If you like music, you are in the right place

August 12, 2022

Eastern Sussex County has quietly become a mecca for live music. From national acts to local performers, lovers of oldies, rock, country, R&B, jazz, classical and pop music can easily find a band and venue.

While several resort-area venues, such as Dogfish Head, The Starboard, Rusty Rudder and Bottle & Cork have been on the cutting edge of live music for decades, other local restaurants now featuring live music offer prospects for local bands and singers to get their names known.

Towns throughout the county offer summer performance schedules, including a series at the historic Rehoboth Beach Bandstand.

Many events throughout the year also feature music. One of the musical highlights each year is the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, offering performances by jazz greats since 1990.

Another major event devoted to jazz, the True Blue Jazz Festival, not only features some of the genre’s top performers, but also provides outreach programs to area schools.

The Cape Gazette's Steppin' Out column is filled with performances each week. Last week's column included nearly 50 live music groups at venues in Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach and Milton alone.

The Bottle & Cork, celebrating its 86th anniversary this year, has hosted scores of national acts, including Dave Matthews Band, Eric Church, Matchbox 20 and Miranda Lambert.

One of the best places to enjoy outdoor music is the Freeman Arts Pavilion near Fenwick Island, welcoming hundreds of well-known performers over the years. Just this year, the lineup included Jackson Browne, Patti LaBelle, Lyle Lovett, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello and Pat Benatar, to name a few.

The resurgent Milton Theatre provides a year-long series of music events, as well as other arts-focused programs.

Hudson Fields near Milton provides a venue for dozens of musical events, as well as a large outdoor concert site, hosting Milton's own country music star Jimmie Allen's Bettie James Fest on Aug. 13.

Looking for a concert with a view? Check out the summer music series at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal with the Delaware Bay as a backdrop.

We are fortunate to have access to such a diverse array of musical entertainment, including many top names in the music world. We need to celebrate that by supporting venues offering live music.


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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