Jannus Live embodies the history and deepest roots of the city of St. Petersburg, and most people don’t even know it! The “oldest concert venue in Florida” was built around the original location and the building that was the Hotel Detroit (the first hotel to be erected in St. Petersburg), and named after the aviator, Tony Jannus (Antony Habersack Jannus), who piloted the Benoist Model 14 for the first commercial, heavier-than-air flight, that flew from St. Petersburg to Tampa on January 1st, 1914.
The hotel remained open over the years, hosting such guests as: Jim Morrison, Eleanor Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, and Will Rogers. And sometime between 1905-1910, the West brick wing was added onto the original structure. Then in 1914, the East brick wing of the hotel was added onto the opposite side of the original building. These two additions helped to shape the courtyard of Jannus Live that we know and love today.
Hotel Detroit closed in 1993, sat dormant for almost a decade, and was converted into condos in 2002. It is now considered a Historic Landmark registered by the city of St. Petersburg. When it first opened in the late 1800’s, it was the first building in town to have electricity. The name came from founder John Williams who named the hotel after the city he was originally from, only after Peter Demens named the city itself after his hometown in Russia. Today, the original structure, along with the two brick wing additions can be seen on the south end of the courtyard and behind the stage at Jannus Live.
The original Jannus Landing venue was founded in 1984 by three music enthusiasts: Rob Douglas, Tony Rifugiato, and Dave Hundley in the Tampa Bay area who wanted a place to see reggae, punk, and rock shows. Since its opening, the venue has seen some amazing talent come through including: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Cheap Trick, The Wailers, Peter Frampton, .38 Special, Ted Nugent, The Offspring and many, many more.
With the venue in need of countless repairs and updates, Jannus Landing closed for a short period in 2009 until entrepreneurs Jeff Knight and Bill Edwards of Knight Global Entertainment, LLC bought the dilapidated venue and began a series of much needed improvements. Under the new management team, the venue reopened in 2010 with many new updates and additions; including but not limited to: A new stage with new PA and lighting systems, eight VIP suites which concertgoers can rent on a per show or muti-show basis, a resurfaced courtyard floor, along with the addition of on-demand television programming, Jannus Live TV, SOMETHING material recorded in-house as well as music videos and other visual entertainment from around the world.
With all of the new improvements made to Florida’s already highly-regarded concert venue, the new owners saw it as a chance for a fresh start, and the next chapter would only be complete when the newly-improved venue sported a new name, Jannus Live. Since the reopening of this beloved locale, it has hosted talent spanning all genres and levels of notoriety.
Some of these artists include: J. Cole, Citizen Cope, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Rebelution, Lucinda Williams, Coheed & Cambria, George Thorogood, Foghat, Seether, Good Charlotte, Sick Puppies, G-Love, Underoath, and Dirty Heads.
With new additions implemented on a regular basis, who knows what the next installment to Jannus Live will be!