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Dance to the music in Orlando and Tampa on Feb. 22-23

If you're planning a trip to the major theme parks in Orlando or Tampa this weekend, you're in luck. The Bands, Brew & BBQ festival continues at Busch Gardens® Tampa and Sea World Orlando, while Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration rocks the night at Universal Studios Florida, all included in the price of admission.

You never know who you might run into at Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras!
Universal Orlando Resort

At Busch Gardens, Justin Moore, this year’s nominee for The Academy of Country Music’s New Artist of the Year, takes the stage on Saturday, Feb. 22. As a rising country star, Moore is best known for hits, including “Small Town USA” and “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away.”

In one of Busch Gardens’ most anticipated shows of the festival, multiplatinum singer, philanthropist, Celebrity Apprentice winner and “Rock of Love” superstar Bret Michaels will take the stage on Sunday, Feb. 23 performing some of his biggest hits, including “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and “Talk Dirty to Me,” which Michaels recently mashed-up with singer Jason Derulo.

The Gwazi Park stage sizzles with music throughout the day. Headline concerts start at 5 p.m. and the field will open at noon. The full concert area is free to guests and located just behind the Gwazi rollercoaster.

Now in its seventh straight year, Bands, Brew & BBQ is bigger than ever, filling every Saturday and Sunday through March 9 with an unlimited sampling of more than 100 specialty and craft beers, saucy barbeque from the bay area’s most popular restaurants and live concerts.

Guests can reserve the best seat in house for their favorite acts with the Bands, Brew & BBQ VIP Ticket. The VIP Ticket is $34.99 per person and includes priority reserved seating at center stage, plus an entrée platter and non-alcoholic beverage at any festival tent location OR an entrée, one side salad, side dish or dessert, and a regular-sized non-alcoholic beverage from any of Busch Gardens’ restaurants. The VIP ticket is available for sale online and in park at the Adventure Outpost store, located at the front gate.

With more options than ever before, the expanded Beer Festival will feature more than 100 imported, domestic and craft beers. Select brews are available at each of the tents along the Bands, Brew & BBQpathway, as well as in Gwazi Park.

For those looking to sample several of the specialty brews, unlimited sampling is available from noon to 5:30 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday with a Beer Festival Wristband. Wristbands are $30 per person (ages 21+), or two for $50 for active Busch Gardens Tampa Pass Members, and also include sampling privileges at the Desert Grill restaurant, Crown Colony pub, Garden Gate Café and Zambia Smokehouse.

The festival also serves up a savory series of food tents, with Outback Steakhouse, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, Penguin Pretzel Factory and local favorite Kojak’s House of Ribs, as well as a selection ofBusch Gardens’ own barbeque favorites. Whether hungry for a sampler plate or a hearty platter, guests will have their choice of perfectly prepared chicken, beef, ribs, sides and more!

At Busch Gardens sister park, SeaWorld Orlando's Bands, Brew & BBQ will host live rockin' concerts Saturdays and Sundays until March 9. SeaWorld chefs and some of Central Florida's local favorites -- Bubbalou's Bodacious Bar-B-Que, Cecil's Texas Style BAR-B-Q and Sonny's BBQ will be on hand serving smokin' BBQ foods tendered to perfection. You can also quench your thirst with a selection of more than 30 craft brews from domestic and international breweries.

This week's featured performers are The Commodores, performing Saturday, Feb. 22, and Justin Moore on Sunday, Feb. 23. The event area opens at 11:30 a.m., with concerts beginning at 4:00 p.m. each day.

Down the road a bit, the excitement of Mardi Gras continues on Saturday, Feb. 22, with an electrifying performance by R&B sensation Robin Thicke.

The summer of 2013 marked the debut of Robin's highly anticipated new studio album, Blurred Lines. The release quickly took the music world by storm and debuted at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 while, “Blurred Lines,” the single, set records around the world. It went to No. 1 in more than 100 countries and had a record setting 12-week reign in the US at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Robin continues to receive accolades for the album and single including three GRAMMY Award nominations and four NAACP Image Award nominations.

Along with the live concert, guests can experience the spirit of the legendary Bayou bash during the dazzling Mardi Gras parade, featuring 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy delectable Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

While you're at Universal Orlando, sure to catch a brand-new version of the popular, live Beetlejuice stage show featuring the classic Universal Monsters and “the ghost with the most” – Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, BEETLEJUICE. The new show, “Beetlejuice's Graveyard Mash-Up,” is now open at Universal Studios Florida.

Guests of all ages will be invited to the party of the year at Frankenstein’s castle, where they’ll dance along to remastered classic rock hits performed by their favorite monsters. The high-energy show will feature an all-new storyline, rock-n’-roll music mash-ups, set enhancements, pyrotechnics and two new monsters – best friends Phantasia, a music-loving master of the turntables and relative of the Phantom of the Opera, and Cleo, an urban chic descendant of The Mummy.

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