I finally went to see local film No Fun City and it was as inspiring as I thought it would be. There are a lot of people fighting to propel Vancouver into the metropolis we want it to be, but administrative red tape is holding back creativity. In light of this, I thought I would compile some of the best independent music venues in our fair city. Next time you’re out and about, skip your Donnelly local and head to one of these joints. You’ll have an amazing new experience and help support a thriving but struggling scene.
The Biltmore Cabaret– A reliable place for a good party or a good show. The Biltmore recently brought in acts like Titus Andronicus and Free Energy, so it’s clear their promoters have some clout. However, they’re also frequently home to all your Vancouver favourites. http://www.biltmorecabaret.com/
The Cobalt– Formally a punk haven, the Cobalt now features local indie acts as well as guests from abroad. A somewhat controversial venue due to its change of tune, the Cobalt is still an awesome place to see live, independent music. http://www.thecobalt.ca/
The Rickshaw– Already home to bigger international acts like Matt and Kim, the Rickshaw has quickly risen to a popular and trusted venue. A converted movie theatre, the Rickshaw’s layout is friendly for those who want to sit or dance. Don’t be put off by its location in the downtown eastside, this place is worth the adventure. http://www.rickshawtheatre.com/
The Astoria– An East Van institution, the Astoria is one of the last great East Van bars outside of the downtown eastside. A variety of nights and shows ensure a varied audience, while cheap drink specials keep the hipsters coming back. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5969700673
Pat’s Pub– Primarily the hangout of those in the hardcore scene, Pat’s Pub is a true dive bar. There are plenty of places to sit back if you don’t want to jump in the mosh pit, and beer is cheap and brewed in house. http://www.patspub.ca/
Pub 340– The floors are always sticky at this well-established venue. A neighbour to the infamous Cambie, Pub 340 has grown into its own fame for an eclectic clientele and unwavering support for local bands. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=62593116986&ref=ts
–By Meghan Roberts