The Best Live Music Venues in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is full of great places to while away an evening
Vancouver is full of great places to while away an evening | © Roy LANGSTAFF / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Julianna Roche
18 September 2020

A Saturday night on Vancouver’s neon-flashing Granville strip might resemble any other city’s rowdy, booze-filled main drag, but Vancouver’s local music scene constitutes one of the city’s most outstanding cultural offerings. With shows happening most nights of the week at venues large and small, historic and modern, Vancouver caters to the music lover. Here are some of the best spots to see your next show in this Canadian city.

Fox Cabaret

Music Venue
Map View

Formerly North America’s last-standing 35mm porn movie theater, the Fox Cabaret on Main Street has since been restored as a hip, unique club and modern live music venue. Bringing independent music, art, performance and entertainment together in one place, the Fox Cabaret is a beautiful cultural space. Upstairs in the former cinema’s projection booth, there’s a cocktail and snack bar. Prepare yourself for leopard print walls, a sparkle-inlaid bar, pink mirror tables and moody pendant lights.

Commodore Ballroom

Nightclub, Canadian
Map View

A renowned music venue, Commodore Ballroom is known for its great dance floor and lengthy list of iconic performers, such as Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr., U2, Kiss and Weezer. The ballroom opened its doors in 1929 and has since been synonymous with Vancouver entertainment and nightlife. Spacious yet intimate, Commodore also boasts two floors and multiple bars, which helps speed up lines while waiting to order a drink.

Railway Stage and Beer Café

Pub, Beer, $$$
Map View

With pub grub, craft beers and a bohemian vibe, the Railway Stage and Beer Café is one of Vancouver’s oldest continually operating stand-alone music venues, occupying the same space uninterrupted since 1931. The venue has distinguished itself among others by hosting some of the world’s most innovative touring acts as well as local bands, and it has an unmistakable club feel from a bygone area. Honest and a little rowdy with lots of character, this venue is a must-see when in Vancouver.

Vogue Theatre

Music Venue
Map View

Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Vogue Theatre is one of the few venues left standing from Vancouver’s historic Theatre Row – a celebrated street of high-class theaters from the mid-1900s. A defining architectural achievement of the city, the Vogue brings a vintage feel to modern music performances. While it still hosts theatrical plays, it also caters to people who like dancing in a hyped-up crowd while listening to modern electronic music.

These recommendations were updated on September 18, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.