The St. John music scene is robust! In fact, for a quieter, far less populated island than the rest of the USVI, it certainly has a larger number of music venues than you’d probably expect. None of these venues will bring in any bigger guests from outside the USVI, but part of the fun of exploring someplace new is hearing local music.
Music plays a big role in the USVI, especially in St. John. Local musicians can play all their favorite tunes here, from covers of popular artists to original folk music. Other popular music styles include calypso, reggae, and soca. It’s common to find multiple St. John music venues hopping on the same night. In fact, the hardest part might be deciding who you want to see perform at any given time.
One thing that all of St. John’s USVI music venues have in common is that they serve alcohol. It’s also quite common for specific local musicians to play at the same venue every week. Check out the very best of St. John’s music scene below!
Music is a major focal point at The Beach Bar. It’s actually known as a ‘music lover’s paradise,’ and you can see someone playing live almost every evening of the week. Local musicians’ rule at The Beach Bar, although they claim to have had some ‘pretty famous artists’ who have played here as well.
In February 2024 alone, they have an extensive list of artists scheduled to perform such as:
The majority of the musicians listed above play at The Beach Bar several times per year, so it really doesn’t matter when you decide to visit St. John. They also have an easy to find spot on their website where you can ask to play for The Beach Bar!
As you listen to the live music, you can enjoy food and drink options! They have several beach bites, beach baskets, handhelds, greens, extras, and sides. Along with your food, you can imbibe beers, cocktails, wine, and delectable frozen adult treats.
Self-dubbed as ‘a pretty ok place,’ Skinny Legs Bar and Grill is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. They occasionally have big music events such as Wardstock, which is a five-hour peace, music, and hugs benefit taking place in late January 2024.
Skinny Legs Bar and Grill’s burger has landed them on Esquire Magazine’s Top 100 Bars multiple times. Two out of the three times a Tripadvisor reviewer visited this bar, they had live music on stage! They don’t tend to advertise online what bands will be playing when, though, so this is a ‘luck of the draw’ type of establishment. Depending on when you go, you may even get to see a rooster wandering through Skinny Legs!
Paddle-In Tiki Bar has been serving St. John’s locals and tourists since 2018. It’s part of the Maho Crossroads, and they’re proud of their slogan: ‘Naughty people like the Paddle.’ Something that sets Paddle-In Tiki Bar apart from the rest of the St. John music scene is that their sunset musicians play an unplugged set. According to Tripadvisor, they also have the distinction of being the top-rated attraction in Maho Bay!
While you soak in some local music, try your hand at drinking the Paddle-In Tiki Bar’s signature cocktail, the CocoMaho. They won’t reveal what’s in it, but that hasn’t stopped people from absolutely loving it! Other fun drink options include:
As you can see, Paddle-In Tiki Bar’s main focus is on providing an array of alcoholic beverages. They have 13 cocktails alone, along with beer, shots, seltzers. For those of you who choose not to imbibe alcohol, they also offer soda, water, and virgin cocktails.
The Tap & Still has four different locations, but only one is in Cruz Bay. This is truly a business that cares about its local area, as evidenced by their raising $5,000 for Cancer Support V.I. In addition to having a small area set aside for St. John live music, The Tap & Still is most well-known for offering a ¼ pound hamburger and homemade veggie burgers.
Like many other local bars, The Tap & Still doesn’t do the best job at online advertising when musicians will be playing. In some ways, though, this actually makes the experience more fun! Rather than planning your evening around hearing a certain type of music, you can simply show up and be surprised. What type of vibe will the music you hear have? It could be almost anything, including unplugged sets.
You’ve never been to a venue quite like The Windmill Bar before! Touted as ‘The Caribbean’s Best Kept Secret,’ this bar is located right next to the historic windmill that’s part of Annaberg Plantation. You can even get a look at this bar before you visit thanks to their 24/7 live webcam.
Music plays a major role in setting the ambiance. Some of the musicians who play here frequently include:
The Windmill Bar lists everyone who will be playing for the month on their website, so you can pick and choose who you wish to hear. For example, March 7-9, 20024 will see the annual Virgin Islands Jam Fest. There will be lots of St John live music over this three-day event such as:
Passes for a single day are only $60, and a three-day pass is $160.
You can enjoy delectable mac & cheese as you watch a live show, which is served four different ways! They also have plenty of appetizers, salads, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, desserts, and an extensive drink menu.
Lovango Rum Bar is open every day of the week from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., but please note that the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. each day. However, you’ll really want to be here from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., which is when they have a live performance every single day! Some of their regular USVI music events include:
There are certain days when they host two live performances. On these days, the second band will begin their set at 9 p.m. If you’d like to grab some food, they have fantastic choices such as pizzas and paninis. However, with eight out of their 10-page menu containing alcohol, you can be guaranteed a super fun evening! They serve craft cocktails, classic cocktails, and wine by the bottle or glass.
Cruz Bay Landing offers a casual dining experience, and it’s located right next to the where the ferry drops off in Cruz Bay. They’re open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., so you can come here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Their musical offerings typically repeat themselves on a schedule. Throughout 2024, they’ll have the following USVI music:
Cruz Bay Landing has a shuffleboard patio for guests, and you can also grab some coffee and waffles from their shop next door. This restaurant has scored a 98% recommendation rate on Facebook from more than 175 people, so be sure to plan a trip here during your next visit to the USVI!
As you can see, live music is a way of life in St. John. It may not have a bigger music venue or be able to pull in well-known acts from around the world, but that would only bring in even larger crowds. With an estimated 2,688,000 tourists visiting the USVI annually, it’s probably a good thing that they only focus on live local musicians.
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