The Ultimate Guide To Live Music In Montreal Where And When To Catch The Best Shows

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Hello Montrealers and music lovers! If you’re looking to experience the vibrant and diverse music scene in Montreal, then you’re in the right place. From jazz to punk rock, the city has something to offer for every musical taste. In this article, we’ll explore the best live music venues in Montreal and how to make the most of your musical experience.

Are you tired of attending concerts in mediocre venues with poor acoustics and a lackluster atmosphere? If so, you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through some of the most exciting live music venues in town, each with its own unique style and character. By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to make informed choices about where to go to experience Montreal’s dynamic music scene in all its glory.

Whether you’re a tourist visiting Montreal for the first time or a local music lover, we’ve got you covered. With our insider tips and recommendations, you’ll discover some of the best live music spots in the city that you didn’t even know existed. You’ll learn about the types of music played at each venue, the best time to visit, and how to get the most out of your experience. So, sit back and prepare to be blown away by the incredible live music scene that Montreal has to offer.

The Best Live Music Venues in Montreal

Montreal is known for its vibrant music scene, with a plethora of venues offering live music experiences in various genres. Whether you’re into jazz, rock, pop, or electronic music, Montreal has something for everyone. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the best live music venues in Montreal, each offering a unique atmosphere and a diverse range of performances.

1. Club Soda

Club Soda is one of the most iconic live music venues in Montreal, located in the heart of the city’s entertainment district. The venue has a capacity of 800 people and hosts a variety of live performances, ranging from indie rock to hip hop and electronic music.

  • Location: Club Soda is located on St. Laurent Boulevard, a few blocks north of Ste. Catherine Street.
  • Atmosphere: Club Soda has a classic nightclub feel, with a large dancefloor and a balcony area for seating. The venue also has a full bar and a snack bar for refreshments.
  • Performances: Club Soda hosts a diverse range of performances, from local acts to international headliners. The venue is particularly known for its indie rock and electronic music concerts.
  • Pros: The venue has a great atmosphere and a large dancefloor, making it a popular destination for music lovers. The sound system is also high quality, ensuring that every performance is a great experience.
  • Cons: The venue can get crowded, making it difficult to move around or get a good view. The drinks can also be expensive, so it’s advisable to bring some cash.

Club Soda has hosted many iconic performances over the years, including shows by The Strokes, The Kills, and The Smashing Pumpkins. The venue is also a popular destination during Montreal’s annual Jazz Fest, which attracts thousands of music lovers from around the world.

Club Soda Pros Cons
Location St. Laurent Boulevard
Atmosphere Nightclub feel, large dancefloor, balcony area Classic vibe, full bar and snack bar Crowded, difficult to move, expensive drinks
Performances Diverse range, from local acts to international headliners, indie rock and electronic music concerts High-quality sound system, iconic performances

If you’re looking for a lively, high-energy venue for your next night out, Club Soda is an excellent choice. Whether you’re a fan of electronic music or indie rock, you’re sure to find a performance that suits your taste at this iconic live music venue in Montreal.

Exploring Montreal’s Live Music Venues

Montreal is home to some of the best live music venues in Canada. Whether you’re a music enthusiast or simply want to experience the buzzing nightlife in Montreal, the city’s live music scene won’t disappoint you. From intimate jazz clubs to massive arenas, Montreal has something to offer for everyone. Here are some of the best venues to catch live music in Montreal:

1. Bell Centre

The Bell Centre is the largest arena in Canada and a popular venue for international touring artists like Madonna, Drake, and Lady Gaga. The venue has a seating capacity of over 21,000 and features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Since its opening in 1996, the Bell Centre has hosted some of the biggest names in music industry and has become an iconic landmark of Montreal.

Pros Cons
Biggest arena in Canada Expensive tickets
State-of-the-art sound and lighting High parking fees
Attracts biggest names in music industry Difficult to get tickets for popular shows

2. Club Soda

Club Soda is a legendary venue in Montreal’s live music scene. The club has a long history of hosting local and international artists across various genres of music, including rock, jazz, blues, and indie. The club’s intimate setting allows for an up-close and personal experience with the artists, and its location in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles makes it a convenient option for music lovers.

