Live Entertainment

By Laurel Rinehart

Santa Barbara Bowl

Located near the outskirts of downtown Santa Barbara, The Santa Barbara Bowl is an outdoor venue known for its aesthetically pleasing landscape and its ability to attract well-known artists to the Central Coast. The venue is surrounded by greenery and has a beautiful view of Downtown Santa Barbara and the ocean. The space is medium size, large enough to attract big-name artists but small enough to give smaller artists the opportunity to play. The Bowl is run by a nonprofit foundation that is heavily involved with performing arts education in the community, so concert-goers can know that their money is supporting an enriching cause.

This venue is perfect for music lovers who have been dying to see their favorite artist or want to discover someone new. UCSB students should plan ahead where transportation is concerned; the Bowl is about a twenty-minute drive from Isla Vista and parking lots are crowded. Concertgoers must walk up a hill before arriving at the stage, so comfortable shoes are recommended.

EOS Lounge

EOS Lounge is the go-to spot for EDM enthusiasts looking to discover their next favorite DJ. Situated within walking distance of the most popular bars in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, it is easily accessible on a night out. The live DJ sets typically feature smaller, up-and-coming artists since the venue is not large enough to accommodate high-profile performers. With a full bar, dancing crowd, and colorful flashing lights, EOS provides the night-club experience many students are looking for.

EOS is very accessible for UCSB students, who can catch one of the buses that run from Isla Vista to downtown Santa Barbara on weekend nights for only $10. Event tickets are relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online or bought at the door. Unfortunately, there is a 21+ entry rule so younger Gauchos must wait until the end of their undergraduate career for the experience.

Velvet Jones

Velvet Jones is the perfect option for younger students who want the experience of seeing live music in a bar setting before they turn 21, offering all-ages or 18+ entry depending on the concert. Located on State Street near many other downtown bars, this venue has a unique character that keeps people coming back even after they are old enough to go elsewhere. The concert stage looks out on a small area with a dance floor and seating available. Musical acts are typically rock or alternative, with a combination of up-and-coming artists and old favorites. They also serve delicious food, perfect for ending a night of dancing.

 Students looking to attend a concert should check the website before buying a ticket, as age restrictions vary depending on the show. The bus from Isla Vista to downtown is an inexpensive transportation option, and does not require passengers to be 21 in order to ride.

Scroll to Top