Blues at the Beach Jacksonville Beach, USA

For Blues Lovers Everywhere

Jacksonville Beach's Blues Scene Is Springing To Its Full Potential

Blue. Think of everything this four letter word represents. It is a color, a feeling, a genre and a symbol in one. Now, equate it with the beach. The two go together seamlessly without any rhyme or reason. Blue is in the salty sea water, and in the cloudless sky. It’s floating through the air, too.

Jacksonville Beach's annual Springing the Blues Festival

Jacksonville Beach, along the East Coast of Northern Florida, is becoming one of the most well-known blues scenes in the area. From the Seawalk Pavilion hosting hundreds of local concerts and festivals to the hole-in-the-wall bars on the nearby strip, this shore along the Atlantic Ocean draws in hundreds of music lovers year-round.

Blues music is about heartache, love and the highs and lows of life. The beach is the perfect environment for blues music to flourish from its high tides and low tides to the diverse crowd it draws in. The eclectic blues scene at Jacksonville Beach is interesting because of the varied demographic that you will find at these events – from rambunctious toddlers to salty, shirtless hippies.

Food trucks sell local treats behind the Ferris wheel at Jacksonville Beach

The blues scene at this beach is notable not only because you are able to listen to good music with beautiful oceanfront scenery, but also because the crowd that this scene draws in is interesting in itself. The demographic ranges from middle-aged adults and seniors attending local concerts and festivals to the young early-twenties and thirties crowd at the beach's bars, restaurants and hookah lounges. For short-time travelers or long-time locals, Jacksonville Beach has a place for every blues lover no matter the shape, size, style, color or age.

Jacksonville Beach's Seawalk Pavilion seen from the shore

Attending blues concerts like the events at the Seawalk Pavilion require you to bring your blankets, booze and sunscreen and be prepared to bask in the sun while the thick notes of the bass and the saxophone reach you right when you need it. If you're in the mood for a crowded dance floor and fancy cocktails, then the scene along the strip a few blocks away will be your safe haven. Each weekend there are plenty of live music events booked at any of the bars that are within walking (or stumbling) distance away from each other. If avoiding sunburns and having some liquor with your blues is more your taste, then stop by The Pier Cantina & Sandbar, The Ritz or The Lemon Bar.

Whether you choose to spend your blues-loving time at the Seawalk Pavilion surrounded by a ring of palms, at the strip of bars that are strung together like a strand of pearls from the oyster's unrelenting clasp or some other beautifully bluesy destination that is yet to be discovered, Jacksonville Beach's blues scene gives you the opportunity to create lasting memories with family, friends and loved ones, and have the warm feeling of home as the sun wraps its rays around your skin and its sand sneaks between your toes. These events showcase the unique community that calls Jacksonville Beach home. It is a sight to see for locals and tourists alike.

The eclectic crowd that can be seen at the Seawalk Pavilion

More Than Just the Music

Blues lovers, and any genre of music lovers, understand that music is about more than the music itself. What makes the music a living phenomenon is the total experience of the music event. The total experience is what creates memories and is what causes those memories to come flooding back anytime you hear a certain song or sing those certain lyrics. The total experience is what makes you feel the music. Jacksonville Beach's blues scene is in tune with the total experience. It is not uncommon to find arts and crafts tents set up around the Seawalk Pavilion during music festivals and other events that are selling handmade silver jewelry and colorful embroidered tapestries with friendly people from across the country willing to chat with you. In addition to the arts and crafts tents, you can purchase festival apparel and souvenir cups at various tents spread around the grass to take a little bit of the blues home with you.

The experience would not be a total experience without gulping down some refreshing, flavorful Kona Ice that is well-known among locals of Jacksonville Beach or trying some food truck and fair favorites like fried bubblegum or a fried seafood platter.

Part of the inviting nature ofJacksonville Beach's bars and restaurants comes from the fact that most people that spend their time here are peaceful, easy-going beach lovers that are always ready to have a good time. It is easy to start a conversation with the stranger sitting next to you at Surfer The Bar while the blues music in the background coaxes you like a gentle pat on the back. This is a place for even the introverted blues lover.

All of these things are part of the blues scene at Jacksonville Beach. The memories are made and the people return each year to make more and this is not something you want to miss out on. Grab your bikinis and board shorts and venture out to Jacksonville Beach for some good views, good brews and good blues.

One of the two stages at the three-day Springing the Blues festival
Created By
Angela DiMichele


All photos taken and edited by the author

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