Pros Cons
Intimate setting for a personal experience with artists Small venue- tickets sell out quickly
Wide variety of genres No seating- standing room only
Convenient location in the Quartier des Spectacles Age restriction- 18+ only
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3. Place des Arts

Place des Arts is a multi-venue performing arts complex located in the heart of Montreal. The complex includes five different theaters, including the Opéra de Montréal, the Théâtre Maisonneuve, and the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. The venue has a seating capacity of up to 3,000 and hosts a wide variety of music concerts, operas, and ballets. Place des Arts is also home to the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in the world.

Pros Cons
Multiple venues for different types of performances Expensive tickets for popular shows
Seating capacity of up to 3,000 Mostly classical music performances
Home to the Montreal International Jazz Festival Location not as convenient as other venues

4. The Rialto Theatre

The Rialto Theatre is a beautifully restored venue located in the Mile End neighborhood of Montreal. The theater originally opened in 1924 and was closed for several decades before being acquired by the Rialto Montreal Preservation Society in 1999. The theater has since been restored to its former glory and is now a popular venue for local and international artists. The theater’s neo-baroque style architecture and impressive acoustic make it a unique and unforgettable experience for music lovers.

Pros Cons
Beautifully restored venue with neo-baroque architecture Not located in downtown Montreal
Impressive acoustic quality No seating, standing room only
Wide variety of local and international artists Tickets can be expensive for popular shows
  • Other notable live music venues in Montreal include:
  • The Corona Theatre
  • Metropolis
  • Le National
  • Theatre Fairmount

Montreal’s live music scene is one of the best in the world, with something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you want to catch an intimate jazz performance or see a massive arena concert, Montreal’s venues won’t disappoint. So, why not experience the energy and vibrancy of Montreal’s live music scene for yourself?

How to Discover Local Live Music Venues in Montreal

If you’re planning a trip to Montreal, considering seeing live music while you’re there is a great idea. The city is known for its thriving local music scene, which offers a plethora of exciting shows for music lovers of all genres. However, finding the best places to discover these emerging and established artists can be challenging. Here, we’ll share our top tips for experiencing live music in Montreal like a local.

1. Research Local Venues Before You Arrive

One of the most important things you can do before you arrive in Montreal is to research some of the city’s local music venues. Knowing where to go can help you make the most of your time in the city and discover the local talents. While popular venues like the Bell Centre and Metropolis Theatre may have some of the best-known bands performing, it’s the smaller venues that offer the most authentic local music experiences.

Here are some of the best venues:

  • Quai des Brumes: This venue is popular among locals and is known for its daily jazz and blues shows. It’s located on St-Laurent, Montreal’s most famous street for music lovers.
  • Casa Del Popolo: A popular bar and venue that features talented indie bands and local artists, and has a great selection of food and drinks.
  • Petit Campus: Known for its intimate setting, Petit Campus has been a popular venue since the 1980s, and it’s one of the best places to discover up-and-coming locals.

2. Visit Music Festivals

Montreal is famous for its many music festivals, and you should definitely take advantage of them. You’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of different music genres and local and international performers. There are dozens of music festivals in Montreal, but some are more famous and popular than others. Here are a few of the best:

Festival Date Genre(s) Number of Stages
Osheaga August Rock, Pop, Indie, Hip Hop 5+
Jazz Festival June/July Jazz, Blues, Funk 20+
MUTEK August Electronic, Techno, House 3+

3. Explore Local Music Websites and Social Media

Another great way to experience live music like a local is by exploring local music websites and social media pages. They help you discover local music events which might not be featured in guide books. Montreal has a few big players when it comes to music websites and social media platforms:

  • Evenko:Evenko is the biggest promoter of live music events in Montreal. They’re not only limited to music, but cover family events and comedy shows as well.
  • Cult Montreal: This is a local alternative newspaper which covers music events, food, art, and entertainment. They also have an annual award show called “The Best of Montreal” which features the best in music and arts.
  • MusiquePlus: A television network dedicated to music events and artists. They provide exclusive interviews of musicians and offer live and recorded concerts on TV and online.

