The Fraser Valley has a burgeoning underbelly of homegrown music. Here’s a guide to some of the best spots and most accessible ways for bands and musicians to get out and get playing around the Central Valley in Abbotsford and Mission.
Open Stages at The Spotted Owl
The old Airfare Lounge is reborn, with Harma White’s own Kyler Pierce hosting open jams on Thursday, and FVMA Hip Hop winner Saint Soldier hosting a spoken word open stage on Sundays. Also bookable for bands other nights. Look for a Battle of the Bands coming up Saturdays in the fall.
Sipp Chai Café
The aforementioned Soldier does an open mic on the middle Friday of every month, supported by a fresh new vocal crew led by Saint’s cousin Hubbo. Proprietor Jas Anand hosts a multicultural variety show on Joy TV, and is mega supportive of local music, so stop by and have a chat/chai (best in town).
Sup at O’Neill’s/Open Mic Mondays
Not just a sweet potato sandwich, in addition to hosting sweet touring band and local shows on occasion, the first Monday of every month is a no pressure, anything goes open mic!
Envision Financial Coffee House and Concert in the Park Series
Paying $100 per member for up to four members per act, this series takes place in three local coffee shops, as well as the Kariton Art Gallery outdoor stage at Mill Lake in the summer months, May through November every year. Applications open in the winter, and a nominal membership fee applies to be eligible for this jury curated concert series, so sign up at AbbotsfordArtsCouncil.com today and get notified about next year’s 24-date goldmine. Also check out the similar Twilight Concert Series in Mission at Heritage Park.
Okay, so you’ve been playing some gigs out of town, your friends always ask when your next show is, and you want to do a CD release, tour kickoff, or fundraising for your new recording. If you’ve got minimum 50 to 75 people who are willing to check out a free show, and are guaranteed to buy at least two to five drinks and a bit of food, then pick a few dates a couple months down the road, put together a lineup of the best and most popular bands you know but haven’t played in town for a while, and see what kind of availability there is at the Cabin. Awesome venue, amazing payout, and great opportunities on the Fraser.
Red Tape Productions at The Basement
Punk, metal, and anything else under the sun at this DIY All Ages $7 cover space. No drugs or booze please.
Booking shows at Brothers, Spotted Owl, Phoenix, Gators, and more, this is likely the most active promoter in the Valley.
Jam in Jubilee
Thursdays in August, this is Abbotsford’s own, and likely one of British Columbia’s premiere free live weekly music and culture events. Three bands in the park 7 to 10 p.m., DJs and electro performances at Townhall til 11.