Good music can be hard to find sometimes, especially in a world that is filled with hundreds of genres and millions of unique tunes. So, to help you expand your repertoire of musical melodies, we’ve sought out the best live music venues in Vancouver.
As a means of helping you figure out if a venue is a good fit for you, we’ve taken the liberty of including patron reviews, venue breakdowns, pros & cons, and more. Let’s begin!
How Much Does Live Music Cost in Vancouver?
Since we’ve got a healthy mix of unique venues in this list, you can expect to pay a wide range of fees for admission. This includes a single purchase like a cocktail or an actual ticket for general admission.
To make things simple, we’ve drawn up this quick cost guide:
|Guilt & Co||Free (with purchase of a drink/food)|
|Frankie’s Jazz Club||$16.00 – $17.50|
|Commodore Ballroom||$30.00 – $60.00|
|Vogue Theatre||$30.00 – $50.00|
|Rickshaw Theatre||$20.00 – $60.00|
|Rio Theatre||$10.00 – $13.00|
As you can see from the prices above, some venues offer much wider price ranges than others. This is mostly due to the various artists who perform at each venue and their inherently varying performance costs.
The Best Live Music Venues in Vancouver
Now that you have an idea of what the base admissions costs are like for venues, it’s time to see what the city has to offer in terms of rhythm, rhyme, blues, and tunes. Here are our picks for the best live music venues in Vancouver!
1. Guilt & Co
|ADDRESS||1 Alexander Street, Underground, Vancouver, BC V6A 1B2, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone number: (604) 288-1704|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday: 4 pm – 12 pm|
Tuesday: 4 pm – 12 pm
Wednesday: 4 pm – 12 pm
Thursday: 4 pm – 12 pm
Friday: 4 pm – 12 pm
Saturday: 4 pm – 12 pm
Sunday: 4 pm – 12 pm
We’re fairly certain you’ll find at least one new favorite drink here. But, along with a new set of tonics to try, this place also offers an excellent selection of bar blues, R&B, soul, and even jazz.
All these genres of music lend themselves nicely to the bar’s dimly-lit modern interior and laid-back atmosphere. When you pair all of this with their top-notch cocktails, you get a recipe for an enjoyable live music experience.
Many artists who perform at this particular establishment are based in and around British Columbia. So, by featuring up-and-coming musicians as opposed to big international names, Guilt & Co. also offers an opportunity for people to support local talent.
Overall this place’s diverse music choices and killer cocktails make it a prime location to enjoy live music. So long as you don’t mind listening to newer artists, you’ll be rewarded with a night full of fun, enjoyable moments.
These patrons couldn’t be happier with their experience at Guilt & Co:
“Guilt & Co does a great job at creating an underground jazz bar vibe. The menu had lots to offer from popcorn to cheese fondue and everything we ordered was delicious. The venue has stringent COVID protocols and I felt very safe throughout the evening. The staff was very friendly and offered excellent insights into their array of cocktails. I was so happy to find a space to safely enjoy live music and will be back soon. Highly recommend!” – Derek D.
“Great cocktails and great ambience! Went yesterday (Monday night) and they had an amazing guitarist and pianist playing very cool jazz / swing. Ordered their Old fashioned and requested it to be made with Mezcal and tequila. Tired out to be brilliant! Their other cocktails are really good too.” – Trishla J.
2. Frankie’s Jazz Club
|ADDRESS||755 Beatty St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2M4, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone number: (604) 688-6368|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday: 4 pm – 10 pm|
Tuesday: 4 pm – 10 pm
Wednesday: 4 pm – 10 pm
Thursday: 4 pm – 10 pm
Friday: 4 pm – 10 pm
Saturday: 4 pm – 10 pm
Sunday: 4 pm – 10 pm
As the name implies, Frankie’s is one of the few establishments on our list that focuses specifically on jazz and blues performances. To pair with their live entertainment, this jazz club offers a ton of pasta, entrees, and appetizers.
The majority of the food at Frankie’s is of the Italian variety, which gives the place an upscale fine-dining feel. But like all great Italian establishments, Frankie’s also offers classic cocktails, local beer, and wine.
In terms of in-house entertainment, the club’s jazz and blues shows take place three nights a week starting on Fridays. While these shows aren’t free, their admission fees are certainly reasonable, with general admission usually going for less than $20.
On the whole, if you’re a jazz enthusiast, a blues buff, or just someone who enjoys good music, then this place is certainly a fine option. Also, it doesn’t hurt that many of the club’s performers are local jazz stars and blues kings.
Whether you’re new to jazz or an avid fan, you’ll find an abundance of it at Frankie’s:
“We visited Frankie’s Jazz Club during TD International Jazz Festival. It had recently reopened for more days of the week and we were lucky enough to be there for the first Monday open since the pandemic. We had excellent food and service (I believe they share a kitchen with the Italian restaurant next door). Last but not least, the jazz show. On this particular night we had Steve Lloyd Quartet play their Sins and Virtues set. More reputable acts to come this week and beyond. Great place and great location for a drink and some jazz. Feels like life is back to normal and life is better with Jazz at Frankie’s.” – Anthony T.
“We came on the first evening they reopened after the health restrictions loosened up. It was so nice to listen to live music, enjoy good food and see familiar regulars once again. We had the meatballs, fungi pizza and their beet and beef salad this time. Great friendly service as always.” – Delaney B.
3. Commodore Ballroom
|SERVICES||Live music concerts|
|ADDRESS||868 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1K3, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone number: (604) 739-4550|
If you’re a longtime Vancouver resident, then it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see the Commodore Ballroom on this list. With over 90 years of service in the live music industry, this establishment has played host to a literal wall of household names.
In case you’re new to the lower mainland or just someone passing through, this venue is a must-visit for any music lover. To see how amazing the Commodore Ballroom is, all you need to do is take a look at the previous bands and groups that have performed here.
These artists include timeless idols like David Bowie and Iggy Pop, as well as generation-defining groups like Nirvana, U2, and the Beastie Boys. If that’s not enough, the Commodore has even hosted more recent talents like Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, and Snoop Dog.
Now, granted, you might not catch these artists on your next visit to this iconic Vancouver music venue. However, the Commodore Ballroom can still offer a wide variety of carefully chosen local talents for you to enjoy.
These patrons can certainly attest to the amazing quality of the Commodore Ballroom:
“This is a classic that should be enjoyed by all. I have had Very good night in seed very good artists over the years.I highly recommend that when you’re able to you take a chance and buy a ticket and go spend a great evening out with friends and family.” – Brian S.
“The Commodore is one of my favourite venues for a bit smaller scale shows. It offers a level of intimacy that most other places don’t. They have a decent selection of drinks and being on Granville it’s super easy to get to with transit. It’s a great place to see any brand of music that you like!” – Dan R.
4. Vogue Theatre
|SERVICES||Live music concerts|
|ADDRESS||918 Granville St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L2, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone number: (604) 688-1975|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday: closed|
Thursday: 12 pm – 6 pm
Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 12 pm – 6 pm
As one of the few original establishments remaining along Vancouver’s theatre row, the Vogue Theatre was originally intended to be a movie house and performing arts venue. Nowadays, it has become one of the city’s hottest live music venues.
Over the course of 70 years and several renovations, the Vogue Theatre has done away with its projectors and movie screen. It now resembles a classic opera house complete with balconies, auditorium seats, and an orchestra space front and center.
When the orchestra space isn’t being used, patrons are welcome to find a place at the foot of the stage and dance their hearts out. And with such a wide selection of musical performances throughout the year, this is exactly what most patrons tend to do.
All in all, the Vogue Theatre hosts over 200 performances a year, many of which include stand-up comedy, creative performances, and of course, live music. If you’re in search of a music venue with an updated list of hot talents, then this is the place to visit.
Despite originally being a movie house, the Vogue Theatre has made quite a name as a live music venue:
“A good place to see and play live music on the Granville strip. Live music most nights of the week, Sunday is always the country music night. The staff are friendly & helpful, the sound is always good, drinks are good, and vibe is good” – Taylor P.
