Ringling Underground brings the community together through music

The Ringling Museum Courtyard for the Ringling Underground event on February 1st, 2024.

For 12 years the Ringling Museum has united the Sarasota community with their fondness for the arts.

By Darialy Alvarez Community & Culture Beat Reporter

On the first Thursday of every month, the Ringling Museum courtyard transforms into an evening celebrating music, community and artistry. The Ringling Underground event has become a social hub for Sarasota locals, enhancing the sense of community through the arts.

The event begins at 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month during the school year. The evening is taken over by three bands; a local, a regional and a state one. The genres range from rock to folk, to alternative and more. The concert series is three hours long, and there are pauses between sets.

The Ringling Underground has been going for over 12 years, and it was first started to give college students a way to come together and celebrate music in a city where the majority of the population was retirees. Years later, the attendees of the events of all ages, cultural backgrounds and races gather together to celebrate music.

Steven High, the Executive Director of the Ringling Museum, shared the importance of the arts within a community and how the Underground program can unite people in an incredible way.

“It is absolutely critical to make the work that we do be accessible to everyone in the community, programs like Underground are a great way to introduce the museum to the whole young group of emerging artists and young professionals,” High said.

Throughout the evening, there is more than just music. There are drinks, food, exhibitions, performance pieces, games and more. There is always an art gallery open to the public. It is a great way to make connections, especially for those interested in getting involved in the arts or simply trying to find a new passion.

The entrance for residents is only $15. Students of certain universities and museum members get in free with proof of ID.

“So for us, it’s an absolutely important program that…it is a bridge between the younger population here in town, the college age and older population with the museum,” High said.

Briana Lutzi, also known as Briana! the lead singer of Lemon Royale, had her second performance at the Ringling Underground in February. This opportunity has allowed her to perform her own music and share who she is with her community. She mentioned how important it is for a community to come together.

“There is so much value that music brings. It’s such a healing thing, and I think Sarasota, especially, is a place that is just full of vibrant, vibrant artists and musicians, and it’s a hub,” she said. “Like, it’s truly a hub for local talent, and having the community support is what keeps me going.”

This program is an opportunity for people within the community but for local artists trying to make a name for themselves.

“Having people that I know I’m touching with my songs and my music; it just means the world to me,” Lutzi said.

Just like her, there are many artists who use the event as a way to find connections with other people within their field.

Sherlyn Garcia, a Sarasota resident and inspiring artist, attended the event after hearing some friends talk about it. As someone pursuing music, she said she loves that these bands can come together and share their art for the evening.

“I loved the vibes throughout the night, the diversity, and the musical talent that took over the stage,” Garcia said.

The vibrant ambiance left Garcia wanting more.

“I am looking forward to the next event, I am planning to bring some of my friends,” she said. “Who knows, maybe one day, I will have the opportunity to share my music on that stage.”

“I wanted to see Ringling Underground get bigger and bigger and bigger every year,” Lutzi said.

To know more information about upcoming events and how to buy tickets visit the Ringling website. Tickets are subject to availability. Attendees can also purchase tickets at the door, as long as the event is not sold out.