15 Nov 2018
As the cooler months come to Hilton Head Island, the raucous sounds of tourist season fades away to a quiet symphony of things to do, places to see, and one vibrant music scene to enjoy.
If you’re a fan of live music, fall is one of the best times to visit Hilton Head Island. The large local population of players generally spends their summer months on the porches of bars and restaurants and in the lounges of hotels and resorts running through the Jimmy Buffet catalogue a few dozen times for appreciative tourists. But come fall, they perform their fan base of locals, letting loose with a mix of covers and originals that make the island a great place to enjoy some tunes.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the local music scene, here are some great venues:
The Rooftop Bar at Poseidon
While the scenery alone is worth the price of admission, the rooftop bar is ground zero for the local live music scene, with a rotating lineup of local acts, touring groups, DJs and special event nights. Look for weekly events like Coastal Country Night on Wednesdays with line dancing lessons and Dueling Pianos with Sterlin Colvin and David Ross every Thursday.
That’s on top of live local acts coming up this month including always-popular party band Deas Guyz (Nov 16) and the world’s greatest hair metal tribute band Silicone Sister (Nov. 24).
Click here for their schedule.
Tucked away to the side of the infamous “Bar-Muda Triangle,” The Boardroom was built with one mission in mind: to provide a stage for live music acts to flourish. While most bars on the island offer a stage, The Boardroom is more like a stage that someone added a bar to. That’s not a knock on the bar at all, it’s just that here music is king.
Coming up over the month of November, The Boardroom will host acts like Honeywheat, Skyler Lutes and Wilder Sons along with unique “remixes” of local acts including La Bodega Lit and Bobby Hollow (wherein Bobby Magyarosi fills in for Cranford Hollow frontman John Cranford).
Click here for their schedule.
We know what you’re thinking – a movie theatre is one of the island’s top venues? The fact is, it is now.
Since the aforementioned John Cranford took over as manager, he’s made a (no pun intended) concerted effort to branch out the theatre’s offerings. Along with the usual screenings of hard-to-find art house films, he’s added classic movie nights, community roundtables, and smaller-scale acoustic concerts from local acts. Live music isn’t scheduled regularly, but if you’re here at the right time it’s definitely worth hearing local bands in one of the island’s most unique venues.
Follow them on Facebook for updates when shows are planned.
Big Bamboo Café
When the tourists are away, the locals will play at this south end retreat built around a Polynesian World War II motif (it’s hard to explain. You should just check it out for yourself).
Reggae nights are always a popular draw at Big Bamboo, but you can also catch acts like Cornbred, The Nice Guys and The Beagles along with the weekly open mic night spotlighting new homegrown talent.
Check out their full schedule here
The Tiki Hut
Summer may be over, but you’d never know it at The Tiki Hut, where new live music acts come in as regularly as the tide creeps up nearby Coligny Beach.
Local acts including Something from Nothing, JoJo Squirrel and The Home Pickles, Shakey Bones and Cornbred are regular fixtures on The Tiki Hut stage, rocking out just as much in the fall as they did all summer.
Check the schedule here.
Where to Stay
If you want to stay close to the action while you dive into the local music scene, you have to check out the great vacation rentals available from The Vacation Company.
Mid-island, convenient to not only the Rooftop Bar at Poseidon but also Dunes House with its live music offerings you’ll find some stunning villas in Palmetto Dunes. Two- and three-bedroom villas in places like Villamare, Captain’s Walk and Abbington give you the full luxury experience in exquisitely upgraded properties just steps away from the beach and a short ride to live music Valhalla.
If you want to stay a little closer to south end hotspots like The Tiki Hut, Coligny Theatre and The Big Bamboo, Vacation Company offers a wealth of vacation villas up and down North and South Forest Beach. Make your selection from a fantastic variety of villas at places like North Shore and Ocean Club, where the island’s live music culture is just steps away.
BY: BARRY KAUFMAN