The Best Live Music Line Up in the World

The City of West Palm Beach:

The Best Live Music Line Up in the World

When it comes to cities with live music scenes, the City of West Palm Beach is one of those special places where everything lines up perfectly.  With over 200 free outdoor concerts and an additional 2,000 free acts a year, not only does the City of West Palm Beach have more live music than your typical city twice its size, it has perfect weather, a redesigned waterfront built for music, and over 25 live music venues all within walking distance.

The City of West Palm Beach’s vast live music highlights include an award winning free weekly outdoor concert series, the largest waterfront music festival in Florida, the longest running live music club in the Southeast and venue after venue covering Rock and Roll, Blues, Jazz, Indie, Country, Reggae and more all within a closely knit downtown entertainment district.  The City’s music scene may be a best-kept secret among locals but with new live music venues opening every cople of months, the word is quickly getting out.  For fans of live music and those that love to play it, downtown West Palm Beach will soon be on everyone’s set list (if it isn’t already) and here’s why:

The Weather

When you’re talking about a City with over 200 outdoor acts a year, multiple outdoor venues and the freedom to walk back and forth to over 25 live music venues and clubs, you have to have some pretty nice weather to back it up and in West Palm Beach the weather  shines!   The Downtown waterfront weather is nearly perfect year round with an annual average temperature of 75.  Combine the great temps with a nice ocean breeze and it doesn’t get any better.  It’s an outdoor music lover’s paradise.

The Walking

The City of West Palm Beach has so many live music, dining and entertainment options packed into a half mile radius, it’s really hard to know where to start.  The best tpart is, if you want to enjoy more than one in a single evening, you can easily walk right next door and catch an entirely different act and experience a completely different scene.  From the Delta Blues at B.B. Kings to an authentic Irish pub at O’Shea’s, there’s a scene and a sound for everyone.

The City of West Palm Beach is known as a very walkable city and rates an 95 from walkscore.com.  There is live music everywhere you turn.

Most of the live music happens either on Rosemary or Clematis streets but there are also some small gems scattered in between, like The Blind Monk on Evernia or some large treasures right off Flagler like the Norton Museum and their Art After Dark music/art series.  Regardless, every live music venue mentioned in this article is within walking distance of one another or accessible via free downtown trollies.

A walk to more formal evening concert at the Kravis Center could include a show by Greg Allman, Steve Miller, Buddy Guy or The Moody Blues.  A casual stroll to the outdoor patio of the Backyard Bar for an informal night gives you the finest local musicians (and an occasional national artist sitting in) playing under the stars.  You can head over to B.B. Kings for some of the best in rock and blues or walk down Clematis Street for some country music at Grease Burger Bar.

Whatever your appetite or musical preference, it can be found with just a short walk from one block to another.  It’s all about people getting out of their cars, enjoying the weather,  walking around and having a good time.  That’s what sets this city apart from the rest and when you add the unbelievable number of outdoor concerts, it’s in a league all by itself.  Every city has bars and clubs and West Palm Beach definitely shines in that category (more on that later) but it’s the numerous outdoor venues that set this city apart from the rest, and that all begins on the waterfront.

The Waterfront

The City of West Palm Beach is right on the intercoastal overlooking the Legendary Breakers Hotel and The Historic Flagler Museum. The location of this great city only adds to the live music vibe and the newly designed waterfront is where most of the free, outdoor music happens.  Yes, I said free.  The redesigned waterfront was to some extent a necessity to host large events such as Sunfest, a 30 year, downtown tradition held over 5 days in May with 3 stages of live music and over 50 bands making it the largest waterfront music festival in Florida.  See, this city was literally built for live music!

The City of West Palm Beach spends a lot of time making sure its residents are having a good time and that’s never more evident than the numerous city sponsored concerts and their long history of supporting live music.  Every week the City of West Palm Beach, with the help of local sponsors, hosts at least one free outdoor music event for its residents and visitors of the waterfront.  Sometimes, if the stars line up, there are 3 or more free, live, outdoor music events sponsored by the City of West Palm in one week!

The most famous City sponsored event, and my favorite is the award winning concert series known as Clematis by Night or CBN to the locals.  Every week talented South Florida and touring musician play for 3 hours on Thursday nights all year round for an outdoor block party that brings everyone together to wind down and catch up.  Not only is it a weekly staple for the locals but it attracts our friends from the island, tourists from up north and the boats passing by utilizing the free docks (also part of the waterfront redesign).  You never know who’s going to take the CBN stage.  Special guests have included Vince Neil, Natasha Bedingfield and Cassedee Pope.

