And it don’t stop: Hip-hop venues in Calgary

Whether it’s live performances or rap and hip-hop culture you’re after, Calgary’s got a lot to offer hip-hop heads. Many clubs in the city host weekly hip-hop music nights as well as regular events such as Hip Hop Karaoke and the monthly 10 at 10 local hip-hop showcase. The beat is alive and well at these Calgary venues.

Dickens Pub

1000 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2Y6

This unassuming basement-level bar in downtown’s west end is well known for its involvement in Calgary’s punk and hardcore music scenes. But Dickens has also played host to many rappers and hip-hop artists. The bar has seen Canadian acts like Vancouver’s Swollen Members as well as British Columbia Stompdown artists Snak The Ripper, Evil Ebenezer and Merkules. Dickens also presents old-school American rap legends such as The Onyx, Redman, M.O.P. and others.

Back Alley Nightclub

4630 Macleod Trail Sw, Calgary, AB T2G 5E8

Marquee Beer Market & Stage recently took over the location of the now defunct Back Alley Nightclub. Since its inception, Marquee has brought several big hip-hop artists to Calgary including Rich Homie Quan, The L.O.X., Fat Joe and more.

Broken City Social Club

613 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E1

Broken City on Eleventh Avenue Southwest is central to Calgary’s growing music scene. In addition to presenting weekly live indie band performances, Broken City also features Natural Selection Hip Hop Night, which celebrates the golden era of hip hop. Calgary DJs Brofanity, Typist and Kline play hip-hop classics from the ’80s and ’90s.

Scotiabank Saddledome

555 Saddledome Rise SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1

Calgary’s largest music venue, the Scotiabank Saddledome is the go-to venue for performances by the most current, popular rappers. Fan favourites such as Drake, Rihanna and Jay-Z have all graced the Saddledome stage over the years. When major artists hit the Canadian tour circuit, it’s usually a sure bet that they’ll perform here.

BMO Centre

20 Roundup Way SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2W1

The biggest convention centre in Calgary, BMO Centre in Stampede Park is one of the largest music venues in the city. While most performance spaces only cater to the 18-plus crowd, BMO Centre frequently hosts gigs for hip-hop fans of all ages. Past guests have included J. Cole and Rick Ross.

Shaw Millennium Park

1220 9 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T1

This skatepark pulls double duty as an outdoor music performance venue in summer. Annual events include One Love Music Festival, Western Canada’s largest hip-hop music festival. Performers for the September 2015 edition include headliners Nas and J. Cole backed by Machine Gun Kelly; Wu-Tang clan member, Raekwon; Kanye West protégé Travi$ Scott; and Maybach Music Group signee, Wale. Local performers included Evrlove Blake and The Humble Giants trio.

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