There’s definitely more to live music in Calgary than sweeping stadiums and lush auditoriums. Alongside the Saddledome and the Jubilee, the city is also home to plenty of fabulous smaller music venues that offer nightly performances in a wide range of genres and attract both local acts and international artists.
Located on the former Electric Avenue, it seems appropriate that Broken City is one of the most popular live music venues in Calgary. Its stage has been home to a wide variety of performers since it first opened its doors in 2004, attracting all sorts of acts from local favourites like Viet Cong to world-renowned artists like Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Broken City also hosts weekly comedy nights, along with DJ sets, karaoke, and pub trivia.
With frequent collaborations with institutions like Theatre Junction and Sled Island, the Hifi Club has become an integral part of Calgary’s artistic community since it opened in 2005. It smudges the boundaries between art gallery, night club, and live music venue. If you like electronic music, you’re in luck — the club regularly features a stacked lineup of Calgary’s best DJs and has also attracted some huge international artists over the years, including Diplo, MSTRKRFT, Kid Cudi, and Jamie xx.
Head on down to Mikey’s Juke Joint for nightly performances of blues, roots, and classic rock and roll. One of the most popular weekly features is Tim Williams’ Solo Tuesday, where the award-winning blues singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performs for a full evening. Aspiring musicians are encouraged to take the stage at the open mic night on Wednesdays and don’t miss the Saturday Afternoon Jam Session, where owner Mike Clark performs with his own band.
Wine-Ohs is a double threat, with its top floor consisting of a fantastic little European bistro and its downstairs cellar housing a live music venue that attracts a wide range of acts from local rock bands to jazz trios. The cellar maintains an intimate, speakeasy vibe reminiscent of New York or Chicago and also boasts an award-winning wine list to wash the music down with. To go straight to the cellar, enter through the alley door.