“This bar is a good place to go for all age groups.
The live music is always great and there’s actually a good amount of seating if you feel like sitting for a drink . Or you could dance around on the dance floor. The staff is always super helpful and sooooo nice ! Good place to go if you’re looking for a fun night out that everyone can kinda enjoy” – Paige E.
5. Rickshaw Theatre
|ADDRESS||254 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1P1, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone number: (604) 681-8915|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday: 10 am – 6 pm|
Tuesday: 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday: 10 am – 6 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday:10 am – 6 pm
The physical layout of the Rickshaw Theatre is not unlike that of the Vogue Theater with its massive stage and spacious auditorium. This makes a lot of sense since the Rickshaw Theater was also repurposed from a cinema into a concert hall.
One major difference from the Vogue Theater, however, is in the types of artists that call the Rickshaw home. Whereas other venues provide a wide variety of genres for patrons to enjoy, the Rickshaw focuses mainly on rock, metal, punk, and funk bands.
This key detail makes this theater perfect for metalheads and rockers who want an authentic live music experience. Though the stage is partitioned off from the rest of the crowd, patrons can still rock to the music on the spacious dancefloor.
If you’d prefer to just sit back and enjoy the music, then you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s ample seating behind the dance floor. Because the auditorium seats are slightly raised, you also won’t have to worry about not having a good view of the band.
The Rickshaw has played host to many unforgettable experiences over the years:
“I adore this venue, great employees, a wonderful event pretty much every time, I have too many memories to share we would be here for a year reading my review. From the amazing management to the bouncers, you folks are legends.”- Kevin E.
“One of the most quintessential spots in Vancouver. I’ve seen so many bands here and have made so many memories in the building. It’s classic theatre in a nutshell.”- Nathan J.
6. Rio Theatre
|ADDRESS||1660 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5N 1W1, Canada|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: 604.879.3456 | Info Line: 604.878.3456 | Email: [email protected]|
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM|
Tuesday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Wednesday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Thursday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Friday: 5:30 PM – 12:00 AM
Saturday: 1:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Sunday:1:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Rio Theatre is a multimedia venue that accommodates all types of cinemas, stage, and mainstreaming services that has a seating capacity of around 420 people. Built way back in 1938, they mainly capitalize on their unique programming that showcases a wide range of sci-fi, horror, thriller, and action films specially for family viewing.
They have since then been undergoing constructive renovations and tried to be up to date with the current trends in the industry by making changes on their facility accessibility. Furthermore, they have expanded their accommodations by offering a bar for drinks and a concession menu as well.
The website presents well all practical details of the theatre and the schedule of the movies being showcased in an easy-to-read calendar of events. Though, for clients looking for on demand viewing, rental rates vary based on the dates and times they book it.
Clients will also have less hassle when it comes to their location since they are near a transit station and even have numerous parking spaces all for free.
Here are some reviews from their clients:
“I always have a fantastic time when I see a film at The Rio. Since the pandemic, it’s the only movie theater I have been to, and I’ve seen a number of films here. Great selection of snacks and drinks, including alcohol, some great cult classics and also new films too! I’ve even seen some incredible directors talk about their films and some of the most memorable moments of my life. You may even see some other events as well, including burlesque and all sorts of other performances. Nothing but good times! LONG LIVE THE RIO. By far the best theater in Vancouver. 🖤”
“I always love coming here. I’ve come a few times for special events or showings, but I’ve also swung by for regular showings. Always a great time and the concession as some extra treats. The Rio is a genuine Vancouver, especially East Vancouver, staple. Highly recommended!”
FAQs About Live Music Venues
Now that we’ve got you up to speed on some of the best live music venues in Vancouver, all that’s left is to pick your venue of choice. To make things easier we’ve linked each venue’s website so you can check on concert dates and showtimes.
In case you’d prefer a much more tranquil showcase of the arts, we’ve made a list of the best art galleries in Vancouver. Just like with this list, you’ll have access to reviews and breakdowns to help you pick the best art gallery based on your own tastes.