Top Spots to Catch Live Music in Lakeland
By Diego De Jesus
While not everyone immediately thinks of music when they think of the Swan City, Lakelander musicians of every genre from folk to hardcore metal and indie rock to hip hop perform on stages sprinkled throughout town in venues that provide a spot for up-and-comers and veterans alike. Here are some local venues where you can go to see local artists, who are either trying to work their way into bigger gigs—and potentially record deals—or who are simply doing what they love to do, regardless of whether or not it is financially profitable.
1023 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803 | Open Wednesday through Saturday 7 p.m. until 12 a.m.
Located in Dixieland along South Florida Avenue, Union Hall boasts a stage at the head of its facility that hosts musicians from all over, which include everything from five-man bands to a freestyler with a mic in hand to a performer with an acoustic guitar. It offers a modern industrial feel with a full service bar just minutes from the heart of downtown.
An example of an up-and-comer trying to make a name for themselves who has played at Union Hall over the past several years is Matthew Lowry, a Lakeland-native who offers up high-tempo rock and roll as the frontman of Matthew Lowry & The Flamingo County Players. Today actually marks the release of his new music video for the song “All My Friends Are Selling Out.”
Some upcoming events at Union Hall include: a night of punk and screamo music with the likes of Star of Khorala, Torchmouth, Dagger and Gossip Girls on July 21, followed up the next night by the Motown, funk and soul group The Black Honkeys Band.
To mark their events on your schedule and stay updated when they book new gigs, check out their website, www.unionhallevents.com.
119 Hillcrest St, Lakeland, FL 33815 | Open Monday through Friday until 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Thursday, they’re also open from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
At the center of Hillcrest Coffee is an earthbound stage where performers string music while listeners enjoy a local brewed coffee and maybe a fresh-baked pastry. Every Friday, at noon, the legendary Lakeland band Jon Corneal and His Compadres always makes you feel like you’re at a weekly family gathering in the humble abode along Hillcrest Street in Dixieland. Throughout the week, the cafe also hosts performers looking for a space to display their craft, such as Brenna Stross and her acoustic guitar on July 27. She has performed at major events like the Florida Strawberry Festival.
You can stay up to date on their weekly performances by visiting their website, hillcrestcoffeefl.com.
1015 Florida Ave S, Lakeland, FL 33803 | Open Tuesday through Saturday 7:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.
A normal week at Pink Piano is filled with Lakelad musicians releasing their debut albums or hosting tribute performances to other influential musicians. They release their schedule every week, opening the stage every Wednesday for their Open Mic Night at 8 p.m. In the past, the Pink Piano has hosted performers who’ve played its namesake piano including Andy Shreeve, fellow pianist Dan Signor and Rick Runion and his saxophone.
Every Monday, their schedule is updated for anyone to enjoy some of Lakeland finest musicians for free or with tickets purchased at the door.
Check out the Pink Piano’s website for future updates.
Molly McHugh’s Irish Pub
111 S Kentucky Ave, Lakeland, FL 33801 | Open all week from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.
While grabbing a pint of Guinness or playing a game of pool at downtown Lakeland’s Molly McHugh’s Irish Pub, many of Lakeland’s musicians perform on Molly’s stage. Every Tuesday, Molly’s hosts its Musicians’ Showcase where Lakelanders perform from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. There are more musical performances on Fridays and Saturdays that feature local musicians like Alex Eisenberg, who’s also a blacksmith and was featured on the History Channel series “Forged in Fire” in 2018.
For more information on their future music events, Molly’s website showcases mchughspubs.com
Bonnet Springs Park
400 Bonnet Springs Boulevard, Lakeland, FL 33815 | Open all week from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Among the many events scheduled on its 168 acre pocket of family fun and adventure, Bonnet Springs Park loves to host concerts. Musicians like Sister Hazel, The Band Perry and Spin Doctors have performed there in the past and more like then will come in the future.
Bonnet Springs Park will be announcing more events for everyone’s enjoyment, so stayed tuned by favoriting their events calendar at Upcoming Events – Bonnet Springs Park