Venues That Wont Break The Bank

Japanese Breakfast at the Fox Cabaret. Photo taken from The Snipe.

Concerts are expensive. A show at Rogers Arena or BC Place is usually go to run you around $100, plus the price of food (A $15 burger?!), and not to mention a tour shirt running you $60. Sure you could not eat and not buy merch, but not everyone has that willpower.

If you’ve been following my articles you might have noticed that a lot of the artists I’ve covered have be performing at the same venues. I like to think I have a pretty good handle on some of the coolest spots in town to see live music and I’m always happy to share with others! So today I’ll be telling you about some of my favourite places to look into for live shows.

The Biltmore

The Biltmore. Photo taken from the Vancouver Courier

The first place I check anytime I’m looking for something to do. The Biltmore has anything and everything you could need at a place. Cover is usually around $10, but sometimes they won’t charge college students. Drink can be a little bit pricey, but honestly what place doesn’t rip you off at the bar? Biltmore usually puts on great theme nights which focus on different genres (disco, classic rap, disco), decades (70s, 80s, 90s) or specific artists (Kanye West night was an amazing experience).

They also have live artists perform, usually focusing on smaller, up and coming acts. So it’s a good place to see people perform before they get big.

If you’re looking to go clubbing, but don’t feel like spending all your money; the Biltmore is for you. You can easily go in with about $30 and have that cover your cover, coat check, and a few drinks. A great value plus talented DJs and solid live acts? Can’t go wrong with that.

The Fox Cabaret

The Fox Cabaret during a Prince inspired party! Photo from their Facebook.

This one has been my favourite as of late. The Fox has allowed me to Baio of Vampire Weekend, indie rocker Japanese Breakfast, and instrumental group City Of The Sun. Anytime I’ve gone to The Fox tickets have usually hovered around $19-$29 after concert fees. Considering the quality and talent of the bands I’ve seen in a such an intimate setting; that’s a steal. Artists can also usually be found hanging out at the bar after the show, so if your favourite artist plays there; odds are you’ll be able to say hi.

It has a lot of spots to just sit and chill with a drink, including some couches on the balcony upstairs, but there’s also a large space for people to dance. Whether you enjoy just sitting and listening to the music or you’re more of an extrovert who loves to groove with friends; The Fox has something for you.

The 333

The logo of the mysterious 333! Photo from their Facebook

If you’re into local alternative or indie artists The 333 is worth looking into. It’s a “cooler” venues that keep its shows on the “down low” and only the “cool” kids hear about it. I use quotations because the place is usually packed, so I don’t know why people act like it’s such a big secret.

Highlight of this venue is the fact that it’s in what looks to be some type of unused garage, giving it a nice underground feel.

The 333 tends to feature artists from Vancouver either as the headliner or as the opener. I haven’t been around there in a while but I do remember tickets only being somewhere around $10-$15, which was a steal considering the last time I went I got to see three bands.

Be warned: the audience is going to be full of hipsters. Take that as you will.

There you have it! The three big venues I keep an eye on for new shows. If you’re ever in need of something to do and want to see live music I can guarantee at least one of these places will having something going on.

Any other places worth checking out? What’s your go to? Let me know!

-Nelson Ellis

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