Entertainment in this lovely region is abundant. From restaurants to bars to nightclubs, you can easily find plenty of places to feel right at home in the 904. This community is one that likes to gather together and stay active. They appreciate everything from soul tunes to smiling divas to jazz bands over coffee. So, if you’re looking to visit Florida’s First Coast in the next few months, you’ll want to check out our list of Best Entertainment.
Musicians on the First Coast want you to know that they welcome everyone. Their charisma is thrilling and performances are uniting. Their smiles and passion are more than just locally their own. Whether hosting open mic nights, playing one of the many local venues, or spreading their pride at festivals, First Coasts entertainers are unforgettable.
The Cellar Upstairs Bar and Restaurant at the San Sebastian Winery in St. Augustine offers patrons no shortage of entertainment. With different live music acts booked four nights a week, delicious cuisine, and a wide selection of their award-winning wines, an evening at this venue will leave you singing. Top local acts at The Cellar include Ian Kelly, The Carpetbaggers, and Tony & Friends.
And if you’re around St. Augustine in September, be sure to catch the incredible, annual Sing Out Loud Festival (@singoutloudfestival). Over a hundred local, regional, and national artists from all different genres converge in the Ancient City for a weekend of melodic magic. This festival draws acts as big as Mumford & Sons and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, but always takes special pride in it’s hometown talent.
On the weekends surrounding the big event, they offer two free music festivals, the Lincolnville Porch Fest and St. Augustine Songwriters Festival. Both of these unique events, which take place at various local establishments throughout the city, highlight dozens of the best musicians on the First Coast. Local bands like The Pauses, Ghost Tropic, and Evening Standard light up the stages and remind concertgoers why the First Coast rocks.
The beautiful thing about the drag community in this region is its’ diversity. Jacksonville, Daytona, St. Augustine, and the surrounding areas allow you to take in classic divas, Latina flair, dance queens and so much more. Their costumes and makeup are on point. Their hair is fabulous and they will delight your heart with their pizzaz.
The glorious miss Sofia Andrews (@sofiaandrews) is a local queen so impressive she was named Miss Glamorous 2023. Sofia, along with other local ladies, including Chasity Ross Boen and Daija B. Dupree, offer eager audiences a drag fix five nights a week at the Jacksonville LGBTQ bar, Incahoots Night Club. You don’t want to miss your chance to see the First Coast’s favorite Drag Queens, as well as the hottest newcomers.
The illustrious drag queens of Hamburger Mary’s Daytona Beach bring their sparkle to the Streamline Hotel every month for Rooftop Drag Brunches. Here you’ll find local drag favorites like Kyndall Moore, Aaliyah Nouveau, Erris Andrews, Queen Bee, and Britanny Moore. Simply take the elevator up to Sky Rooftop Bar and you’ll find enough entertainment to keep you on top of the world long after the show.
The First Coast’s drag thrills continue at Illusions The Show, which claims the title of #1 drag queen celebrity impersonation show in the nation. These ladies truly bring art to life with their dazzling costumes and skillful performances. They’ll also have you cracking up and feeling right at home with their witty banter and audience participation. You can catch their act in the Seabreeze Historic District of Daytona Beach and in St. Augustine.
DJ’s in Jax are no exception to the Florida rule of high quality. One of the local event groups bills this area as “we always want to turn up; but let’s turn it down the right way.” This region knows how to throw excellent parties with phenomenal DJ’s at the helm of it all. Vibe away with the ones and twos.
DJ Chase and DJ Anna J regularly curate the vibes at Incahoots in Jacksonville. Check them out on drag nights, dance nights, and special events. The resident DJ of Sky Rooftop Bar, DJ Mark Sanchez, spins alongside other local emcees like DJ X and DJ Robbie. And DJ Kirby James (@djkirbyjames) brings the beats to their monthly Rooftop Drag Brunches.
Over in Daytona Beach, DJ Skratch-with-a-K brings the house down at The Bank and Blues Lounge. His rich blends of classic and modern style fit perfectly into this 1920s bank turned music venue. You might even recognize his voice as former afternoon drive DJ at the Daytona rock radio station, 104.7.