CBN is another perfect line up.  You have the music, the weather, tasty food from local restaurants, and adult beverages from the beer and wine tent.  Yes, another great thing about The City of West Palm Beach is that,  if you act like an adult, they’ll treat you like one.  Since most people are walking, you’re free to enjoy a drink or two (or three) outdoors, in pubic,  listen to great live music and dance in the streets.  Take my word for it, the dancing is a show in itself and must be witnessed first hand.

But it doesn’t stop there.  The City of West Palm Beach organizes several other music events on the water.  Sunday on the Waterfront, also known as Sunday at the Meyer.  This is another great free monthly daytime outdoor music concert series, where everyone is invited to pack a basket and bring their blanket for an afternoon of music from local and national acts such as Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain, The Smitereens and The Romatics.  It’s a good time for all, kids and dogs included.  The City also hosts Jazz on the Palm, a free monthly Friday evening outdoor Jazz concert with some of the most talented jazz musicians around.  The City even has live music at the weekly Saturday Green Market.  If this doesn’t show a commitment to making a mark as a live music destination, I don’t know what does.

And then there’s Sunfest, the largest waterfront music festival in Florida.  30 years strong, Sunfest was once another small free downtown event that grew to become one of the country’s premire festivals.  It is now a 5 day music festival hosting 50 national acts on three stages and takes place downtown, in the middle of the action on the redesigned waterfront.  A pre-sale 5 day pass is only $55, an unbelievable value.  That’s only $1.10 a band!  Past performers included Snoop Dogg, Jason Mraz, ZZ Top, Counting Crows, Herbie Hancock and Ziggy Marley, Train, Jimmy Cliff, and The Smashing Pumpkins.  The 2014 lineup includes Kid Rock, Ellie Goulding and Robin Thicke.  There is something for everyone and hands down the best music festival deal around.

Weekly Live Music!

A short walk from the waterfront is City Place, an open-air, downtown entertainment destination with over 100 shops, restaurants and several live music options which we’ll discuss later; but another outdoor venue worth mentioning is the City Place Plaza Stage.  The newly designed Plaza covered stage hosts free, outdoor, live music, year round on every Friday and Saturday nights and special event national acts throughout the year which have included Gloriana, Scotty McCreery and Andy Grammer, all free of charge!  The stage is set right in the middle of the shopping and the restaurants and is a true gathering point as the sun sets for those wanting to enjoy some live music and dance off their dinner.  The Plaza is in front of a fabulous fountain that is choreographed to lights and music every hour on the hour when the stage is dark.  That’s right, they’ve even thought of music when designing the fountain.

If you add up the free city and locally sponsored, annual, outdoor live music events on the waterfront, the City Place weekend concert series, and throw in the 50 Sunfest acts, you have over 250 live outdoor musical acts a year and 200 of them are free!  The best part of all is that they are all within walking distance, they are all outdoors and they are all year long!!!! It’s truely a perfect Line Up.

That brings us to the Entertainment district itself.  The dedication and effort that The City of West Palm Beach shows on a daily basis to a providing a good time through live music has both laid the foundation and raised the bar.  In order for the private sector to be a part of the excitement and offer alternatives and options to the growing music scene, they must support live music as much so or even more than the city itself.  A tall order but in DOwntown West Palm, they’ve done it.  It works and it works well.

There are over 25 live music venues from an outdoor patio to a rooftop overlooking the city,  from a loft over a bar to the floor of a museum next to fine art, from a 2,000 seat concert hall to a stage built on a bar back, and everything in between.  There are so many venues DOwntown that my next blog will be entirely about the venues.

The City of West Palm Beach is a committed supporter in making DOwntown West Palm Beach a true destination for live music.  Where else can you enjoy over 200 free, live, outdoor music options a year, throughout the year?  Where are over 25 venues all within walking distance on only two main downtown streets?  Where else is the live music scene affordable with thousands of free acts a year and venue after venue with no cover.  Where else do you have the variety of some of the finest, rock, blues, country, indie, progressive and reggae all in one downtown destination?  The answer is DOwntown West Palm

It’s clear that the City of West Palm Beach is one of the finest, soon to be discovered live music scenes in the country.  Everything aligns perfectly, the weather, the walking, the waterfront and weekly affordable live music.  That’s why the City of West Palm Beach has “The Best Live Music Line Up in the World”

Come see for yourself!

The City of West Palm Beach:

The Best Live Music Line Up in the World

The Weather, The Walking, The Waterfront and Weekly Live Outdoor Music!

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