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Music Scene in Gainesville

By: Jane W / 19 Oct 2023
Music scene in Gainesville, Florida

With more than half a dozen Gainesville musicians in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it should be no surprise that Gainesville has been a seemingly never-ending source of talent. The southern town also attracts top acts. From rock and punk to rap and jazz, this North Florida college town is the place to go for great music.


For a taste of the past, check out the artists who have earned the spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame including Ron Blair, Mike Campbell, Don Felder, Bernie Leadon, Stan Lynch, Tom Petty, Stephen Stills and Benmont Tench. To listen to a collection of music from Gainesville bands, visit our Spotify list (it has more than 161 songs by artists born and raised in Gainesville or who spent a lot of time here).


We also created a Taste of GNV Music Spotify Playlist with just ten songs featuring artists from Gainesville including the deep cosmic soul sounds of Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics, Grammy-nominated saxophonist Marcus Strickland, punk/rock sounds of The Draft, gospel sounds by Beverly Crawford, and more - the diversity will surprise and delight you. This is just a TASTE - there is a lot more the Gainesville music scene. Keep on reading and listening! 


Live performances can be found in Gainesville all year long. Our Instagram Guide to Live Music in Gainesville has more than 16 venues listed - be sure to check it out. Heartwood Soundstage, High Diveand Knockin' Boots Saloon host musical acts and performances. The Atlantic is a nightclub and music venue (and offers karaoke on select nights). Be sure to follow them on social media to get the most updated information on who is performing when. Cypress & Grove Brewing Company hosts live musicians every Friday from 7pm-9pm. Check out their website and Facebook page for details on performers. 


From May through October, the bandshell at the Bo Didley Center offers FREE FRIDAYS. The performances are from 8pm until 10pm and feature a musical guest from a mix of genres including folk, jazz, reggae, rock and more. For a full schedule and details, visit the Downtown Cultural Series website. 


Every October, Gainesville revels in its Punk Music history and influence with THE FEST, an independent multi-day, multi-venue underground music festival. Be sure to visit their website for details and dates. To get a taste of punk bands who are from or have performed in Gainesville - take a listen to our Spotify playlist. 



The Tom Petty Birthday Bash, celebrated the weekend of his birthday (Oct 23), is a music festival celebrating the life and legacy of Gainesville's hometown hero through music, art and community engagement. The event attracts more than 10,000 fans so be sure to buy your tickets and book your hotel early. Of course, Tom Petty is on all our playlists and we also created a playlist just for his music. 



For classical music as well as live performances including dance and theater the Curtis Phillips Center for the Performing Arts presents some of the most established and emerging national and international artists on the main stage. Visit their website for their schedule. 

Gainesville's music scene is thriving. Be sure to explore this town's rich culture and diverse music. It is certain to surprise and entertain. 



More into chill music? Of course, we made a playlist for that too!


Talent keeps pouring out of Gainesville. For new and up-and-coming talent - take a listen to MusicGNV's Sounds of UF playlist


We will be adding more to our Spotify Playlists. So be sure to send suggestions and visit our Spotify page


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