With such celebrated outdoor music festivals as Coachella and Stagecoach, Greater Palm Springs is one of the best places in Southern California for live music—something many of us have been itching for ever since the postponement of these events due to the pandemic. But don’t fret music lovers and concert-goers! There’s live outdoor music going on; you just need to know where to look.
From hipster hotels to micro-breweries, here are some of the best spots for enjoying some good vibrations under the sun, moon and stars.
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club features an eclectic mix of jazz musicians every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., when the property showcases live jazz on its famous King’s Highway patio. The dinner and jazz series began in February and will continue throughout the summer. April's theme is progressive/dynamic jazz, and the lineup includes Casey Butler; young drummer Mekala Session with the Ace Hotel house band, Growth Eternal; and Sharada Shashidhar. Grab a cocktail and a small bite and sit for a while with your feet dangling in the pool, just letting the music wash over you. If you prefer a little more bass beat to your music, the hotel also has live DJs every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. out by the pool.
Each month, the Saguaro adds some music to its colorful palette on Saturday nights to enhance the party vibe that usually unfolds here organically. Whether it’s a band or a DJ, someone livens up the second-floor terrace, turning it into what they call Balcony Beats. With protocols in place, guests can watch in a socially distant manner or enjoy the music from their own balconies. For safety reasons, these performances are available exclusively for hotel guests.
The Rock Yard, located in the courtyard area of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, has been a fun spot to hear and see live music from some of the best tribute bands around (past performers have played everything from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones to Prince). While the venue normally holds about 1,500 people, capacity has been set at 500 to promote social distancing. Some of the acts coming up in April and May include Led Zepagain and Nirvan-ish as well as tribute bands for Alice In Chains, the Scorpions and Mötley Crüe.
CASUELAS CAFÉ in Palm Desert
Casuelas Café in Palm Desert features live music on its outdoor patio seven days a week, and the tunes add an ambiance that makes the food taste even better. Their rotating musical arsenal includes Desert Suite Band, Voices Carrie, Lisa Lynn and the Broken Hallelujahs, Avenida, The Guadalajara Kings and Las Tias. Plus, they have a huge outdoor patio with plenty of room for social distancing. Come for dinner, stay for dancing!
An outdoor series of fields attached to Spotlight 29 Casino that have mostly been used for soccer tournaments, corporate events and weddings, Coachella Crossroads is dipping its toes into the Greater Palm Springs live music scene—actually, jumping in feet first might be a more accurate description. The property debuts their music venue setup with none other than country music titan Toby Keith, who will christen the new performance spot with opening act Jimmie Allen on May 15 as part of his “Country Comes to Town” tour. Keith has rocked an outdoor stage in the desert before, having headlined at Stagecoach in 2010 and 2013. Tickets are on sale now ranging from $90 to $240. If Keith’s performance is a hit, expect more musical bookings at this site in the future.
No festival FOMO here! Every Friday during April, Coachella Valley Brewing Company has live entertainment on its beer patio from 6 to 8 p.m. A favorite on-tap option is the CDMX Mexican Lager, so grab the biggest allowable glass and get comfortable outside in the beer garden. Indulge under the sun-kissed sky while listening to some tunes.
Beyond Greater Palm Springs
Is there a more unique setting for live music than this high desert gem? Unfortunately, this past year Pappy and Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace hasn’t had its traditional loaded slate of eclectic musicians rocking the starry night—but there is a return on the horizon in the form of SUPERWOLVES w/ Bonnie "Prince" Billy & Matt Sweeney. It’s an outdoor, seated, socially distanced show. Masks and temperature checks will be required for entry. Tickets are $133 with part of the proceeds going to support independent performance venues. Purchase tickets on their website here.
Enjoy the tunes and stay for more! Check out these sweet getaway offers and book your next trip to Greater Palm Springs.