Clearwater Jazz Holiday, for the first time since its 1980 origin, will be on a spanking new stage called The Sound in the newly revamped Coachman Park.
The park, which opened this summer after an $84 million overhaul geared toward attracting more people downtown, has seen the likes of Kenny Loggins and Ringo Starr, but this is its first multiday festival. It takes place this weekend, running Thursday (Oct. 19) through Sunday (Oct. 22).
The Sound, with 4,000 seats under cover and another 5,000 available for lawn sitting, will have The Beach Boys and the Good Vibrations Orchestra on the main stage Thursday, while Gladys Knight stars on Friday night. Buddy Guy canceled Saturday, but Los Lobos and the Gypsy Kings will fill the air on Saturday night, followed by the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band closing out the weekend on Sunday evening.
There’s free entertainment, too. A daytime downtown celebration brings free jazz concerts on Saturday and Sunday prior to the evening shows at The Sound. The free shows, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will be held in three different performance areas of Coachman Park and feature 18 jazz artists from throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Here’s what to know before you go.
The music lineup
Thursday: Gates open at 4 p.m.
- Sign-lighting ceremony and jazz holiday foundation’s Young Lions jazz group, 4:15-5 p.m.
- Dustbowl Revival, 5:30-7 p.m.
- The Beach Boys with Good Vibrations Orchestra, 7:30-10 p.m.
Friday: Gates open at 4 p.m.
- Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 5:30-7 p.m.
- Gladys Knight, 7:30-9 p.m.
- Average White Band, 9:30-11 p.m.
Saturday: Gates open at 4 p.m.
- NEW Roosevelt Collier & Friends where added to the early slot of 5:45-7 p.m.
- Los Lobos, 7:30-9 p.m.
- Gypsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes, 9:30-11 p.m.
- CANCELED Buddy Guy Damn Right Farewell
Sunday: Gates open at 4 p.m.
- Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, 5:15-6:15 p.m.
- Trampled by Turtles, 6:45-8 p.m.
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, 8:30-10 p.m.
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Parking near Coachman Park
The revamped park opened in June to much acclaim and a free concert by Cheap Trick. But since then, social media has been ablaze with complaints of how confusing it can be to find parking in a downtown that has a patchwork of public and private lots. You can see big signs offering $20 or $30 spots in a private lot while overlooking the tiny sign that indicates a public parking garage that is only $2 an hour and free after 6 p.m. — and free all day on weekends.
Go to coachmanpark.com, where you will find links to the park’s events and also how to get there and where to park. If you click on the parking icons on the online map, a description pops up to describe how many spaces are available, hours of operations, cost and address.
Some of the bigger parking garages can be found at the county courthouse at 310 Court St., the Garden Avenue Garage, 28 N Garden Ave., and the Municipal Services Garage at 640 Pierce St. The city strongly encourages carpooling, rideshare, the Clearwater Ferry and public transportation.
The Sound bag policy
People who had no problem getting their 16-by-8-inch bags into Tropicana Field had to hike many blocks back to their car and miss Ringo Starr’s first two songs because their bags were rejected at The Sound.
The only permitted bags in The Sound are clear bags no bigger than 12 by 6 inches or small clutch bags that are 4.5 by 6.5 inches (roughly the size of an index card). Diaper bags for families with small children and bags with required medical items are permitted.
- Chairs are not permitted. You can bring small blankets and beach towels, but they may not exceed 30 by 60 inches.
- Outside food or beverages
- Tripods, monopods, selfie sticks
- Hula-hoops, Frisbees, beach balls or balloons
- Strollers are not permitted on-site, and strollers cannot be stored on the premises.
Good to know
Cashless: The venue is cashless. All points of sale will only accept payment via major credit cards. Reverse ATMs/Cash-to-card machines are located nearby and allow you to deposit cash and dispense a charge card to be utilized on-site and can also be accepted anywhere that takes Visa or MasterCard.
Entrances: The Sound has four entrances: South Gates are located inside Coachman Park and North Gates are located on Drew Street.
No reentry: The park’s splash pad may look awfully inviting if the day heats up, but forget about it once you have entered The Sound. There is no reentry once a ticketed guest has gone through the gates.
Food vendors: There will be food at the concession stands and food trucks inside the concert venue. Additional food vendors will be set up throughout the park for the free festivities happening earlier in the day in Coachman Park.
Smoke-free: Smoking and vaping are not allowed in any areas of The Sound or Coachman Park on Saturday and Sunday.
If you go
Clearwater Jazz Holiday: Four days of jazz music featuring The Beach Boys (Oct. 19), Gladys Knight (Oct. 20), Buddy Guy (Oct. 21) and Kenny Wayne Shepherd (Oct. 22). $30.75-$51.75. 4-10 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 19), 4-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday (Oct. 20-21), 4-10 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 22). The Sound at Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400. clearwaterjazz.com.
NOTE: This story has been updated to correct that Buddy Guy’s show on Saturday has been canceled at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday.