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Concerts kick-off the return of Busch Gardens’ Summer Nights

by Banks Lee

Bridgit Mendler busch gardens

Busch Gardens Tampa is ready to amp up the excitement with Summer Nights, featuring new entertainment and the return of fan favorites.

From June 28 through Aug. 17, guests can take advantage of extended park hours, special entertainment, high-energy DJs and the thrill of riding world-class coasters in the dark.

Offerings this year include:

Summer Nights Concerts
Gwazi Park heats up with Saturday-night concerts. In addition to pop, R&B, alternative and Latino music artists, guests can indulge in summer-favorite grilled food items and a selection of craft beers. Concerts are included with daily admission or any annual pass.
June 28: ZZ Ward (7:30 p.m.) and Hot Chelle Rae (8:30 p.m.)
July 5: Bridgit Mendler (8:30 p.m.)
July 12: El Gran Combo (8:30 p.m.)

UPDATED (7/3/14): More concerts have been announced for Summer Nights:
July 19 – Pentatonix
July 26 – Zion y Lennox
Aug 2 – Cher Lloyd
Aug 9 – Taking Back Sunday
Aug 16 – The All-American Rejects

The full concert area is open to guests and located just behind the Gwazi rollercoaster. Concerts are immediately followed by a grand fireworks finale. Concerts take the place of Kinetix on Saturday nights only.

Opening Night Critters
Starting later this summer, a new theatrical “tail” finds a couple of stage hands in the spotlight as the human stars in a production that features both domestic and exotic animals in the newly-renovated Pantopia Theater.

Fireworks Light Up the Sky Every Night
Celebrate in the evening with a fireworks finale. Busch Gardens lights up the sky every night of the event with an aerial display set to popular music. The best views are in Gwazi Park, right after the nightly Kinetix show or concert, but the fireworks are visible from all over the park.

Pantopia After Dark
Set in the heart of Busch Gardens, Pantopia gets even hotter at night with entertainment and fan-favorite rides, including Scorpion, Phoenix and the Grand Caravan Carousel. New dining options feature a variety of fresh-rolled pretzels and craft beer selections at Twisted Tails Pretzels, delicious snow cones and smoothies at Lynx Frozen Treats and the all-new Dragon Fire, Pantopia’s open-fire grill showcasing ribs, sausages and kabobs.

Kinetix Returns
The award-winning Kinetix show returns to Summer Nights with its rock-fueled blast of music and acrobatics. The show’s performances include live musicians, singers, dancers and artists from around the world. Their performance, along with modern music and pyrotechnic effects, will pump up the crowd every Sunday through Friday in Gwazi Park at 9 p.m. Gates open at 8 p.m., so arrive early to ensure a good spot and enjoy the Party Starters’ pre-show interactive games and dancing.

Park hours for Summer Nights are extended until 9 p.m. and the event is included with daily admission or any annual pass. Event dates, times and details are subject to change. For more information, visit BuschGardensTampa.com, or call 1-888-800-5447.

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