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Rowdy's Guide to Creative Spaces in the Swamp

All access to Gainesville's artistic underground


Gainesville radiates a natural kind of beauty, from the serene peace of Lake Alice to the one-of-a-kind face of one Kent Fuchs (may his career rest in peace). However, there is a vibrant life beyond the orange and blue lights and the millions of Top 5 flags littering our campus. We’re more than just students in a small town. We’re a collective of really creative people in a city that matches our energy and has a lot to offer. Inside and outside of the university, the Gainesville art scene bustles, and most of us don’t even know it.

To combat our utter lack of knowledge about our artistic resources here in the Swamp, I’ve called on our community to help compile a list of ways to support local Gainesville artists and venues. Here’s what we have so far:

Credit: Instagram @razzlekendazzle

  • Events at Heartwood Soundstage—can’t stress this one enough

    • Insta: @heartwoodsoundstage

  • Almost nightly concerts at High Dive

    • Insta: @highdivegville

  • Concerts (and apparently micro-wrestling??? and karaoke!!) at Vivid Music Hall

    • Insta: @vividmusichall

  • The Fest annual music festival from October 28-30

  • “Free Fridays” Concerts at Bo Diddley Plaza in Downtown Gainesville

  • For more concert info and exposure to new musicians, and a super epic playlist of Gainesville’s musicians each year, follow

  • Big Top, The Bull, and Loosey’s Downtown live music nights

  • Gatormic music industry club for those of us who want to surround ourselves with music for a living

    • Insta: @gatormic

  • Gestalt, UF’s highly acclaimed acapella group

    • Insta: @gestaltacapella


Markets and Festivals (for thrift kings, tote bag girlies, and fans of local produce)
  • Grove Street Farmers Market

    • Mondays from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.

    • Cypress&Grove Brewery/Bike Path, 1001 NW 4th St, Gainesville, FL 32601

  • Haile Plantation Farmers Market

    • Saturdays from 8:30 p.m. -12 p.m.

    • 5213 SW 91st Terrace, Gainesville, FL 32608

  • Florida Vintage Market

    • Sundays from 12 p.m - 5 p.m. at Midpoint Park & Eatery

    • Insta: @thefloridavintagemarket

  • GNV Farmer’s Market

    • Thursdays from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    • Heartwood 619 S. Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601

  • Downtown Festival and Arts Show

    • November 19-20, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    • Bo Diddley Plaza, 111 E. University Ave, Gainesville, FL 32601

Performing Arts


Fine Art
  • The Cade Museum

    • Thursday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    • 811 S. Main Street, Gainesville FL 32601

  • UF Harn Museum of Art

    • Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

    • 3259 Hull Rd., Gainesville FL 32608

  • Gary R. Libby University Gallery

    • 400 SW 13th St #B, Gainesville, Fl 32611

  • Google search art galleries in Gainesville! There are SO many!


By no means is this an entirely comprehensive list of artistic opportunities that Gainesville has to offer, but consider it the start of your creative awakening in our little town. Next time you slide a $20 the midtown bouncer to publicly scream “Dancing Queen” (AGAIN), consider the opportunity cost of spending your time and resources at literally ANY of the above venues or events. Not only is it a super fulfilling way to pass the hours, your local (and supremely talented) Gainesville artist will be forever grateful <3


Madi Cordle is an Online Writer at Rowdy Magazine. She can typically be found multitasking between snuggling her golden retriever, reading too many books at once, and plotting her next trip to anywhere with good music, cheap hostels, and gluten-free food options. You can reach her on Instagram @madicordle_


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