Jacksonville and its neighboring cities are no stranger to comedy. In fact, they perfect it in all forms. Stand-up, improv, drag queen comedy shows, and more await you on the First Coast. Whether you want to see seasoned professionals or discover new acts, this Florida region’s comedy scene attracts some hilarious talent.
If improv is your thing, you won’t want to miss the shows at First Coast Comedy in Jacksonville. This top-notch troupe specializes in improvized comedy using audience suggestions. With several shows a week and a large rotating cast, you’ll truly see a brand new show with every visit. You can even give it a try yourself with First Coast’s improv workshops and classes, offering levels from beginner to advanced.
Housed in the scenic Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort, Bonkerz Comedy Club provides provides the laughs on select Fridays throughout the month. Check out seasoned locals, as well as touring favorites, like Justin Silva and Rick Stepinsky. Bonkerz will even rent out comedians for your next private event!
Another long time local favorite, is Jackie Knight’s Comedy Club. Jackie has been helping to make people laugh along the First Coast for over 20 years. She holds her popular stand-up variety shows two nights a month in the Milano Room at Amici’s Italian restaurant. You can expect this stage to see acts like Lindsay Glazer, Dorian Gayle, Ron Feingold, and Jerod Walker. With their unique combination of award-winning cuisine and deliciously hilarious comedians, Jackie’s will always leave you smiling and satisfied.
The 904 is sultry and sassy. In fact, this region has its own social media society for all things sultry. They love to unite and support a cause. From the doors of small venues and intimate experiences, the area produces iconic entertainment that is always full of surprises.
Punk Rock Burlesque (@punkrockburlesque) shows that the darkness has a sultry side. Produced by tattooed temptress Miss Parker (@missparkerpresents), these shows offer a mix of sweetness and spice that will blow you away. You’ll find them in local spots like The Walrus and the speakeasy themed Volstead.
If you’re in the mood to display your dance moves after watching the Cabaret pros, check out Duval Folx (@duvalfolx) dance party. This local event, created by DJ Geexella (@geexella) in 2018, is the area’s only dance party that centers around Black, trans, and queer people. Duval Folx is held at various venues in and around Jacksonville throughout the year. Be sure to follow their social media for details on the next party!
Lady Mekaella Demure (@ladymakaella), founder of Danger Dames Productions, possesses over 20 years burlesque experience and holds the unique title of “master of nerdlesque”. Her skillset is evident as she and her Danger Dames take the stage for their inventive, and impressive, burlesque evenings, like Glass Rhinestone: A Nips Out Mystery. The Danger Dames also bring out the charm to help local causes, holding many charity burlesque events throughout the year. Look for their events at treasured Jacksonville venues like The Walrus and Brick and Beam. Feeling Frisky? Lady Mekaella teaches regular burlesque workshops locally at Alt Fit Jax.
Other notable performers on the First Coast include Izzy A’mon (@itsizzybot), who is known for promoting inclusivity and diversity in their performances, as well helping new performers shine. Also keep an eye out for the positively pastel Fauna Fae, as well as cosplay queen and Pixelated producer Countess Alyx (@countessalyx).
See What You’ve Been Missing on the First Coast
Whoever said big names meant the best talent clearly never visited the First Coast. For some truly stunning experiences and unforgettable vibes, join up with the locals in this area. The unprecedented entertainment will remind you of the same vibe as Key West. We are all truly part of one human family.
For more exciting areas to explore in Florida’s First Coast, click here.
Written by Johnathan Soots
Hailing from North Carolina, Jonathan Soots relocated to Orlando in 2001. He began a seven year career with Universal Orlando. After completing high school, he attended college in Tennessee. He worked in the church world and then came out in 2010. Around this time, he completed a Masters in Teaching. Jonathan presently teaches for Tutor Doctor, Challenge Island and Qkids English Learning. Travel is his favorite activity, and he has worked briefly for an LGBT travel company. In addition to enjoying Atlantis gay cruises, he and his husband Stephen enjoy spending time with their silky terrier Dusty. They live in the South Pasadena area of St. Petersburg.
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Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.