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Nightlife near Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island, Brandenton and Sarasota are home to a bounty of talented performers, ensuring there’s no shortage of opportunities to watch live music and comedic shows. From soulful concerts at the Bradenton Blues Festival to laugh-out-loud sets at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre in Sarasota, the schedule is packed with exciting happenings at large and small venues across the area.

Sarasota Opera House

Incredible acoustics, a beautifully restored Art Deco building and a sweet lineup of shows make Sarasota Opera House one of the Florida Gulf Coast’s greatest cultural gems. While productions led by renowned artistic director Maestro Victor DeRenzi attract opera fans from near and far, many other genres of performances grace the stage throughout the year, including ballets, symphonies, comedy shows and more.

McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre

For a night of serious belly laughs, venture to McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre and Humor Institute in Sarasota (temporarily closed), which has been charming audiences since 1988. The 4,200-square-foot venue has a cabaret-style layout, guaranteeing that there’s no bad seat in the house. Grab a pre- or post-drink and bite at the Green Room East End or order an appetizer, sandwich, burger or dessert to enjoy during the show.

The Blue Rooster

Comforting Southern fare, renowned live jazz, American and gospel shows, and warm hospitality are the draw at the award-winning Blue Rooster in Sarasota. Grab a seat in the cozy roadhouse, which sports a music-centric layout and room for dancing Wednesday through Saturday. Or opt for the locals’ favorite gospel brunch (reservations recommended). But whatever you do, don’t miss ordering the famous fried chicken.

The Habitat House

This intimate spot, situated on a quarter-acre of wilderness just 10 minutes from the Compass hotel, invites musicians from a variety of genres to entertain about once a month. The free concerts take place outside, and attendees are welcome to bring their own food and drink. A $20 donation is recommended, and all proceeds benefit the musicians.

Music Festivals in Anna Maria Island & Bradenton

Every second Saturday in November, the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra presents Symphony in the Sand at Coquina Beach. The event, which attracts over 4,000 attendees every year, features three hours of entertainment from the isle’s beloved 45-piece orchestra and vocalists.

The three-day Bradenton Blues Festival in December showcases the vocal stylings of local and national soul, blues and folk artists. Groove to performances by Duffy Bishop Band, Angela Easley, Zach Harmon, Biscuit Miller and the Mix and other gifted musicians at sprawling Lecom Park in downtown Brandenton.

Restaurants, Bars & Breweries in Brandenton

Brandenton brims with restaurants and watering holes that host great casual live shows. Sip a delicious IPA, lager or porter at Motorworks Brewing’s expansive beer garden—lauded as the largest in Florida—which showcases eclectic bands and artists weekly. Check the events schedule for Caddy’s Bradenton to find out what’s playing on the tropical-themed bar and restaurant’s waterfront stage. Or head to Mattison’s Riverwalk Grille for nightly live music and a menu for tasty American and globally inspired dishes.

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