Once you’ve followed these tips, you’re well on your way to experiencing live music in Montreal like a local. Remember, it’s not just about the big-name venues and headliners. By taking the time to explore the local scene and visit smaller locations, you can discover some hidden gems and support up-and-coming artists.

Exploring the History of Live Music in Montreal

The beautiful city of Montreal, located in the Canadian province of Quebec, is not just known for its scenic beauty and rich heritage, but also for its lively and vibrant music scene. From jazz to rock, Montreal has been a proud hub of live music for decades. In this article, we will delve into the history of Montreal’s live music scene and explore the various elements that have shaped it over the years.

The Roots of Montreal’s Live Music Scene

Montreal’s love for live music can be traced back to the early 20th century when jazz music first began to gain popularity in the city’s nightclubs and cabarets. The vibrant jazz clubs and music halls in Montreal were frequented by legendary musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. The emergence of jazz music introduced a new era of musical performance to Montreal, and with it, the city’s love for live music grew and evolved over time.

The city’s live music scene continued to flourish in the 1960s and 70s with the rise of folk music, rock, and indie music. Montreal’s small clubs and bars became a haven for both established and emerging musicians, including Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell, to showcase their talents and build a following.

The Rise of Music Festivals in Montreal

Montreal’s reputation as a music city was further cemented with the emergence of music festivals in the city. The Montreal Jazz Festival, one of the largest jazz festivals in the world, began in 1980 and has since become a celebrated annual event. The festival attracts thousands of music lovers from all over the world, with its vibrant atmosphere, diverse lineups of musicians, and scenic venues.

In addition to the jazz festival, Montreal hosts several other music festivals throughout the year, including Osheaga, Heavy Montreal, and Pop Montreal. These festivals bring together some of the biggest names in the music industry, and provide a platform for local and emerging musicians to showcase their talents.

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The Evolution of Montreal’s Live Music Venues

From small clubs and bars to large-scale concert halls, Montreal’s live music scene has evolved significantly over the years. Some of the city’s most iconic venues, such as Club Soda, Metropolis, and the Bell Centre, have hosted some of the biggest names in the music industry.

However, it is not just the big venues that have contributed to the city’s success as a music destination. Montreal is also known for its thriving underground music scene, with several small-scale venues and bars, such as La Sala Rossa, Casa Del Popolo, and Barfly, providing a stage for local and emerging musicians to perform.

The Impact of Live Music on Montreal’s Culture and Economy

Montreal’s live music scene has not only contributed to its cultural identity, but has also had a significant impact on its economy. The city’s music festivals attract thousands of tourists each year, generating millions of dollars in revenue for the local economy. The music industry in Montreal supports hundreds of jobs and businesses, and contributes to the city’s overall economic growth.

Moreover, the city’s love for live music has fostered a vibrant and inclusive community of music lovers and professionals. Montreal’s diverse and multicultural population has played a crucial role in shaping its music scene, with musicians from all backgrounds coming together to create a unique and eclectic sound.


Montreal’s love for live music is deeply woven into the city’s cultural fabric. From its early roots in jazz music to its current reputation as a music destination, Montreal’s live music scene has evolved and grown to become an integral part of its identity. Its impact on the economy, culture, and community cannot be overstated, and the city’s continued dedication to supporting live music makes it a destination beloved by both artists and music lovers alike.

The Future of Live Music in Montreal: Trends and Developments

Live music has been a significant aspect of Montreal’s culture and entertainment industry for decades. It has brought together people of all backgrounds, tastes, and ages. In recent years, however, the live music scene has undergone significant changes, primarily due to technological advancements and shifts in consumer behavior. In this section, we will explore the emerging trends and developments that are shaping the future of live music in Montreal.

