iconic building that dates back to the 1920s. It is a stunning concert hall that has been refurbished to incorporate modern amenities while maintaining its charm. This venue is suitable for chamber ensembles, solo artists, and orchestras. The Opera House has a seating capacity of 1,119, which makes it an excellent place for intimate performances. In addition, the acoustics are top-notch, which enhances the overall experience. The Sarasota Opera House is a place where you can enjoy memorable performances from some of the biggest names in the music industry.

    5. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center
    6. The Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center is a grassroots venue that caters to a wide range of genres. They have limited seating, which creates an intimate space where you can get up close and personal with the performers. Fogartyville prides itself on offering a diverse range of musical events that bring people together. This venue is perfect for those who are looking for a more laid-back music experience.

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    The Top Music Festivals in Sarasota

    Sarasota is home to a variety of music festivals throughout the year. These festivals play a significant role in showcasing Sarasota’s music scene, and they attract visitors from all over Florida and beyond. Here are some of Sarasota’s top music festivals:

    1. The Sarasota Music Festival
    2. The Sarasota Music Festival is an annual three-week event that has been taking place for over four decades. This festival is a prestigious event that attracts young artists from all over the world, and it is one of the most well-known classical music events in Florida. The festival features music performances, master classes, lectures, and other events that cater to the diverse musical tastes of the audience.

    3. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Music Festival
    4. The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Music Festival is an annual event that takes place in late November. It is a unique festival that is held on the beach, and it features live music performances, sand sculpture competitions, and more. This festival attracts a diverse crowd and offers a chance to enjoy great music while soaking up the sun on the beach.

    5. The Bradenton Blues Festival
    6. The Bradenton Blues Festival takes place in December and is an excellent opportunity to experience some of the best blues music. This festival features a wide array of blues artists who showcase their musical prowess on stage. It is an event that attracts music lovers from all over the world and is known for its party atmosphere.

    The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Sarasota Music Scene

    The Sarasota Music Scene is hugely popular among music lovers from all over the world, but like every other scene, it has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the pros and cons of the Sarasota music scene:

    Advantages Disadvantages
    • Diverse genres of music
    • Excellent venues
    • Festivals and events year-round
    • Opportunities to support local artists
    • Budget constraints for traveling artists
    • Accessibility issues for some venues
    • Lack of large-scale music events
    • Competition from other cities in Florida

    Overall, the Sarasota Music Scene is a vibrant part of Florida’s cultural landscape. There are many advantages to this scene, such as the diverse range of genres, great venues, festivals year-round, and the chance to support local artists. The scene is experiencing challenges, such as budget constraints for traveling artists and accessibility obstacles. Even though there is competition from other cities in Florida, the Sarasota music scene remains one of the most attractive destinations for music lovers from all over the world.

    In conclusion, the Sarasota Music Scene is a thriving and diverse scene that offers a range of musical experiences. It has something for everyone, whatever your musical taste, and the venues and festivals are some of the best in Florida. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, the Sarasota Music Scene is an ideal place to experience live music, and there are many reasons why you should visit it.

    The Ultimate Guide to Live Music in Sarasota FL

    5. The Best Venues for Live Music in Sarasota

    Sarasota has several venues that offer live music, from cozy jazz clubs to large outdoor amphitheaters. Here are some of the best places to catch live music in Sarasota.

    The Blue Rooster

    The Blue Rooster is a popular spot for live blues music, located in the heart of Sarasota. The venue has a cozy bar and restaurant area and a separate stage area for live music performances. The menu features southern-style comfort food and guests can enjoy happy hour specials before the music starts.

    • The Blue Rooster features local and national blues artists.
    • The stage area is separate from the restaurant area, allowing for a more intimate music experience.
    • The venue has a full bar and menu for guests to enjoy.

    Van Wezel Performing Arts Center

    The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center is a large, multi-purpose venue that hosts a variety of live events, including music. The center features a 1,736-seat auditorium and outdoor bayfront lawn area for concerts. The center hosts a variety of musical acts, from classical to contemporary.

    • The Van Wezel Performing Arts Center features national and international acts in a variety of genres.
    • The auditorium has state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems for an immersive music experience.
    • The bayfront lawn area offers a unique outdoor concert experience with stunning views.

    Sarasota Opera House

    The Sarasota Opera House is a historic landmark in Sarasota that hosts a variety of live events, including music. The venue features a grand, 1,100-seat theater with an elegant décor and a variety of musical performances throughout the year.

    • The Sarasota Opera House hosts a variety of musical genres, including opera, jazz, and contemporary.
    • The theater is a beautifully restored historic landmark, offering a unique atmosphere for live music.
    • The venue offers an exclusive series called “Classics at the Opera House,” featuring classical music performances.

