Know Before You Go: Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Concerts


For music fans in Central Florida spring can be seen as the best time of the year – SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Universal Studios all hold free (with park admission) concerts and each year the artists keep getting bigger and bigger. Here’s the list of acts performing this spring at Universal Studios as part of the Mardi Gras event:

  • February 6- Hunter Hayes
  • February 13- Diana Ross
  • February 14- Barenaked Ladies
  • February 20- Nate Ruess
  • February 27- Fall Out Boy
  • March 5- Kool & the Gang
  • March 12- The Fray
  • March 13- Adam Lambert
  • March 19- Shawn Mendes
  • March 20- 3 Doors Down
  • March 26- REO Speedwagon
  • April 2- T-Pain
  • April 9- Jessie J
  • April 16- Yandel


Details You Need To Know:
  • Prices: Concerts are included with park admission
  • Show Time: Exact times are announced closer to scheduled date (since parks hours and sunset shift there is no standard time). The first few shows are listed to started at 8:30pm
  • Is there seats? The concert area is mostly turf, with some concrete – but it all is standing room. While you may be able to sit as you wait before the show as crowds mount closer to show time everyone starts standing to make more room.
  • How early should I arrive? It depends. The concerts usually immediately follow the parade – which a lot of people watch. Get to the concert before the parade and you’ll likely get a spot within the general concert area. After the parade the main concert area is usually restricted to those already there and you can be forced to watch the show from out on the park’s midway where sight lines and sound isn’t the best. Generally speaking if you want to be within 20-50ft of the stage arriving 2 hours before show time is a good bet. Larger acts, such as Fall Out Boy, expect to arrive even earlier.
  • What about food and drink? The park has plenty and food and drink (bars too!) in the concert area and nearby.
Our Recommendations:
    You probably already have an idea of who you want to see but here is our picks for can’t miss shows:

  • February 14– Barenaked Ladies After one of their original lead singers left the band, Universal’s Mardi Gras was the first show they played as the new 4-piece and have been back many times since. Their catchy pop-rock may not our personal favorite but the humor they add both to songs and between songs always makes for an entertaining show.
  • February 20– Nate Ruess Who? While his name may not instantly ring a bell, Ruess was the lead singer of The Format and more recently the band fun. fun (yes, the “f” isn’t capitalized in their name) is best known for their songs “Some Nights” and “We Are Young”. Trust us, you know at least one of those. The songs were EVERYWHERE a few years back.
  • February 27– Fall Out Boy – Perhaps one of the biggest acts Universal has booked. This show is one of the first of the band’s spring shows – which sees them playing to sold out arenas across country. Expect big crowds, but also expect a really energetic show worth the extra wait.

About Author

Living among the too-many-to-count theme parks of Orlando, FL, Andrew is always looking for an excuse to check out a show, buy some vinyl, modify (instead of play) his guitars, and eat food your mom would consider unhealthy.

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