6 Small Entertainment Venues to Check Out in Florida

Sometimes the smallest businesses have the best performances
By
Samantha Kern
Stage
Photo Credits
photo courtesy of kpr2 / Pixabay,com

1. The Abbey – Orlando

The Abbey is an intimate music venue located in the Orlando area. There’s a variety of live music entertainment here that include musicians, theatre, and tributes to major artists. While most of the performances here are from obscure and less-known musicians, there’s some bigger bands that have been seen here as well, like Sum 41 and Knuckle Puck. There are also karaoke events hosted that are fun to be a part of or just watch. The best way to see if there’s an event here you want to see is to look into their website or their Facebook page. They update their calendars frequently so you know what’s going to be happening. 

Abbey
Photo courtesy of The Abbey / Facebook

 

2. Will’s Pub – Orlando

Located in Orlando, Will’s Pub hosts a lot of live music events. Some of these events must be paid for but there are some performances that are ]free to attend. It is a pub, so most of the shows are for those over the age of 21 because there is a variety of alcoholic beverages that are available for purchase, like beer and whiskey, but there are a select number of shows that will allow those 18 and over into the business. The performers aren’t normally well-known, but they’re really good and often make the crowd participate in their performances, which makes a night out much more fun. This is a great place for a group of friends to check out if they are unsure of what they want to do. With live music, food and drinks, and a great atmosphere, no one has been disappointed with a trip to Will’s Pub.

Will's Pub stage
Photo courtesy of Will's Pub / Facebook

 

3. Jannus Live – St. Petersburg 

Opened in 1984, Jannus Live was originally known as Jannus Landing. It’s an outdoor music venue located in St. Petersburg and is known for hosting the most concerts in the Bay area. When they first opened, they only allowed local artists to perform here, but in December of 1987, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were the first mainstream band to play here, and since then bigger bands have been performing for people here, although Jannus Live still hosts more local musicians than bigger known artists. Because of its open area, it doesn’t feel quite as crowded, even though there’s seating for 2,000 concert goers. The venue was renovated in early 2009, which is when they also changed the name of the venue. They added some suites, a lounge and koi pond but it otherwise remains unchanged and the perfect small concert venue to see live music. To see who’s playing, definitely check out the lineup on their main website for some great performances.

Jannus Live stage
Photo courtesy of Jannus Live / Facebook

 

4. Florida State Fairgrounds – Tampa 

The fairgrounds may not seem like the best place to host live music performances but they do. Located near Tampa, the fairgrounds host a variety of events throughout the year so it’s not just the fair. Live music performances by bands like Rascal Flatts, Goo Goo Dolls, and others; a dog show; RV show; Repticon; the Florida gun show; Jurassic Quest; SharkCon; and so many other events. The best way to see what’s happening at the Florida State Fairgrounds is to just check out their events page on the website. There are so many fun things to check out here so it’s definitely worth a look into if you’re looking for something to do. 

Florida State Fairgrounds
Photo courtesy of Florida State Fairgrounds / Facebook

 

5. Gramps – Miami 

Launched in 2001, Gramps is a place that hosts a lot of live performances. From music, to stand-up comedy, to DJs, to cultural events, there is a form of entertainment here for everyone. The live music that comes in is quite often in the rock or punk genre which is fitting since there’s graffiti on the inside walls of the building. Basically a pub, they serve lunch, dinner, and drinks and with the variety of live entertainment here, it’s a great place to check out with a group of friends. The building is hard to miss too, since it’s a bright orange in color. It tends to get a little crowded here with locals though, so be aware if you want to come during weekend hours it will be busy. 

Gramps
Photo courtesy of Gramps / Facebook

 

6. The Junction at Monroe – Tallahassee 

Local and touring musicians, theatre, comedy, burlesque, and other performing arts is quite a variety of performances that can all be seen at The Junction at Monroe. The business was opened in 2014 by Russ Pangratz, who is a local musician himself who had the hopes of bringing the community together through music and artists. He’s definitely succeeded as most of the performers here are beginners in their field or local artists just wanting to play some music for people. A full restaurant has been added since its opening, as well as a full liquor bar and a great selection of craft beers and wines to enjoy while the performances take place. 

Junction at Monroe stage
Photo courtesy of The Junction at Monroe / Facebook