Where to catch live music in Calgary

We are all craving a little musical magic these days.

By Kristy Archibald | October 27, 2021 |10:18 pm

Photo: Shutterstock

Here in Calgary, we’ve been lucky to breed phenomenally talented musicians, performers, and entertainers that continue to call this city home. Pre-covid you could find any number of venues raging with soul-filled tunes on really any day of the week that amplified the hype and overall vibe of our city.

When music is a live shared experience it’s known to be cathartic, it garners community, it connects people together, it evokes an emotion, and it lifts spirits high. And we are in desperate need of some of that magic these days! 

From pubs, to cafes, to venues with fully built-in stages, Calgary is home to some amazing live music venues that are beginning to open up and welcome artists back on the stage once again. Obviously many are situated along Music Mile, but also scattered through our communities across the city. Here are seven to add to your bucket list if they’re not on there already. 

Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar 

Name a better combination than coffee, wine, pastries, and live music — we’ll wait. This cozy cafe is nestled on the corner of 9 Avenue SE and just recently restarted their ‘Singer Songwriter’ evenings on Thursdays through until Saturdays from 7 to 9 p.m.. Bring on the espresso and local tunes. 

Where: 909 10 Street SE 

Broken City 

This spot combines the best aspects of any dive bar with character and charisma. Known for their hip hop, indie, and rock acts you can find live tunes lighting up this bar on every Thursday and Friday night. Also don’t miss their comedy nights, quiz nights, and ‘Rockin’ 4 Dollar’s’ event every Wednesday night. 

Where: 613 11 Avenue SW 

The Blues Can 

Situated in the heart of historic Inglewood and at the east end of Music Mile, The Blues Can finds its home in an unmissable blue Quonset-style building. Here you’ll find live acts on their stage seven days a week, from happy hour all the way until closing time. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, this venue will give you some quintessential flashbacks. 

Where: 1429 9 Avenue SE 

The Blue Jay Cafe 

Inspired by the musical venues and songwriter circles of Nashville, this pop-up bar rotates through various live music venues. It started in 2019 as a way to celebrate Canadian music and bring songwriters together across the country. Follow them on social for new announcements for upcoming live sessions that boast a one-of-a-kind musical experience paired with a creative menu of food and drinks. Don’t miss their latest pop-up holiday sessions throughout November. 

Where: Various venues throughout the city 

The King Eddy 

Formally Calgary’s OG blues club, this space has been restored to a beautiful live music venue. Situated by the start of Music Mile and attached to the National Music Centre, this space hosts some of Calgary’s premier acts — Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Matt Masters, Amy Hef, Aaron Pollock — just to name a few. You can always guarantee to see a familiar local face lighting up their stage on any given day of the week. 

Where: 438 9 Avenue SE

This is merely a small handful of venues hosting live music and contributing to the vibrancy of Calgary’s music scene. We will be continually adding to this list, so if you have a favourite spot that we haven’t mentioned above shoot us an email and let us know! 

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Kristy Archibald

Contributor at Calgary Citizen

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