Live, Love, Live: Being a Millennial Music Fan in Toronto

By: Jeff Greenberg
Posted on: July 5, 2016

As young professionals living in Toronto, one of the most diverse cities in the world, we’re lucky to have our pick of the best in music, from the biggest pop acts in the world (Adele, Taylor Swift, et. al) to the scrum in the pit at Lee’s Palace on a random Thursday. We have it all, and everything in between.

Being into live music in Toronto is like a visit to a Mandarin restaurant – you’ve got your pick, as much as you want, but going overboard may have dire consequences.

So what can we do to take in as much as we possibly can without overdoing it?

Being a millennial in Toronto presents a unique set of challenges towards that mission. The ever-rising cost of living and food doesn’t allow for much wiggle room when it comes to ticket purchases. Depending on your professional lifestyle, you may not even have the time to dip out of the office to catch that surprising opener you’ve heard about. Make sure you drink ahead of time, too: you wouldn’t want to pay the markup on feeling a buzz that comes with drinking at live venues.

Still, our passion for live remains. Venues are filled. Acts get their draws. Stubhub or Kijiji accepts our desperate dollars at the last second. Every summer, the Molson opens up again and we can cash in on the immense value that is the lawn ticket. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da.

Here are some tips that may make the struggle of being a fan a little easier:


It’s obviously important to be aware of how much you’re spending. Knowing and appropriately adjusting your concert (and drink) budget when necessary are key to avoid overspending (and aforementioned dire consequences). Know your limit, and attend within it – don’t be afraid to turn one down.

Go to Festivals!

It’s no secret that Toronto is quickly becoming saturated with the music festival scene, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying the value presented by festivals! Cramming 30+ bands into one weekend with friends is a music lover’s dream. Remember: never discount the smaller, lesser-known names in the lineup – they will often be the ones to impress you the most. Take a look at Toronto’s summer 2016 Festival calendar here.

Be a Concert Buddy!

If you’ve got a friend that’s just as into the groove as you are, share the weight of ticket expenses and trade off on paying for shows. In exchange for a more expensive ACC night, take on the next couple at the Danforth. An act at Sound Academy that you really want to catch? Buy two at Lee’s Palace and you’re even. Toronto’s diverse and scalable venues are key to finding the proper balance – get creative!

Attend Free Events!

Summer in Toronto is powered by community, and exciting free musical events take place nearly every single day. Enjoy the summer festival series at Harbourfront Centre, which brings a new musical and cultural universe to the Waterfront every weekend – and every one is almost 100% free! Don’t miss out.

Keep Calm and Carry On!

Through the Toronto Music City initiative, City Hall is helping Toronto become even more friendly for musicians, venue operators, and fans alike. For us millennials, this means more shows, in even more diverse venues, across different price points, displaying more of what the incredible cultural background and history of Toronto has to offer. If we keep on supporting the industry, we’ll get more and more of what we love.

And yeah, we’ll probably get Kanye and Bieber again too.

Reach me on Twitter at @Cassarek

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