By Cory Davis
We are so fortunate here in South Walton to have such a diverse music scene, driven locally by bands like Dread Clampitt, The Owsley Brothers, Heritage and The Forrest Williams Band. Add in big-city bands that frequent here from New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville, and you get a mix of music you really can’t find anywhere (except of course every day on 30A Radio).
Here are five reasons the 30A music scene rocks:
1. Our venues are awesome. You can see bands up close and intimate or with a big crowd. Live music spots include small funky places like the Red Bar and La Playa, open-air waterfront stages like at The Bay and big, outdoor amphitheaters like the one in Seaside. And if you haven’t checked out one of the newest venues, The Hub 30A, it boasts a 25-foot LED Jumbotron and can host up to 700 people.
2. Free Music. Almost every venue offers free music with no cover charges and it’s all year round. Seaside, Alys Beach, Gulf Place and Sandestin all have weekly free concert series throughout the year and feature local or out-of-town bands. The concerts are always family friendly and located in some of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the area.
3. 30A Songwriter Festival. How lucky are we to have this festival each year in South Walton? Really lucky. Every January, you can catch hundreds of songwriters in venues from Rosemary to Grand Boulevard. Drew Holcomb, Bob Schneider, Grace Potter, wow. Some of the most fun venues are right in Seaside like Central Square Records, The Rep and Bud and Alley’s. Note: Tickets always sell out fast. Grab yours today!
4. Celebrity Sightings. Have you ever bumped into Luke Bryan, Sam Bush, Sara Evans or Zac Brown? Well you may if you hang out on 30A. Many songwriters love this area for vacation — and inspiration. Sometimes they even sit in with a local band or two.
5. Collaborations. How cool is it to see two local bands merge for fun? It’s a special treat to see Dread Clampitt and Forrest Williams come together as Dreaded Forrest or Cadillac Willy merge with other local rock stars for The Cadillac Specials with an evening of music by the Grateful Dead.
30A Radio gets the opportunity to record a lot of the music listed above. Check out our live music playlist on soundcloud at soundcloud.com/30aradio. We also insert songs from these shows into our daily streaming playlists on 30A Radio.
You can listen to 30A Radio inside the free 30A.com App for iPhone, iPad and Android, on Apple TV, or simply on any browser at 30Aradio.com.
Cory Davis is the general manager of 30A Radio, a free online radio station that streams live from the beach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
This article originally appeared in the November-December 2016 issue of The Seaside Times.