Outdoor concerts run through September

Summer may be wrapping up, but outdoor music shows run straight through September all around the Lower Mainland.

Credit: Jenn Laidlaw

outdoor concert, live music, Malkin Bowl

Crowded House play outside at Malkin Bowl in 2007.

Catch live music alfresco all around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland through September


Sure it’s the end of August and our minutes of daylight have been ticking away since June 21, but take one look at the outdoor concerts still to come across the Lower Mainland and you just might shriek with newfound glee. Apparently concert organizers in this city have agreed to make the most of an Indian summer and line up the outdoor shows right past the September equinox and into fall.


Vancouver outdoor music venues and upcoming shows

Music lovers know that some of the best concert venues in this city are shared with mosquitoes, bats, sound curfews and sometimes even Mother Nature’s giant tear drops, but these beautiful wide open spaces are also place to stretch out on a blanket, escape the city and dance to the rhythms and under the fiery glow of a late summer setting sun.

Malkin Bowl

Malkin Bowl, tucked in the forest in Stanley Park, is one of my favourites! Just a skip away from downtown, the second- and third-growth forest silences out the city buzz, apart from the occasional float plane—which I’d hardly call intrusive anyway. There’s a decent number of porta-loos, but it is still a good idea to sneak over during the musical act to avoid the lines that form in between gigs.

Don’t expect a beergarden inside, but you can always join the masses that bring their own and sit on the lawn outside the fenced concert area enjoying the great sound (if not the visuals) for free.     


Upcoming shows at Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver – $$

Friday, August 27–28, 2010 – Vampire Weekend with Beach House and Dum Dum Girls

Sunday, August 29, 2010 – Blue Rodeo

Thursday, September 9–10, 2010 – The National with the Walkmen

Thursday, September 16, 2010 – Scissor Sisters with Sammy Jo

Friday, September 24, 2010 – Tegan + Sara

Saturday, September 25, 2010 – K’naan

Sunday, September 26, 2010 – The Flaming Lips with Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti

Deer Lake Park

Burnaby has Deer Lake Park, a larger, sloped version of Malkin with a sunset view of the lake. Parking is a nightmare. Parents send their cute little children out to sell street-side parking spaces (sans 25-cent lemonade) in the surrounding neighbourhoods to profit off the big nights. Be prepared to walk for a while (uphill, I should add) if you drive, otherwise I suggest public transit.

Let the sweat dry as you stand in line at the beergarden inside. Double-fisting is imperative, as the garden closes a good hour or two before the end of the show.

Upcoming show at Deer Lake Park, Burnaby – $$
Saturday, September 11, 2010 – Hedley


FREE outdoor venues around Vancouver

Other communities around the Lower Mainland have created smaller outdoor venues for live music, including Lynn Valley Village and Cates Park in North Vancouver, John Lawson Park in West Vancouver, White Rock Museum Plaza and the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Richmond.


Cates Park Concert Series, North Vancouver FREE (4–7 p.m.)
Local indie bands and soloists take to the stage every Saturday throughout August, performing from a whole shwack of genres including alternative, rock, folk, reggae, garage and acoustic. Perfect for a picnic and opportunity to expand your local music knowledge.


John Lawson Park, West Vancouver – FREE (7:30 p.m.)
Friday, August 27, 2010 – Wednesday Night at Ernies


Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Steveston, Richmond – By Donation (6:30 p.m.)

Friday August 27, 2010 – Paul O’Brien, Irish tunes

Friday, September 3, 2010 – Blue Train Electric Blues with a dance edge


Lonsdale Quay, North Vancouver – FREE (13 p.m.)
Sunday, August 29, 2010 – Ben Sigston
Sunday, September 5, 2010 – Luisa Marshall as Tina Turner


2010 PNE Summer Nights Concerts

In addition, for two quick weeks at the end of the August, the PNE busts out a pretty stellar classic line-up on the outdoor sound stage inside the fairgrounds.


PNE Summer Night Concerts – FREE with fair admission

Thursday, August 26, 2010 – Wayne Newton

Friday, August 27, 2010 – Joan Jett

Saturday, August 28, 2010 – Mariana’s Trench

Sunday, August 29, 2010 – Spirit of the West

Monday, August 30, 2010 – John Hiatt and The Combo / Los Lobos

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 – Annual Evening with Elvis

Wednesday, September 1, 2010 – Jesse Cook

Thursday, September 1, 2010 – Little River Band

Friday, September 2, 2010 – Cyndi Lauper

Saturday, September 3, 2010 – Steven Page

Sunday, September 4, 2010 – The Road Hammers

Monday, September 6, 2010 – Trooper