Music & Entertainment November 28, 2018

10 Essential Live Music Venues in Halifax

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

1685 Argyle St, Downtown Halifax

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.

2. Durty Nelly’s Authentic Irish Pub

1660 Argyle St, Downtown Halifax

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 regular traditional Kitchen Ceilidhs!

3. The Seahorse Tavern & The Marquee Ballroom

2037 Gottingen St, North End Halifax

Delightfully weird and wonderful, The Seahorse and The Marquee are true North End Halifax legends, hosting some of the best live music in the city!

Hosting everything from live bands to DJ nights and plenty more entertainment that appeals to both mainstream music-lovers and niche enthusiasts alike.

4. Gus’ Pub & Grill

1665 Argyle St, Downtown Halifax

A comfortable local favourite, this North End Halifax institution is known for its excellent lineup of live entertainment, pitchers of beer, and simple, tasty fare from burgers to tacos and beyond.

5. The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse

5136 Prince St, Downtown Halifax

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?

6. The Press Gang Restaurant & Oyster Bar

5218 Prince St, Downtown Halifax

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, throwback an oyster or two, and enjoy the fantastic musical talent.

7. Bearly’s House of Blues

1269 Barrington St, Downtown Halifax

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.

8. The Split Crow Pub

1855 Granville St, Downtown 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

1887 Upper Water St, Downtown Halifax

Grab your kilt and your dancing shoes and head to The Lower Deck for a night out in true maritime fashion! Known for its maritime hospitality and local entertainment 7 nights a week, The Lower Deck Pub is always good time!

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

1663 Argyle St, Downtown Halifax

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.

Stay in touch! Whether you’re still planning your trip or you’re already here, check us out on social media for travel ideas, adventure inspiration, and an inside look at all things Halifax.

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The blog was originally contributed by Tiffany Thornton in 2015 and has since been adapted by Discover Halifax.



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