Live music connects people in a way that you almost can't explain. When else do you find people literally throwing their hands up in the air because they're so overcome with excitement? It's the mysterious connection that comes with those sound waves that makes even the most introverted yell, "this is MY JAM" while getting their groove on with strangers in ways no one really thought was possible. And here we face the modern day struggle, why do concerts have to be so expensive?! One night alone at the famed ACC or Rogers Centre can easily cost you upwards of 150 dollars for seats that will still leave you squinting just to see your icon.
There's no denying the rise in the Toronto music scene either, anywhere from pop superstars to underground indie artists either finding their start or are stopping to check out the 6ix. And as Torontonian's and HUMANS we have a right to see them so we can also throw our hands up like the freaks we are and yell "I LOVE YOU" to strangers (and the music will provide a justifiable excuse for something we'd usually pull out at wildflower anyways). Long story short? We love music and shouldn't have to pay so much to see some dope acts live. Here are some amazing live music events that won't leave you with an empty wallet.
1. Indie Fridays // Yonge and Dundas Square
Every friday from 8-11pm there will be FREE Indie performances starting June 24th all the way until September 2nd! A great way to check out local talent, and the best part is it's all at no cost. Grab some friends and head down to hit the beer garden (open at 4) before the show and take in the summer scene.
2. Halsey // TD Echo Beach
Everything is blue...but not when you can find tickets for this rising artist at only 34$ through Stubhub. Halsey's collaborated with Bieber, has hit Gold and Platinum for her song, "New Americana" and has a captivating voice that to see live for this cheap is a steal.
3. Beats, Breaks & Culture: The Bridge // The Harbourfront Centre
The Harbourfront is a not so hidden gem that holds amazing events that never leave us disappointed. Looks like they're going to pull through again with their upcoming festival this August 5th-7th which celebrates all hip-hop and electronic music. This event is an easy way to upgrade your weekend for free! No cost! That's right! NO MONEY FOR DOPE MUSIC.
4. The Underground // The Drake Hotel
Described as the place that "never sleeps" The Drake Hotel delivers another impossibly cool event for millennials to flock. From Indie shows, DJ dance parties and more, you won't find yourself paying more than 15 dollars cover to see some amazing talent. Some of our must hits include, The Hustle ft. Jayd Ink, Itzsoweezee, and Phoebe Ryan.
5. Dakota Tavern // 249 Ossington Avenue
This is one of the top spots for the Indie music scene in Toronto, but even better? The cover is usually around 10 dollars to see some of the best Indie acts Toronto has to offer. In the past they've had Broken Social Scene and it was even the venue for Country Music Television's Dakota Sessions (which included acts like Sarah Harmer, Gord Downie, Sexsmith and more). Of course they have to add a Toronto twist by adding in a bluegrass brunch to their repertoire. That's right, every Sunday morning you can reserve a spot for some live music and good eats.
6. Toronto Jazz Festival // Various Locations
Shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your booty with the huge amount of free events at this years Toronto Jazz Festival! Iconic KC and the Sunshine Band will be kicking it off this Friday June 24th at Nathan Phillips Square for a free concert. Check out him and many others this year to get your groove on and unleash that old soul you've been hiding.
7. Various Artists // The Gladstone Hotel
This boutique hotel isn't just home to some quirky night outs but it also is home to some music events that you won't believe you've been missing for so long. This summer they're bringing in a huge selection of genres from funk, melodic pop/rock shenanigans, r&b, funk and pop all for free.
8. G-Eazy and Logic with YG and Yo Gotti Tickets // Molson Canadian Amphitheater
For someone whose played at Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Bonaroo, and many more, 33 dollars will get you on the lawn through Stubhub for this bargain. Me, myself and I may be his most famous hit but we can guarantee that he won't be stopping soon. He's rumoured to have a new single out with Britney Spears. Doesn't hurt that YG and Yo Gotti are joining him either, and that may be the biggest understatement made this summer as their music will have everyone up on their feet.
9. The Cameron House // 408 Queen St. W
Have you ever really wanted to be the one in your squad to say, ya no big deal I found out about this artist like a year ago, but never knew how to do it? Well know you do. The Cameron House is one of the hottest spots in the city for rising Toronto talent, and if we know anything about the 6ix, it's how it never ceases to produce some amazing talent. Covers only 5 dollars!
10. The Hideout // 484 Queen St. W
This one is for any one who loves patios and rock (which basically sounds like the best combination ever). This bar boasts 7 nights of live music a week, and it comes with a kick ass patio that we all know is essential for any Toronto weekend (or weekday for that matter). They have some feature shows which you can check out here, or drop in to see some of the live music playing that night and who knows? Maybe you'll find the next Aerosmith playing, until then we'll dream on and head over.
11. The Dance Cave // Lee's Palace
Friday and Saturday Lee's Palace is the place to be for any one ready to let loose. Why? I'm talking free cover with a student ID, and only 8 dollar cover for anyone else. Unwind at this Bloor West gem for anyone whose ready to dance, or attempt.
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