Shift to Digital Platforms

A significant trend in the live music industry globally is the shift to digital platforms. With the advent of technology, live music experiences are no longer confined to physical venues. The rise of on-demand streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube has transformed how audiences consume music. As a result, music artists have also been turning to digital platforms to connect with their fans.

– Music streaming has become an essential revenue stream for music creators.
– Social media provides a platform for artists to engage with their fans, promote their music, and build their brand.
– Live streaming has become increasingly popular, with virtual concerts, festivals, and even album releases.

Montreal-based DJ and producer, Snails, exemplifies the shift to digital platforms. In addition to his live music performances, Snails has a massive following on social media, with over 1.2 million followers on Instagram alone. He uses his social media platforms to connect with his fans, promote his music, and announce upcoming shows.

Incorporation of Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is fast becoming a crucial aspect of the live music experience. While virtual reality headsets and technology are still in their early stages, the potential for the music industry is enormous. VR allows artists to create immersive experiences for their fans, even from afar.

– VR technology enables audiences to experience live music performances in 360-degree video.
– It also allows artists to create virtual concert experiences, simulating live shows in real-time.
– Virtual reality also has the potential to reduce barriers to entry for audiences who cannot attend live events in person.

Montreal’s Phi Centre is one example of incorporating VR in the live music experience. They’ve hosted several virtual concerts using VR technology to create an immersive experience for their audience, even from the comfort of their homes.

Focus on Experience and Immersion

In recent years, the focus of live music events has shifted. Rather than simply attending a concert, people crave unique experiences that are immersive and interactive.

– Music venues have started to incorporate experiential elements such as virtual reality, projection mapping, and art installations.
– Festival organizers are also presenting unique, immersive environments for attendees with curated art installations, lighting, and sound design, making the experience for attendees more than just the musical performances.

Montreal’s Igloofest is an excellent example of an event that focuses on the attendee’s overall experience. Attendees aren’t just there for the music; they’re there for the immersive environment of music, lights, and art installations, all amidst the winter chill.

Growth in Niche Markets

Another trend that the live music industry in Montreal is witnessing is the growth of niche markets. People are more interested in specific genres, subcultures, or artists, and are willing to seek out events that cater to their specific interests.

– The demand for niche genres such as hip-hop, electronic, and alternative has increased.
– Event promoters have started to cater to these audiences with curated experiences such as genre-specific festivals or nightclubs.

Montreal’s MUTEK festival, which showcases experimental electronic music and audio-visual performances, is an example of an event that caters to a specific niche market.

Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the live music industry globally, and Montreal is no exception. Concert cancellations, venue closures, and social distancing measures have had a profound effect on the industry.

– However, artists and event organizers have had to become more innovative, with virtual concerts and events being the norm.
– The pandemic has also brought about changes in the music industry, such as a greater emphasis on local and regional talent and the need for more sustainable events.

In conclusion, the live music scene in Montreal is continually evolving, with new trends and developments shaping its future. From the shift to digital platforms to the focus on immersive experiences and the impact of the pandemic, the industry is experiencing rapid change. However, despite these changes, live music continues to be a vital part of Montreal’s culture and entertainment industry.

