From the casual eye’s view, the panhandle region of Florida isn’t typically known for a large amount of LGBTQ life. Entertainment in the Panhandle. Increasingly, many are coming to find these beautiful beaches and smiling faces irresistible. Queer entertainment here is more than just music on Memorial Day with packed beaches. Dj’s, singers, dancers, drag and so much more present a unique vibe unlike any other in Florida.
Singers and Songwriters
Singers abound in this region of folk and blues. You will also find some hints of country and rock along with modern hits. There are small bands, duo acts, solo artists and amazing instrumentals. Walk the beaches, the boardwalks and the streets and you never know what you will uncover. There are a few quite outstanding folks to not miss in this area.
Christina Alconel is a charismatic and audacious songwriter and performer. Influenced by John Mayer and Sheryl Crow, she regularly teams up with local producers Nick Hope and Martin Acosta. Her debut album “Deal With It” is a combination of rock with a twist of soul. Corey Harvard also makes appearances in Pensacola. This singer-songwriter brings lyrical depth with strong ballads and folk. Both of them are regulars at Pensacola Pride and other venues in the region.
Wayward Sister is a duo act that performs in lounges throughout the panhandle. Their most popular night is the Ladies Night at Kingfisher on Barrancas Avenue in Pensacola. They have an awesome rock guitar and acoustic sound that will give you an energetic high. Be ready to dance and get down. Nicole and Rachel never disappoint. In addition, Greg Bond provides a blues/folk/rock music combination that makes his style so unique and eclectic. Finally, the band McDean is a married duo. The two met on a blind date and were performing together shortly thereafter beginning in 2011. You can catch them at Festivals in the Park and other times of the year.
Dj’s in the area are fortunate to have some of the best beaches and scenery to stake out an amazing musical claim. They keep the floors jiving and the beat high. Whether glitzing at the drink and drown or busting the summer towns after Memorial Day, the music never stops. The towns don’t sleep for long.
DJ Jay-R spins regularly at Emerald City. This Juke King brings house to the club with a self-described “Audiomatic” sound. DJ Roland Belmares makes the splash dance rock during Memorial Day weekend. DJ Orlando Ricardo combines classics with sultry hits for a mashup reminiscent of a Caribbean paradise. Sharing the stage during the ladies event “Unleashed”, DJ’s Tony Skratchere and Dlux pack a powerful punch at this staple event. Skractchere is known for punk and rock and Dlux brings the house and top 40 hit beats. DJ Nommo$ also does Flashback Fridays with classics of the 80’s and 90’s at Emerald City.
Event organizer and music emcee Kristy Lee combines her sound system and classic guitar for a unique beach dance combo unparalleled in Florida. She has coordinated and supported the entertainment community in this region for decades. Through this dedication, burlesque, drag, and live music have thrived in the panhandle. Be sure not to miss her “Unleashed” party during Memorial Day weekend.
The scene for drag in the panhandle is quite illustrious. The divas love to wear the jewels and do top hits, jazz classics, and strut their stuff. From masquerades to sexy lounge acts, you don’t want to miss the events held here throughout the year. The LGTBQ locals love to paint the town in color and so do the queens.
Vanessa Vogue and Miss Cie join Monica Heart as they take the stage for a unique masquerade gala. Benefiting the Red Ribbon Foundation, this “evolve n’ thrive” Pensacola medley of girls truly makes the museum shine. Raven Samore also joins the cast with her gorgeous luster and lovely visage. Monica Heart also does drag bingo weekly at Emerald City. Voted “Best Bingo” by the Independent News, she will remind you this is not your grandma’s bingo.
Lauren Mitchell appears on many midnights at Emerald City for their classics dance night. This beautiful hostess will glitz up and dazzle the room with all her jewels. If sweets are your thing, don’t miss the monthly Drag and Gelato themed nights at Dolce and Gelato. Sunny Daze keeps the room shining. Victoria Starr Devries pierces you with her lovely gaze. Rebecca Ritz Decarlo rocks the room with her glamour and pop. Wyntier Kandiey brings the sweetness and the spice. Let’s not forget the Drag Kings Andy Rodginous and RPG Kyle. Bearded queen Della Si Oso also makes regular appearances.
Comedians and comedy writers abound in the panhandle. They go on to perform in “Last Comic Standing”. They do stand up in the legendary Blues neighborhood Belmont DeVilliers. They will have you laughing so hard you will cry. There are festivals, small lounges, parties for comedy, and so much more. Be sure to belly up to the area for some good laughter.
L.G. Grey and Melissa Nichols will show you how “girls can’t be pastors”. A set called “Don’t Ask Do Tell” features Tracy Kellett, Kim Wadsworth, and Dalla James Nelson. Of course, you can’t forget the two gay Jeffs. Jeff Jones and Jeff D will leave you speechless and ready for the next event. Each May and throughout the year, you can see them at events such as Pensacola’s Pre-Pride Comedy Fest. These events are coordinated by local comedy personality Andrew Ferrara.
A shoutout has to be given also to Sarah Lamb, Jessica St. Hill, and Kelly Kreye in Tallahassee. These three beautiful members of the pan community bring a unique standup vibe weekly to Bird’s Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack. The Mickee Faust comedy troupe also performs at their academy for the Dramatic Arts. This LGBT comedy showcase features legendary locals as well as newbies seeking the spotlight.
Cabaret and Burlesque
The locals in the panhandle now how to be sassy. They sparkle and shine and take the stage with beauty. Filling music halls and clubs alike with illustrious flow, their energy and aura will make you sizzle. Be ready for glamour and creativity unlike any other.
The Juno Project is a burlesque act that performs with Inferno Burlesque at Vinyl Music Hall in Pensacola on a regular stage basis. Be sure not to miss the gorgeous group of Gulf Coast girls. Danielle Colby (Dannie Diesel) also joins Bad Girls of Burlesque in Pensacola for yet another regular lineup. On occasion, they will even have live bands. There is also a meetup group for ladies called Burlesque Fitness Kittens. This group performs and teaches at Studio VaVaVoom. If you have time for a meetup and participation group, don’t miss out.
Mickee Faust Academy in Tallahassee is a troupe of cabaret artists as well. Their regular events delight all as they perform in costume to pride anthems. You can find them in their unique clubhouse space on McDonell Drive. Faust, the founder of the organization, brings a tongue in cheek parody to the namesake Orlando rodent. The troupe and its followers are known as the Mickee Faustkateers. Their leader is none other than Terry Galloway.
No one ever said the panhandle was boring after exploring it.
There are surprises around every corner. You will be delighted and thrilled on so many levels. Stroll the beaches but don’t miss the theater. Mosey to the bar and dance on the floor and revel in the spaces up and down Interstate 10. This isn’t “lower Alabama”. This is a sparkling Emerald Coast to delight your inner fancies. The entertainment choices in Florida’s Panhandle will leave your soul smiling for days.