After 18 months of longing, live music has come back to save our souls—and it’s wasting no time, with every fleeting summer evening stuffed to the rafters with cool concerts to check out. After the COVID-induced music show drought, we don’t dare complain. Instead, we’re rushing from stage to stage, pretending it’s a music festival as we catch up with a host of our favourite Halifax acts. Here are seven shows to seek out:
OK, Halifax: You have not one but *two* shots to see one of the city’s best R&B acts on this swell summer weekend, so don’t you dare blow it. Witness Beals croon from his incredible 2020 album KING Friday July 30 from 4-6pm at the Halifax Convention Centre’s free, outdoor stage and then head to The Buskers’ 2021 event, Music & Magic, where the strongmen and fire eaters have been replaced by midway rides and live music. Beals headlines Music & Magic on Sat July 31at 7pm.
Fri July 30, 4-6pm, Halifax Convention Centre, 1650 Argyle Street, free
Sat July 31, Music & Magic Festival, Halifax Waterfront Salter Block, 7pm, free
The Grand Parade’s summer stage lights up bright with one of Halifax’s brightest folk stars taking the stage for a free concert. Summer really is the best.
Fri Jul 30, 6-8pm, Grand Parade, 1770 Barrington Street, free
Gremmy Sip: Album release party and beat battle
When Halifax hip hop heavyweight Tachichi gifts the world with new music, he goes as big with the delivery as his talent demands—meaning he's built what is sure to be one of the summer's hottest concerts. Alongside the celebration of his album Gremmy Sip, you'll see 10 of the city's best up-and-coming hip hop producers battle it out on stage at this sweet showcase. A roster of local favourites—think Polaris Prize-longlisted Aquakultre, Halifax's reggae royalty Jah'mila and the new-and-buzzy rapper Lxvndr—rounds out the fun.
Fri July 30, 9pm, Derby Showbar, 2037 Gottingen Street, $20-$30
Hello Delaware w/Good Dear Good, Book Buddies
Dana Beeler's band Hello Delaware is infamous for its blistering live show—and we can think of no better way to celebrate live music's triumphant, against-all-odds return than to let her crew of certified rockers melt our faces off.
Sat July 31, 7pm, Derby Showbar, 2037 Gottingen Street, $30-$40
ANSMA Freedom Festival showcase feat. Reeny Smith
One of Halifax’s most golden voices, Reeny Smith has quickly laid her claim as R&B royalty. Here, she headlines this free, outdoor show at the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal in honour of Emancipation Day. Sanctified Brothers and ANSMA Praise Team warm the stage.
Sun Aug 1, Dartmouth Ferry Terminal Park, 2 Ochterloney Street, 2:30-8:30pm, free
Emancipation Day variety show
The Grand Parade’s biggest event of the summer is undoubtedly this multi-performer, multi-disciplinary showcase celebrating Emancipation Day 2021. Organized by local social activism kickstarter GameChangers902, the fun kicks off at 6pm. Performances include the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, drag royalty Elle Noir and Hali hip hop heavyweights Kye Clayton and MAJE.
Sun Aug 1, Grand Parade, 1770 Barrington Street, 6-9pm, free