In previous years, both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens held their weekend “Bands, Brew & BBQ” concert series during February and March. When SeaWorld and Busch Gardens were part of the InBev/Anheuser-Busch organisation, it was known as “Bud & BBQ”.
The entertainment is all washed down with over 30 ice-cold imported, domestic and craft beers and southern style smokin’ barbecue ribs and chicken from some of the top local smokehouses. New for 2016 is Corn Chip Chili Pie.
Note that you must be aged 21 or over to purchase alcohol.
Admission is included in the standard single day ticket or annual pass though seating is limited on a first-come first-served basis.
For 2016, the concerts are only taking place at SeaWorld and the event is billed as “Bands, Brew & BBQ, Honouring America’s Heroes” in partnership with USO Central Florida. There are special discounts and offers for current and retired military personnel.
There is a special USO Family Garden that is the perfect place to play for families with young guests. Kids of ages can enjoy family-friendly entertainment such as learning to line dance, meet animals at the various animal encounters, Explore Zones plus a kid-friendly interactive host.
The provisional line up is as follows.
Saturdays and Sundays at SeaWorld:
- February 13, 2016 - Smash Mouth
- February 14, 2016 - Gladys Knight
- February 20, 2016 - Scotty McCreery
- February 21, 2016 - Dennis DeYoung: The Music of STYX
- February 27, 2016 - Alabama
- February 28, 2016 - Foreigner
- March 5, 2016 - Steve Miller Band
- March 6, 2016 - Daughtry
Bands Brew & BBQ Special Tickets
SeaWorld is selling special tickets in connection with Bands Brew & BBQ.
There are several ticket options:
- a Bands, Brew & BBQ Tasting Sampler - choose up to 5 food items from the sampler selections at any of the Bands Brew and BBQ food locations. Prices from $20.00
- a Bands, Brew & BBQ Craft Brew Sampler - enjoy up to 10 craft beer samples. Must be 21 years or older. Prices from $30.00
- a Bands, Brew & BBQ Tasting and Craft Brew Sampler - combination of 5 food and 5 alcohol samplers. Must be 21 years or older. Prices from $35.00
- a Bands Brew & BBQ Floor Seating Package - priority reserved seating at the concert in the reserved floor seating area. Prices from $10.00
- a Bands, Brew & BBQ Floor Seat Package with Quick Queue Unlimited - priority reserved seating at the concert in the reserved floor seating area plus Quick Queue unlimited valid for front of line access at all major rides including: Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, Journey to Atlantis, Kraken, Turtle Trek, Manta, and Wild Arctic. Prices from $24.00
- a Bands, Brew & BBQ VIP Front Row Seating Package with Quick Queue Unlimited and Food Sampler - combination package includes priority reserved seating, Quick Queue Unlimited and the food sampler. Prices from $40.00
All these tickets are in addition to the regular park admission ticket. Annual Pass members can get discounts on these special tickets.
For 2014, some of the hottest country and classic rock bands were booked to perform at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens over six and five consecutive weekends respectively. However, following the airing of the controversial documentary film “Blackfish” that is critical of the capture and treatment of killer whales, there was immense social media pressure including online petitions for musical performers to boycott both SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.
Eight acts, the Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Heart, Cheap Trick, Trisha Yearwood, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride and .38 Special all announced that they would no longer perform at SeaWorld plus The Beach Boys, Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo cancelled at Busch Gardens. In addition Joan Jett requested that SeaWorld stop playing her music.
Only two of the original SeaWorld line-up remained on the bill; Scotty McCreery and Justin Moore but SeaWorld said the concerts would still go ahead with new acts. However to stop activists pressuring acts into cancelling, SeaWorld did not announce the acts until a few days before each concert. On the opening night, Alan Jackson took centre stage with Kid Rock the following day.
Again in 2015, SeaWorld did not announce the acts until shortly before the performances.