Millions of visitors flock to the coast to catch concerts on the beach, but the best shows in town are actually on the banks of the Intracoastal Waterway at the Boathouse in Myrtle Beach. Located just below the Highway 501 Bridge, this restaurant/bar transforms into the biggest outdoor show during summer Sunday afternoons.
Billed as having “The Best Backyard in Myrtle Beach,” the Boathouse knows how to throw a party. An outdoor stage attracts some big names in the music industry, from national touring artists to local and regional favorites. Hundreds arrive at the Boathouse by land and water to enjoy the festive atmosphere as boaters tie up at the docks and swimsuit-clad patrons take a dip in the Waterway or soak up some sun and live music on the lawn.
Best of all, the shows are free. The 2015 lineup features bands you might expect to pay a steep price for tickets or cover charge to see. The annual highlight is JerryFest, a tribute to the life and music of late and beloved Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia, which will be held on Aug. 9 to celebrate his birthday. The shows are held every Sunday through Sept. 6, although more shows may be added in the early fall. Here’s a look at this year’s schedule:
July 12, Drowning Pool: This Dallas-based heavy metal band struck it big in the early 2000s and they are back on the road to bring their brand of hard rock to the Boathouse.
July 19, The Expendables: This Santa Cruz, California-based band fuses surf rock, reggae, punk and ska into a unique sound that's perfect for a day on the Waterway.
July 26, Chris Robinson Brotherhood: Founded by namesake and the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band The Black Crowes, this California band blends traditional American blues with psychedelic rock for a show that is sure to be packed.
Aug. 2, Ying Yang Twins with Almost Kings: The Boathouse goes hip-hop with this twin bill from Atlanta. The Ying Yang Twins and Almost Kings bring their high-energy showcase to the waterfront stage to give fans a taste of the ATL.
Aug. 9, Jerry Fest: This 11th annual event celebrates the music and life of late Grateful Dead frontman and counter-culture icon Jerry Garcia. Jam bands keeping the spirit of the dead alive play to a retro-hippie crowd. This is one big love in one the Waterway.
Aug. 16, Collie Buddz: This American/Bermudan star delivers his unique brand of reggae in a return appearance at the Boathouse. Buddz is known for touring with a crew of talented musicians so expect some good surprises.
Aug. 23, Donavan Frankenreiter: This pioneer of the surf rock sound draws a big beach crowd to the Waterway. Since signing with famed surfing crooner Jack Johnson's record label, Frankenreiter has gone on to make a name for himself with hits like “Free” and others.
Aug. 30, Craig Wayne Boyd: Fans of NBC's hit TV show “The Voice” will recognize this country singer as the winner of Season 7. Since winning the TV talent show, Boyd has gone on to earn acclaim on the country music charts.
Sept. 6, Trevor Hall: The Boathouse closes the summer concert series with a rising star from nearby Hilton Head Island. Hall plays a bizarre blend of rock, reggae and Sanskrit chanting that captivates audiences, and a strong local contingent is expected to support one of its own.
Note: The Boathouse also hosts a free Friday night showcase dedicated to country music. See some of the top bands from Nashville and beyond on the indoor stage. Again, there is no cover.