Music on the Cheap

RUSH time machine tour t-shirt that i picked up today at Penny Pincher's Thrift Shop in Langley.

RUSH time machine tour t-shirt that i picked up today at Penny Pincher’s Thrift Shop in Langley.

I love live music – there’s just something about watching a performer create their music right in front of you… it’s magic. I’m looking forward to attending a few concerts this summer: the iconic Canadian band RUSH, who were just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame (after over 30 years together as a band! And they’re still making new music, not just recycling their old stuff) and the Wailin’ Jennys (fantastic folk band with glorious harmonies) to name just two.

the lovely Wailin' Jennys

the lovely Wailin’ Jennys

The RUSH concert isn’t cheap ($104), the Wailin’ Jennys concert is way more reasonable ($25) – but having seen both of these bands in concert before, I know it’ll be worth every penny we’ve paid.

And while I firmly believe in supporting musicians financially, I also love it when they put on performances for free! Summer is coming and free music abounds in British Columbia. Here, in no particular order, are a few concerts that I’m aware of, feel free to add your own – no matter where you live! (Maybe I’ll come hear a free concert in Scotland… or Australia…)

Whistler, BC

Whistler Concert Series – runs June 29-September 1, includes great bands like 54/40, Hey Ocean, Ashley MacIsaac and more.

Abbotsford, BC

Minnesota Nice in concert

Minnesota Nice in concert – that’s my boy in the purple shirt.

Envision Concert Series and Concerts in the Park – May 25-June 29 – in various coffee shops, July 6 – August 31 at Mill Lake. Be sure to take in my favourite band: Minnesota Nice at Mill Lake on August 31st (shameless child promotion, I know).

Jam in Jubilee – every Thursday, all summer, Jubilee Park in Abbotsford. Their website isn’t updated for 2013 yet but they promise that info is coming soon.

Mission, BC

Heritage Park Concert Series – every Wednesday and Friday evening from June to end of August at Fraser River Heritage Park.

Harrison, BC

The Harrison Festival of the Arts –  July 6-14, 2013 – includes paid concerts and lots of free music on the beach (this is where we’re seeing the Jennys.)

Vancouver, BC

jazz festival

TD International Jazz Festival – June 21 – July 1st – various venues in Vancouver. The jazz festival has lots of fabulous performers whose concerts you can pay for but you can also enjoy tons of free jazz, outdoors, throughout the event, usually noon or evenings. On Canada Day in particular, you can get free jazz all day – Granville Island and Gastown are two of our favourite venues. (click on the Jazz Calendar and then on the “i” icon under each band name to see if it’s free or not.)

2013 HSBC City of Bhangra Festival – May 30 – June 8th – hundreds of performers, lots of free concerts. This could be a ton of fun – venues in both Vancouver and Surrey.

CBC Musical Nooners – every Wednesday at noon at the CBC on Hamilton. Here’s the link to their events page – can’t find 2013 info yet but I’m sure it’s coming.

Victoria, BC

Live Victoria -Here’s a cool website that lists all kinds of concerts and events happening on Vancouver Island – not all of them are free, but some are as cheap as $5.

Columbia/Kootenays, BC

All kinds of cool stuff happening now, right through to the fall – free concerts, sand sculptures, art walks and more. Check out this website for details.

What’s your favourite free concert venue?

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2 Responses to Music on the Cheap

  1. La Vern says:

    There will also be music in the park in Hope every Saturday, as well as a local market. There’s always a breeze off the river, even on a hot day, and the surrounding mountains make for a stunning setting. Come see my band, The Hoodlums (yes, there is a story behind the name), on Aug. 17.

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