Daytona Beach knows how to get down. The city hosted MTV's Spring Break for years, has over 7 decades of Bike Week, and more than a couple prominent live music venues in the Daytona Beach Bandshell, the Ocean Center and the News Journal Center. To be clear, there's no shortage of spots to listen to live music in the 386, but sometimes it just depends on what music you're feeling. Sometimes you're feeling a little rock n' roll, or some funked up soul, or maybe you need some good ol' fashioned honkey tonk two-steppin'. No matter what, we've got you covered. All you need to do is read on.

The Pride of Bethune-Cookman University sets the standard for marching bands. Their history is rich, their performers were featured in the film Drumline, and every time they play it's an event. Let's be clear: there is no better live music venue than Municipal Stadium (Daytona Beach) when the Wildcats have a home football game. If you have the chance to attend you should. Even better, if you can get to the Florida Classic when Bethune-Cookman plays Florida A&M you'll get to see them at their best.

Boot Hill Saloon

Main Street Daytona Beach is not for the faint of heart. As the bar's slogan goes, "Order a drink and have a seat. You're better off here than across the street." Of course, when you cut across the edge of Main Street you run straight into the old Pinewood cemetery. The Boot Hill Saloon is central to the legendary Bike Week culture of Daytona Beach, and the bands that play here kick out the jams. Experience live music in Daytona Beach focused on the greats from the 60s, 70s and 80s rock n roll and southern rock, and a little bit of country music thrown into the mix as well. The drinks are cheap and the vibe is fun, if not initially a little rough. Nothing says rock n roll than bras of past patrons hanging from the ceiling, and nothing plays to the nostalgia rock n roll's past than the bar's old Polaroids that are tacked up on every wall.

 
Boot Hill Saloon

Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club

Live music every night of the week. Guaranteed. It's part of what made the Ocean Deck Restaurant & Beach Club one of the premiere nightlife spots in Daytona Beach. That and it's proximity to the ocean. I mean, it sits right on the sands of the Atlantic. The Ocean Deck offers a good mix of live music in Daytona Beach throughout the week. Sometimes its pop rock, sometimes it's full-on reggae, other night's you're getting a great mix of southern rock n soul. The stage is big, and the bands come in full tilt. Once the dinner crowd thins out, and the opening act has done their number, the tables get pushed aside and Daytona starts dancing. 

Ocean Deck

Mai Tai Bar Daytona Beach

The Mai Tai Bar Daytona Beach is home to the October music contest The Rumble. Full disclosure, I used to host the event, so I'm a big fan. The Rumble sets the stage for an up and coming band to get a recurring gig at the bar based on crowd support throughout the month-long contest. It's an amazing competition. So good that most bands that make it to the finals are asked back regularly. Like the Ocean Deck, there is live music every night, and once the Daytona happy hour crowd moves on, so do the tables for that coveted dance floor. Expect to hear a wide range from surf rock, to funk, to 80s hair metal anthems. The late night happy hour (9 pm - 1 am on Saturday's) helps to ensure that the music sounds even better than you originally thought.

Mai Tai
The Daytona Beach area's penultimate surf bar. Located right by the ocean, and serving all sorts of seafood, Riptides Raw Bar and Grill turns into quite the late night spot. If you're looking to listen to great covers of Sublime and Jack Johnson, you've found your spot. The walls are covered with incredible surf photography, and the music only amplifies the mood. The music only goes from 5 - 9 pm, so get in and enjoy it while it lasts. But if you have to stay longer, I don't think you'll mind.
Riptides
In Daytona Beach, none rock harder. It's been a proven fact. If you're looking for the modern day beach town CBGB's, this is it. It's in the Seabreeze entertainment district and has undergone a recent makeover. The bands are there to play hard and classic rock, on a big stage, with big amps. The drinks are cheap, and the crowd is always into it. If you want some rock n roll to melt your face off, this is the spot for you in Daytona. They're so OG rock n roll they don't even have a website.
Frank's Front Row
This one is for the grown folk. If you're looking for sexy R&B, funk, and hip hop, this is your spot. DJ's will take most of the sets, but if you're looking for one of the better bands in the area you need to check out the Marina View Celebrations when The Love Band is playing. Featuring musicians from Bethune-Cookman, The Love Band lays down the most comprehensive set list in the area, and aren't afraid to mix it up on Frist Friday's. You can also experience live jazz, and spoken word open mic nights. Located right on the Halifax River, this is a great place to catch a sunset and listen to live music in Daytona Beach.
Pull on your boots, grab your cowboy hat, and get ready for the best honky-tonk in the county. The Rockin Ranch has been a country music staple for generations now, and the authenticity is real. Bands play on an elevated stage. The crowd knows every song, and every step that goes with it. Whether you're into a little Johnny Cash and David Allen Coe (he's a local), or some Blake Shelton mixed with Gretchen Wilson, the Rockin' Ranch is where you need to be. It's not exactly in Daytona Beach, but it's just across the city borderline in Ormond Beach. And It'll feel like you're in Nashville.

Stay connected to all the things to do in Daytona Beach by subscribing to 386area.com. It's FREE!