We Countdown Our Favorite Venues

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As you’ve no doubt ascertained, we here at HAFILAX enjoy live music and live concert events. We’ve started writing about the shows we’ve had the pleasure to attend in recent weeks. There will a great deal more of that down the road, but those live shows sparked a great debate amongst the three of us about what the best venues in Halifax are and why we feel they are the best.

It’s fairly easy to put together a top 10 list, but if it’s based on nothing but opinion it doesn’t really quantify why one venue is any better than another. Fortunately Jeff came up with a great framework of how we could score each of our venues, which goes a little something like this (all are scored out of 5):

1. Sound – What does the band sound like? Is the venue geared to handle a live performance, or does the sound bounce around like you’re in a tin can? You do hope to be able to hear the band, right?

2. Stage Set-up – What do you mean there’s no room for mosh pit?! Is there room to accommodate a decent sized crowd, or are you going to be stuck watching from the back when you decide to opt out of the sardine lifestyle. We also take into account the lighting, and overall stage setup and size.

3. Access To Necessities – How difficult is it to get from your viewing perch to the bar and back, and then where are those washrooms once the beer rental agreement expires? Also something to consider, is it easy to enter and exit the venue? Or will you be stuck spending an hour fighting a mob to get your coat?

4. Venue Characteristics – This speaks to the location of the bar down to the overall flow once you get inside. It also includes thinking about the sorts of vantage points from where you can watch the show.

5. The Line-Up/Bookings – The category that without it, renders all others moot. Who are the promoters bringing to town, regardless who they bring in, they have to play somewhere right? We look at the talent that the venue is bringing in, is it a venue loaded with new up and coming talent, or are the top tier acts taking the stage, we take all of this into account too.

So over the next couple of days you will see our first entry as we countdown what we feel are the best venues in town. We hope you stick around and let us know what you think and hope that you’ll share some of your favorite stories about the venues we feel are the best around.

About the author


A proud and over-caffeinated husband, father, runner and writer. I've written for the local weekly The Coast for over a decade and have since taken to creating and writing for HAFILAX for even longer. I hope you enjoy the musings of a guy who has loved music for the better part of 4 decades, and has an album of concert tickets to show for it.