Key Concepts Pros Cons Comparisons
Shift to Digital Platforms – Increased revenue for music creators
– Opportunity for artists to promote their music
– Wider reach for music creators and artists
– Decreased revenue for physical venues
– More competition online
– Fragmented audience
– Loss of physical music venues
– Rise of on-demand streaming services
Incorporation of Virtual Reality – Immersive experience for fans
– Reduced barriers to entry
– Greater creative opportunities for artists
– Limited technology and accessibility
– Less human connection
– Health risks
– Potential to transform live music experience
– Rise of virtual concerts and albums
Focus on Experience and Immersion – Unique and memorable experiences
– Stronger connections with fans
– Opportunity to attract new audiences
– High costs
– Risk of alienating existing fans
– Limited audience appeal
– Rise of experiential events and immersive environments
– Potential for wider appeal with curated events
Growth in Niche Markets – Greater appeal to specific audiences
– Opportunity for genre-specific events
– More personalized experience for attendees
– Limited audience reach
– Higher costs for promoters
– Risk of oversaturation
– Potential for more specialized events
– Catering to niche genres/subcultures
Impact of COVID-19 – Increased innovation and creativity
– Greater emphasis on regional/local talent
– More sustainable events
– Cancellations and closures
– Limited audience capacity
– Less revenue for physical venues
– Rapid shift to virtual concerts and events
– Greater community support for music industry
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FAQs About Live Music Montreal

What are some popular live music venues in Montreal?

Montreal has a vibrant live music scene and there are several popular venues. Some of the most popular venues in Montreal include Club Soda, Métropolis, Bell Centre, and L’Astral. These venues host a range of concerts, from indie gigs to international acts.

What type of music can I expect to hear in Montreal?

Montreal is renowned for its diverse music scene and you can expect to hear everything from rock, jazz, and pop to classical, blues, and electronic music. There are also plenty of opportunities to discover emerging local talent in Montreal’s clubs and bars.

When is the best time to catch live music in Montreal?

The live music scene in Montreal is active all year round. Summer is a particularly busy time for live music, as several festivals take place, including the Montreal Jazz Festival and Osheaga Music and Arts Festival.

What’s the dress code for attending live music events in Montreal?

The dress code for attending live music events in Montreal varies according to the venue and the event. For most concerts, casual attire is acceptable, but it’s always a good idea to check ahead of time to make sure you’re dressed appropriately.

Is it better to purchase tickets in advance or at the door?

It’s generally better to purchase tickets in advance as it guarantees your place and often comes with a discount. Many live music events in Montreal sell out in advance, so it’s wise to plan ahead and purchase tickets as soon as you can.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to live music events in Montreal?

The rules on bringing outside food and drinks to live music events vary according to the venue. Some venues allow it, but many do not. Check the venue’s website or contact them directly to find out their policy.

Are there any age restrictions for attending live music events in Montreal?

Age restrictions vary according to the venue and the event. Some shows are open to all ages, while others are 18+ or 21+. Check the venue’s website or contact them directly to find out their policy on age restrictions.

How can I stay informed about upcoming live music events in Montreal?

There are several resources to stay informed about upcoming live music events in Montreal. You can check the event listings on websites such as Timeout Montreal or consult Montreal’s many music blogs and social media accounts.

How much should I expect to pay for tickets to live music events in Montreal?

The cost of tickets to live music events in Montreal varies according to the venue, the event, and the performer. Some shows are free, while others can cost hundreds of dollars. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 – $100 for most concerts.

What is Montreal’s music scene like compared to other cities?

Montreal’s music scene is renowned for its diversity and energy. It’s often compared to other music cities such as Austin, Nashville, and Toronto. Montreal is known for its strong underground music scene and its support for emerging local talent.

What is the best way to get to live music venues in Montreal?

Montreal has an excellent public transport system with convenient metro stations located near many popular live music venues. If you’re driving, many venues offer parking or there are several public parking options available. You can also take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the venue.


Montreal’s live music scene is thriving and offers something for everyone, from indie gigs and jazz concerts to international acts and emerging local talent. There are several popular venues in Montreal, including Club Soda, Métropolis, Bell Centre, and L’Astral, and many festivals take place throughout the year. It’s always a good idea to purchase tickets in advance and check the venue’s policy on outside food and drinks and age restrictions. Stay informed about upcoming events by checking event listings on websites and following Montreal’s many music blogs and social media accounts. To fully enjoy Montreal’s music scene, consider taking public transport, dress appropriately, and be ready for a fun night out. Thank you for reading and be sure to check out other interesting articles on Montreal’s culture and attractions!