Listen up! Don’t Miss Halifax’s Lively Music Scene

Posted: July 13, 2023

Music is a part of Halifax’s heart and soul, home to amazing artists, venues, concerts, and festivals. It’s no wonder this region of Canada is tied to talented artists such as Sarah McLachlan, Classified, April Wine, Ria Mae, Joel Plaskett, JRDN, Matt Mays, and many, many more.

No matter what genre of music you’re in the mood for, we guarantee Halifax has something for you.


Looking for live music experiences? Look no further. Halifax has tons of popular live music venues that are bound to pique your interest. In nearly every corner of the region, you can find a live show playing somewhere nearly every night of the week. See below for some of the city’s most special locales.

  1. The Derby Show BarConsolidating Halifax’s famous Marquee Ballroom, Seahorse Tavern, The Local, and the Green Room Patio, the Derby Show Bar is an absolute must. Located in downtown Halifax, this venue has got something for everyone - from small coffee shop gigs, to jazz bands, to full-on concerts.
  2. The Carleton: This venue is known for hosting a wide range of musicians, from local talents to well-known Grammy award winning artists, such as Gordie Sampson. Enjoy listening to live music of your choice as you sit in one of the city’s oldest buildings, dating back to 1759.
  3. The Shore Club: Built in 1946, the Shore Club has become locally renowned for serving an iconic lobster supper and hosting excellent concerts. Located just 40 minutes outside of downtown, and in the beautiful beachside community of Hubbards, the Shore Club offers the essential east coast experience: seafood, the beach, and live music. Check out concerts this summer with Matt Mays and The Sheepdogs.
  4. The Lower Deck: This Halifax staple is renowned for featuring local and traditional east coast music. It originally opened its doors on the Halifax Waterfront in 1974, and proudly serves great pub food, beer, and incredible local entertainment every single night of the week. Be sure to check out Signal Hill on Sunday nights at the Lower Deck!
  5. Lighthouse Arts Centre: The Light House Arts Centre in the heart of downtown attracts extraordinary talent from around the globe. Upcoming shows and festivals include Naticus: Pride Week Main Event on July 29th, OPM Summer Fest on August 5th featuring some of the world’s hottest Filipino artists, and two-days and two nights of high-octane electronic music at the Vibrancy Festival August 18th – 20th.
  6. Patrons Rec Room: Located in the community of Bedford, Patrons Rec Room offers entertainment for the whole family. Grab a drink and a bite to eat, play virtual golf, sing karaoke, and of course, enjoy the raw talent of live local musicians who perform multiple times throughout each week. You won’t want to miss out.
The Carleton

And of course, if you’re more interested in an entirely different scene, Halifax has you covered there as well. The city is home to a fantastic and acclaimed orchestra. Symphony Nova Scotia reaches more than 50,000 Nova Scotians of all ages each year with some of the most innovative concerts and educational offerings in the country. From baroque to classical to pop, Celtic, rock, and folk, Symphony Nova Scotia brings you the music you love right here at home. The talented team is one of the provinces largest employers within the cultural community and includes over 30 musicians and an administrative team, along with over 150 contracted artistic, production, and technical personnel.

Musical theatre is no stranger to Halifax, either. Known as the cultural heart and soul of the Halifax community, Neptune Theatre believes in the power of live theatre and music to transform and connect. Featuring some of the region’s best artists and musical theatre professionals, Neptune is recognized as a leader on the national landscape, and presents a thought-provoking playbill that amplifies creative voices, inspires future generations of musical theatre artists, and delights audiences. If you enjoy musical theatre, be sure to catch a show and be amazed.


Looking for a larger concert? Some big names are stopping by Halifax over the next few months. This fall, the Scotiabank Centre is hosting The Doobie Brothers' 50th Anniversary Tour on October 13, 2023. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are back on tour together for the first time in over 25 years! The Glorious Sons will take the stage on December 9th as part of their North American tour. No matter your musical preferences, there is a concert for everyone!

Halifax is also no stranger to hosting major Canadian award shows. This spring Halifax hosted the 35th East Coast Music Awards. Next year, the JUNO Awards will be back in town for the first time since 2006! Halifax will host the 2024 JUNO Awards on March 24, 2024, with pre-show activities taking place from March 20-24, 2024. Tickets and additional details will be announced closer to the show date.

Music Festivals

TD Halifax Jazz Festival Main Stage

If you’re interested in hearing a variety of artists, Halifax also hosts many music festivals throughout the year. The annual TD Halifax Jazz Festival takes place from July 11-16, 2023, at locations throughout the city, including a stage on the beautiful Halifax waterfront! Announced acts are bands Feist, Fleet Foxes, and Fortunate Ones.

A new music festival celebrating Black artists is coming to Halifax in August. Taking place on August 4 and 5, 2023, the Crescendo Fest will feature an all-Black lineup of performers and will bring people together for music, education, networking, empowerment, and culture. Also happening in August is the outdoor Rock the Harbour Classic Rock Festival at Alderney Landing on the Dartmouth waterfront. Happening August 18th – 20th. This year’s event features an outstanding line-up of Canadian Classic Rock bands like Kim Mitchell, Tom Cochrane, and Gowan.

Later this year, the Halifax Urban Folk Festival (HUFF) rolls into the city from September 24 – October 1, 2023. Since its inception in 2010, HUFF has showcased hundreds of regional and international artists across live music venues in Nova Scotia. More details and tickets will be announced soon.

If theatre and performing arts are more your style, The Halifax Fringe returns at the beginning of September. Bringing to light new and innovative styles of art, the Halifax Fringe provides a chance for local artists to share their art on a larger stage.

Music and the performing arts play a huge role in the heart of Halifax and Nova Scotia. When you explore the region, be sure to take part in our lively music scene and truly experience the local culture.



This website uses cookies
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and analyse website traffic. By using our website without adjusting your cookie settings you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.