Experience a live music scene you’ll never forget. As the birthplace of talented artists like Sloan, Joel Plaskett, Wintersleep, and many more, Halifax is a city with a rich musical history and culture. Drop in for a live show and find out for yourself.
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
With a prime location 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. 2037 Gottingen, home of The Marquee Ballroom, Seahorse Tavern, and The Local
2037 Gottingen St, North End Halifax
Delightfully weird and wonderful, the Seahorse, The Marquee, and the Local are true North End Halifax legends, hosting some of the best live music in the city. This three-in-one venue offers everything from live jazz to DJ nights and plenty more entertainment that appeals to both mainstream music-lovers and niche enthusiasts alike.
4. Gus’ Pub & Grill
2605 Agricola St, North End 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.
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.
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 lineup regularly includes local legends like Signal Hill, Shaydid, and Wreckhouse – just to name a few.
A truly Maritime experience, The Lower Deck welcomes guests to enjoy live music in the pub, fish and chips on the patio, beer in the main floor tavern, and some serious dancing!
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.
5171 George St, Downtown Halifax
Specializing in jazz and funk, this spacious club set in the historic Meryll Lynch Building on George Street offers live music, small plates, cocktails and dancing. Catch local favourites, The Mellotones every Friday evening and get your jazz-funk fix with the G Street Band on Saturdays.