    Burns Court Café

    The Burns Court Café is a cozy café located in the historic district of Sarasota. The café offers a variety of live music performances, including jazz and acoustic shows. The café serves coffee, homemade pastries, and light bites for guests to enjoy.

    • The Burns Court Café is a quaint and cozy venue for intimate music performances.
    • The café features local and regional jazz and acoustic artists.
    • The venue offers a variety of drinks and light bites in addition to the music.
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    Siesta Key Oyster Bar

    The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, also known as SKOB, is a popular spot for live music and entertainment. The venue features a large outdoor patio area with a separate stage for live music. The bar offers a variety of drinks and seafood dishes for guests to enjoy.

    • The Siesta Key Oyster Bar features a variety of live music genres, including rock, blues, and reggae.
    • The outdoor patio area offers a lively atmosphere for music and entertainment.
    • The venue hosts regular events and themed nights, such as “Monday Night Blues” and “Taco Tuesday.”
    Venue Genre Capacity Atmosphere Food/Drink
    The Blue Rooster Blues 100 Cozy Southern-style comfort food
    Van Wezel Performing Arts Center Various 1,736 State-of-the-art Various food and drink options
    Sarasota Opera House Various 1,100 Elegant and historic Various food and drink options
    Burns Court Café Jazz and acoustic 50 Intimate and cozy Coffee, pastries, and light bites
    Siesta Key Oyster Bar Various 500 Lively and outdoor Drinks and seafood dishes

    In conclusion, Sarasota has many venues for live music, each with its own unique atmosphere and offerings. From cozy jazz clubs to large outdoor amphitheaters, there is something for every music lover in Sarasota. Guests can enjoy the variety of genres and local and national artists that perform throughout the year. So, whether you are a local or just visiting, be sure to catch a live music performance at one of these amazing venues.

    FAQs: Live Music Sarasota FL

    What are the best live music venues in Sarasota, FL?

    Some of the best live music venues in Sarasota, FL are The Blue Rooster, Fogartyville Community Media & Arts Center, Growler’s Pub, and McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre.

    Is there live music every night in Sarasota, FL?

    Live music is not offered every night in Sarasota, FL. However, there are many music events and festivals throughout the year that showcase various genres and local artists.

    What type of live music is popular in Sarasota, FL?

    There is a diverse range of live music that is popular in Sarasota, FL, including jazz, blues, rock, country, classical, and world music. The city also has a thriving live performance scene, featuring theater shows, comedy performances, and dance performances.

    Where can I find upcoming live music events in Sarasota, FL?

    You can find upcoming live music events in Sarasota, FL by checking out local event calendars, visiting venues’ websites, or following Sarasota-based music blogs and social media accounts.

    Who are some popular musicians from Sarasota, FL?

    There are several popular musicians from Sarasota, FL, including guitar legend Dickey Betts, jazz pianist Dick Hyman, country singer David Lee Murphy, and rock band Have Gun, Will Travel.

    Can I bring my own food and drinks to a live music venue in Sarasota, FL?

    It depends on the live music venue. Some places allow outside food and drinks, while others have strict rules against it. It’s always best to check with the venue before arriving.

    Are there any outdoor live music venues in Sarasota, FL?

    Yes, there are several outdoor live music venues in Sarasota, FL, including Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Nathan Benderson Park, and the Sarasota Bayfront Park.

    Is there a cover charge for live music events in Sarasota, FL?

    There may be a cover charge for some live music events in Sarasota, FL, especially for performances by well-known musicians. However, many local venues offer free live music throughout the week.

    What are some tips for attending a live music event in Sarasota, FL?

    A few tips for attending a live music event in Sarasota, FL are to arrive early to secure good seating, to be respectful of the musicians and the audience, and to support the venue by buying drinks and merchandise.

    Do I need to make reservations for a live music event in Sarasota, FL?

    It depends on the venue and the event. Some venues require reservations for certain live music events, while others allow walk-ins. It’s best to contact the venue in advance to find out their policies.


    In conclusion, Sarasota, FL has a vibrant live music scene that features a variety of genres and local artists. From upscale venues to outdoor parks, there are plenty of places to catch live music throughout the year. To find upcoming events, check out local event calendars, venue websites, or social media accounts. When attending a live music event, consider arriving early, being respectful, and supporting the venue by purchasing drinks and merchandise. After reading this article, why not grab some friends and head out to enjoy some live music in Sarasota, FL? We hope you have a great time! Don’t forget to check out our other articles for more interesting topics. Goodbye!