When you think of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, music may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, when I moved here, the music and entertainment scene not only surprised me, it inspired me to want to see, hear and learn more. From its beginnings within the Gullah Geechee culture, to the creation of the Shag dance; from music legends like Billie Holiday and James Brown playing area nightclubs, to super-band Alabama’s humble beginnings at The Bowery, music has a rich and diverse history in the Myrtle Beach area.
Here are my top five recommendations for your next musical Myrtle Beach vacation:
Alabama may no longer be its house band, but the rotating list of artists who grace The Bowery‘s famous stage is worth checking out. A great food and drink selection, not to mention a close proximity to the beach, makes the choice all the better.
Carolina Country Music Fest
It only comes once a year, but oh is it worth the wait! Myrtle Beach will again host the Carolina Country Music Fest (CCMF) from June 8-11, 2017. Known as the premier outdoor music event of the South, CCMF features more than 30 of country music’s biggest names playing against a beautiful backdrop of sun, sand and ocean. The 2017 lineup includes Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker! For early bird tickets visit www.ccmf.com.
The Main Stage
Myrtle Beach is home to several spectacular entertainment and theatre companies, making it tough to choose just one. I’ve never been disappointed by the talent at Carolina Opry or Alabama Theatre, including their festive Christmas shows. The Motown Show at GTS Theater always ranks high on TripAdvisor as a must-see. There’s also something fun about seeing your favorite musician imitated at Legends in Concert, and I’ve heard particularly great things about the forthcoming Elvis Lives Tour, a multi-media, live musical journey across Elvis’ life that will stop in Myrtle Beach from January 6-8.
Beach music overtakes the quiet, sunny streets of North Myrtle Beach as locals and visitors alike move quick feet to the Shag, South Carolina’s state dance. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, try the free weekly lessons at Fat Harolds or look into the annual National Shag Dance Championships in Myrtle Beach each March. If you think you already have the swag for the Shag, enter yourself in the just-for-fun Shag competition at the annual Sun Fun Festival in June.
Everywhere You Look
Perhaps the best thing about the music scene in Myrtle Beach is that you can find it anytime anywhere. You can catch live music and entertainment at area restaurants, bars and piers almost every night of the week, every month of the year. I particularly love the scene at the MarshWalk, where music and incredible culinary delights meet; at Garden City Pier, where you can take in the ocean as you tap your toes or belt out karaoke every night during the summer; at La Belle Amie Vineyard, where you can sip wine as you enjoy the soothing sounds of blues, jazz, oldies and other genres during special events; and during Hot Summer Nights, with live shows three nights of each week during the summer, plus a weekly kids talent showcase.
For more information on the Myrtle Beach music scene or to book a vacation, go to www.visitmyrtlebeach.com.