Bongo and djembe beats fill the night sky as the warm Sarasota sun sets over the Gulf. Men, women and children bang drums, shake maracas, tap tambourines, dance freely or simply kick back and take it all in.
This is the scene every Sunday night at the famous Siesta Key Drum Circle.
While favored by locals of all ages, visitors from around the world also gather each week to take part in a fun ritual, whether lingering after a long day at the beach, popping by before hitting the watering holes in Siesta Village or packing a picnic for a scenic dinner on the beach—free entertainment included.
The rhythm of the drum circle runs deeper than the beat of the drums—everyone is in tune with one another. The spirit of peace and happiness lives on as if it’s still 1969.
Drum circle regulars occasionally perform with swords and fire or offer flowers to patrons, but one thing that’s consistent each and every week—the smiles on everyone’s faces. It’s a feel-good place to be.
The drum circle lacks a set start and end time, but it typically begins about an hour before sunset. That time, of course, varies depending on the season.
While the Sunday night drum circles on Siesta are legendary, smaller but just as lively circles occur many Wednesday and Saturday nights at Nokomis Beach on Casey Key.
Many drum circle regulars are actually prominent businessmen and women, doctors, lawyers and involved members of the Sarasota community. The drum circles give these hard workers a fun way to let loose and unwind.
The drum circle is truly for everyone—even if you’re not a skilled drummer, feel free to bring any percussion instrument or just sway to the beat.
If you’re too shy to dance, drag a beach chair up to the outskirts of the circle. You’ll feel included no matter what.
Long after dark, the beat goes on … and once the drummers and dancers have packed up and gone, the spirit of togetherness and one love is still in the Sarasota air.
Drum circles go on year-round. Don’t forget to stop by and become a part of it.