Halifax has always been a music town. You can find a gig playing somewhere in the city nearly every night of the week, with such a variance of sound ranging from smooth jazz, to old school blues, to rock, and beyond.
Whatever you ‘re in the mood for, these perennially popular live music venues are bound to help you get your groove on in Halifax.
1 – The Carleton
A true music staple in the city – who hasn’t played at The Carleton? From Grammy Award Winning songwriter Gordie Sampson to indie rocker Joel Plaskett, it’s the spot for all genres of music to perform, old and new bands alike.
Enjoy a drink and a bite while listening to live music as you sit next to the still-intact stone walls of one of the city’s oldest buildings, dating back to 1759.
An authentic Irish pub on Halifax’s bustling Argyle Street, Durty Nelly’s is an eventful pub with a schedule packed with live music – they host performances nearly every night!
Enjoy live music Wednesday through Saturday nights, including a traditional Kitchen Ceilidh on Thursdays!
Hosting everything from live bands to DJ nights and plenty more entertainment that appeals to both mainstream music-lovers and niche enthusiasts alike.
Photo: Jeff Cooke
New to Halifax in 2018, the folks at Sniggily Wiggily’s are serious about entertainment! With live entertainment available nearly every night of the week, there’s something for everyone at this awesome new downtown stage.
In a city with a strong Irish history, it isn’t surprising to find this quintessential Celtic Irish pub. What may surprise you is how PACKED the schedule of live music schedule at the Old Triangle.
You may even be inspired to do a wee bit of Irish set dancing during the open sessions, accompanied by lively fiddle music! Never say never, right?
This historic downtown restaurant is not only one of the most highly-rated eateries in the city, it’s a fantastic place to hear live music!
On Friday & Saturday nights, Mike Cowie and Gerry Carruthers perform, putting their signature spin on pop, rock, soul and blues classics, covering artists like Leonard Cohen, Elton John, and Sam Smith. They even take requests!
The Press Gang is the perfect setting to relax, throw back an oyster or two, and enjoy the fantastic musical talent.
Photo: The Press Gang
For a fun low-key night, stop by Bearly’s for some Kansas City-Style BBQ and stick around for live music and dancing.
There is a slightly older crowd at Bearly’s than many of the downtown dance spots, so it’s a popular option for the 30+ crowd.
Photo: The Coast Halifax
Touted as Halifax’s original tavern, The Split Crow and its concept dates back to 1749, when an aptly named Mr. Shippey was granted the first license to sell beer and liquor in New Scotland, now Nova Scotia. Read the full story here.
Live music reverberates off the walls almost every night of the week, featuring acts like The Persuaders, who have been belting out classic rock since the late eighties.
9 – The Lower Deck
Grab your kilt and your dancing shoes and head to The Lower Deck for a night out – Maritime style! This Halifax institution has been home to renowned musicians like Great Big Sea at the start of their career! The current lineup includes Signal Hill, Shaydid, and Wreckhouse to name a few.
A truly Maritime experience, the Lower Deck welcomes guests of all ages to enjoy live music in the pub, fish and chips on the patio, beer in the main floor tavern, and some serious dancing!
Photo: The Lower Deck
10 – Economy Shoe Shop
For over 20 years, the Economy Shoe Shop has been among the iconic local bars that give Halifax’s nightlife the unique atmosphere that brings visitors from around the world.
With live entertainment Wednesday through Sunday, including an open mic night every Wednesday, and Thursday Night Soul, there’s always something cool happening at this artistic downtown venue.
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This blog was contributed by Tiffany Thornton in 2015 and updated by Discover Halifax in 2018.
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