Groovin’ and Movin’ to Victoria’s Live Music Scene

Symphony in the Summer Festival

One of Victoria’s most iconic signature festivals, this one will make you smile from ear-to-ear. From July 27- August 5th, fall in love with Victoria through the beautiful sounds of the symphony, taking place at different venues around town. The music crescendos into a grand finale that takes place each year in an iconic Victoria setting. This year, the Symphony will take place across venues such as The Butchart Gardens, Market Square, Christ Church Cathedral, and more. 

Two free full orchestral concerts will also take place in garden-filled Beacon Hill Park. Bring your own chair or picnic blanket, your reusable water bottle and waste-free snacks, and enjoy a pleasant concert in the heart of our Garden City. 

Beacon Hill Park tranquil bridge

The romantic Beacon Hill Park makes for a perfect setting for a symphony. | Photo: Matt Shannon Photography

RIFFLandia

“September Forever” is the slogan of RIFFLandia, Victoria’s largest festival that beckons music-lovers from across the seas, and beyond. As our days cool down, this festival becomes even cooler – expanding in 2023 to not one, but TWO weekends of Riff.  
Electric Avenue (September 7-9) will feature DJ’s, rappers, and electronic music in a 19+ event that takes place in the evening. This year’s lineup promises Run the Jewels and Paris Hilton – a more eclectic festival lineup may not exist.

The Park (September 15-17) will feature headliners and chart toppers of all genres. This year features blast-to-the-past performers like Iggy Pop and Salt-N-Peppa, mixed in with modern icons such as Diplo and Chet Faker.

Stay up to date on their website and their social media for any last-minute lineup additions!

Rifflandia Lineup announcement 2023
A performer celebrates to a confetti finale at Rifflandia

 

These Pubs are Poppin’!

So many of Victoria’s pubs add to their energy with live music. Read on for our list!

Exterior of The Penny Farthing in Oak Bay

The exterior of the Penny Farthing | Photo: Vic Pub Company

  • Bard & Banker – live music nearly every night! Check their calendar to see who’s playing.  
  • Irish Times Pub – Just a block away from the Bard and Banker, the Irish Times also offers live music nearly every night. It’s a great block to be at if you’d like to fill your night with sound! 
  • Penny Farthing Pub – Live music fills this iconic Oak Bay pub every Friday and Saturday, starting at 8:00pm. 
  • Hermann’s Jazz Club – we snuck this one into our “pubs” list, but really, it’s a music venue – with food and drink menus to boot! You can expect a lively show and atmosphere nearly every night. Head here for their full music calendar.  
An older couple dines at the Bard and Banker with a Mimosa Tower

 

Victoria’s Sweet Summer Festivals 

Hear the sounds of music drifting from our squares, our streets, our SkyWalk, our splendid gardens, and even our seas. You won’t want the fun to end! 

Here’s our list of major music festivals, as well as unique venues that grace our ears with sweet music. 
 

Malahat SkyWalk’s Summer Saturdays

Each summer, the Malahat SkyWalk spices up their scenic lookout on Saturdays with the sounds of live music! Starting July 1st and extending until September 2nd, head to the SkyWalk for 5pm for their signature Saturday concerts. Enjoy music at the base of the tower, then head up to the top of the tower for a stunning evening lookout over the Saanich Peninsula. 
 

 

Victoria’s 24th Annual Ska & Reggae Festival 

Taking place June 21st -25th, the Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival, aka. Ska Fest, is the longest running ska festival in North America. Finally, the long winter has receded, and the time has come to prepare for warm days and warmer music. The 24th annual Ska Fest welcomes a staggeringly diverse lineup full of the finest grooves and rhythms from around the globe. 

Head here for their full lineup and tickets! 

Victoria Ska Fest at sunset

Victoria Ska & Reggae Fest attracts amazing crowds to the Inner Harbour each year! Photo: RMS Media

 

TD Victoria International Jazz Festival

TD Jazz Fest is the longest running music festival on Vancouver Island! The eleven days of music feature the best of jazz, blues, and world music of local, Canadian, and internationally acclaimed musicians. The Victoria Jazz Society does an exceptional job organizing this festival each year and coordinating shows of all sizes in venues across Greater Victoria. 

This year is the 40th edition of TD Jazz Fest – so you know it’s going to be BIG! Taking place June 22nd to July 2nd, head to their website for more information on their 2023 lineup, venues, and tickets. 
 

TD Victoria Jazz Fest hosts a lively band on stage

 

WhistleMania

With a takeover of historic Market Square, Whistle Buoy Brewing hosts one of the coolest birthday parties in Victoria. WhistleMania returns this year on June 24, 2023 with live performances by local bands Peach Pyramid, The Lonely Dougs, Juice, and the Velveteins.

The food variety is huge, with delicious dumplings, Venezuelan arepas, and freshly shucked oysters available to dine on. There will even be pro-wrestling matches! The host of Whistle Buoy’s birthday is none other than star Victoria drag queen Vivian Vanderpuss. What a party! 
 

Whistlebuoy in Market Square

Whistlebuoy, set in historic Market Square, always has a lively atmosphere! Photo: Kevin Light Photography

Phillips Backyard Concert Series

Victoria’s very own Phillips Brewing and Malting Company does it all. From sustainable brews, a vibrant tasting room, pretzels, pizzas, and the crispest craft beer around, they top off their pints with a series of BIG festivals set in their industrial backyard. 

Named after their smash hit beers, Tilt! and Reverb return the weekends of July 7th, 2023, and August 11th 2023 respectively for three days of great fun. Headliners include Lord Huron, Fleet Foxes, and DJ Pee. Wee (aka. rapper Anderson Paak). Head here for their full lineup and ticketing information.  

Symphony in the Summer Festival

One of Victoria’s most iconic signature festivals, this one will make you smile from ear-to-ear. From July 27- August 5th, fall in love with Victoria through the beautiful sounds of the symphony, taking place at different venues around town. The music crescendos into a grand finale that takes place each year in an iconic Victoria setting. This year, the Symphony will take place across venues such as The Butchart Gardens, Market Square, Christ Church Cathedral, and more. 

Two free full orchestral concerts will also take place in garden-filled Beacon Hill Park. Bring your own chair or picnic blanket, your reusable water bottle and waste-free snacks, and enjoy a pleasant concert in the heart of our Garden City. 

Beacon Hill Park tranquil bridge

The romantic Beacon Hill Park makes for a perfect setting for a symphony. | Photo: Matt Shannon Photography

RIFFLandia

“September Forever” is the slogan of RIFFLandia, Victoria’s largest festival that beckons music-lovers from across the seas, and beyond. As our days cool down, this festival becomes even cooler – expanding in 2023 to not one, but TWO weekends of Riff.  
Electric Avenue (September 7-9) will feature DJ’s, rappers, and electronic music in a 19+ event that takes place in the evening. This year’s lineup promises Run the Jewels and Paris Hilton – a more eclectic festival lineup may not exist.

The Park (September 15-17) will feature headliners and chart toppers of all genres. This year features blast-to-the-past performers like Iggy Pop and Salt-N-Peppa, mixed in with modern icons such as Diplo and Chet Faker.

Stay up to date on their website and their social media for any last-minute lineup additions!

Rifflandia Lineup announcement 2023
A performer celebrates to a confetti finale at Rifflandia

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