Friday Fest Returns in 2024 with New Dates!

Sarasota, FL (March 11) – Friday Fest, the free, outdoor summertime concert series at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall returns with an exciting lineup of bands who will bring the audience to their feet! This year the festivities kick off in May. Each event runs from 5-9 p.m. on the lawn of the Van Wezel overlooking beautiful Sarasota Bay.

Opening the Friday Fest series on May 24 is Hot Tonic Orchestra. The high energy musical act mixes swing, Latin jazz, and popular music to create a unique live show like no other. For real authentic swing and jazz, Hot Tonic Orchestra delivers that big beat, for Latin American songs and Cuban dance rhythms, they light the fire, and when it’s time to really dance, the band delivers their own unique take on popular songs. Led by bandleader Victoria Woods, her sultry vocals and driving acoustic bass bring alive the masterful arrangements of musical director and virtuoso guitarist Josh Hindmarsh.

The fun continues on June 21 returning favorite, Kettle of Fish. Kettle of Fish plays festival music that features blues, soul, and funk with the energy of rock ‘n roll. They make old songs new again, and their originals sound like classics. Kettle of Fish is one of the hottest live acts in southwest Florida, headlining to thousands, and opening for such acts as Eddie Money, Marshall Tucker, Elvin Bishop, Dickey Betts, and many more.

Friday Fest will take a hiatus in the hot summer months of July and August, and will return on September 20 with Kluv & the United Funk Foundation. Kluv & the United Funk Foundation came together in 2020 during the pandemic. Kim, the lead singer and bandleader, chose the most talented musicians in Florida to complete the team. They have become the most sought-after dance, soul and R&B band in Florida. Kim has toured & traveled around the world with many artists such as Wilson Pickett, BB King, AL Green, and many more. Kluv & The United Funk Foundation play private events throughout the state, as well as at clubs and restaurants.

Closing out the concert series on October 4 will be Big Night Out. Big Night Out is a variety dance band that performs Latin, R&B and island dance music. A powerful horn section and grooving conga add to the commanding vocals of Joni Adno. Big Night Out, over the past 17 years, has become one of southwest Florida’s most in demand dance bands. The band’s lineup includes the area’s top musicians. Big Night Out has performed at large and small venues, weddings, conventions, house parties, gala’ and conventions, neighborhood block parties, large concerts and anywhere there’s a need lively variety party music – the perfect band to close out the 2024 Friday Fest season.

Bring blankets or lawn chairs, take in the music and the sunset, and enjoy food and beverage from local vendors. Bringing in food, beverages and coolers from outside Friday Fest is prohibited. For additional information, visit

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