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Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta and one of the largest in Canada. Calgary boasts many theaters and stadiums that offer live music, and the city hosts a large number of festivals.
One well-known local venue is the Palace Theatre, which is one of the last remaining old movie houses in Western Canada. The building has been a part of local history for close to 100 years: It opened in 1921, the first public radio broadcast in Calgary played at the Palace, and the building is now a national historic site. The theatre played movies until the 1990s, and it is now one of premier venues for live music in Downtown Calgary. There are concerts at the Palace Theatre on most Friday nights, and some concerts are scheduled on Saturdays and during the week.
In 1955, the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium was built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the province of Alberta. It was renovated in 2005 during Alberta’s centennial celebration. The large auditorium (4 million cubic feet) holds 2538 people. In addition to being the home the Calgary Opera and the Alberta Ballet, the Jubilee Auditorium also holds concerts with famous artists. The Northern counterpart to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium is located in Edmonton.
In order to welcome the NHL’s Calgary Flames and to host the 1988 Winter Olympics, the Scotiabank Saddledome — originally called the Olympic Saddledome — opened in Calgary in 1983. The Saddledome’s name comes from its famous saddle-shaped roof. The arena remains open for ice hockey, and is generally the city’s largest concert venue (McMahon Stadium, home of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, is only rarely used for concerts). Up to 19,000 people can attend an event at the Saddledome. In 2017, the venue hosted country music legend Garth Brooks, who played seven sold out shows in nine days. The venue consistently attracts top talent, and artists including the Foo Fighters, Bruno Mars, Fleetwood Mac, The Tragically Hip and more have all graced the stage at the Saddledome.
Calgary Concert VenuesThe Palace Theatre is located in the commercial district of Downtown Calgary. For a time, the theatre was called Flames Central, but the theatre reclaimed its original name in 2017.
Jubilee Auditorium is in Hillhurst in Northwest Calgary, near the campuses of Alberta College of Art and Design and Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Scotiabank Saddledome is located on the bank of the Elbow River, near East Village and Victoria Park. It’s also near the site of the Calgary Stampede, which is famous for its annual rodeo event.
How much do Calgary concert tickets cost?
The average resale ticket price for a concert in Calgary is $137. Keep in mind that this price is an average, so it’s likely that you’ll be able to find tickets both below and above this price. Ticket prices may change depending on the performer and the day of the concert. Depending on the demand for an event, ticket prices may increase or decrease closer to the event.
Calgary Music Festivals
The Calgary Folk Music Festival has been held annually in the city since 1980. The festival occurs at Prince’s Island Park over four days on the fourth weekend in July. The musical lineup features “icons and upstarts” from over a dozen countries. Performers play on 11 different stages, and over 52,000 people attend the festival every year. Artists like Father John Misty, Elvis Costello, Kris Kristofferson, and the Decemberists have all played at the Calgary Folk Music Festival in the past.
The annual Sled Island Music & Arts Festival has been held in Calgary every year since 2007 and attracts over 300 artists (both musical and visual). The festival typically starts near the end of June and brings in over 40,000 people.
Calgary Concert Tips and Tricks
There is a lot going on at festivals like the Calgary Folk Music Festival. One of the unique events the Folk Festival offers is its “Session/Workshop” events, where artists — on up to six stages! — will work from a theme and put on a completely spontaneous performance.
The Scotiabank Saddledome is accessible through public transportation. If you’re looking to save on parking or cab fare, you can take the light rail to your concert. Get off at the Stampede Station from the south LRT route.