The PNE Summer Night Concerts are one of the most popular attractions at Vancouver’s annual Pacific National Exhibition in late August and early September.
2021 CONCERT INFORMATION
The PNE Fair happened last year as a drive-thru event and summer night concerts didn’t take place at all. The annual in-person PNE Fair is happening in 2021, although in a smaller-than-usual scaled-back format. This year the event runs from August 21st to September 6th.
Although big name international bands aren’t performing this year, there are still some great concerts lined up for 2021. Local bands include the R&B Allstars, Groove & Tonic, Dr. Strangelove, Soulstream, and The Motown Show featuring the Hitsville Band. All these bands are really good, and some, like The Paperboys, have international recognition.
The usual big-name series of concerts with world-famous bands isn’t happening again until 2022. In the meantime though, the above bands are great and will help Vancouverites celebrate the summer and the slow return of life to normal after the pandemic.
In addition to the summer fair, Playland is also open on select dates between June and September.
PNE Summer Night Concerts
In years without COVID, The PNE Fair hosts a couple of series of concerts. Big name artists like Colin James, Burton Cummings and the Beach Boys perform nightly on a large stage in the PNE Amphitheatre.
In addition to the above PNE Summer Night Concerts performances, other bands play on the Festival Park stage (or the Revel District Stage in 2021). These artists are also exceptional, but tend to be locally-based. The big PNE Summer Night Concerts are ticketed events, although you can get free admission. The concerts at Festival Park, however, are usually free. You can just show up and come and go for them.
For tickets and other information, see the PNE Fair‘s website.
PNE Summer Concerts in 2021
In 2021 there are just the live music performances with local artists. They are free though and promise to be lots of fun, especially after the past 16 months in a world with no concerts. (Note: These concerts will likely happen on a new Revel District Stage. The exact location, however, is to be determined.)
Below is the concert line up for 2021.
2021 Afternoon Shows (1:30 pm and 2:30 pm)
- August 21st, 22nd, 24th & 25th – Bobby Bruce’s Nearly Neil and the Solitary Band
- August 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th – ABRA Cadabra – A Tribute to the Music of ABBA
- August 31st, September 1st & 2nd – The Paperboys
- September 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th – March Hare Band Street Party
2021 Evening Shows (7:30 pm, 8:45 pm and 10:00 pm)
- August 21st, 22nd & 24th – R&B Allstars
- August 25th, 26th & 27th – Groove & Tonic
- August 28th, 29th & 31st – Dr. Strangelove
- September 1st, 2nd & 3rd – The Motown Show featuring the Hitsville Band
- September 4th, 5th & 6th – Soulstream
For the Love of Drag
In addition to the above concerts, For the Love of Drag takes place every day at both 4:30 and 6:30 pm. It features performances by a group of drag queens.
For tickets and other information, see the PNE Fair‘s website.
Concerts in Past Recent Years
To give you an idea of what to expect in future years, like hopefully in 2022, below is information about the PNE Summer Night Concerts in past recent years.
The 2019 lineup of music at the PNE included concerts by Blue Rodeo, Cheap Trick, UB40, Colin James, Vanilla Ice, the Beach Boys, Burton Cummings, MC Hammer, Bobby Brown and others. Of these, Colin James performed at the PNE a couple of years ago, Burton Cummings performed the year before last, and others like the Beach Boys were also returning from previous seasons.
Every year there are some great bands (or at least in years without pandemics). In 2018, for example, concerts included performances by favourite oldies like Boyz II Men, Air Supply, Kool & the Gang, Jann Arden, Burton Cummings, Chicago, the Village People and Cyndi Lauper.
Concerts and most other fair activities are free with general admission. You can also pay for tickets for better seats or to guarantee your spot.
See below for more details about the 2019 PNE evening concerts. For more information about the PNE in general, click Pacific National Exhibition.
2019 Night Concerts
PNE Summer Night Concerts took place at around 8:30 each evening outdoors in the PNE Amphitheatre. As they are every year, they were all free with admission to the fair, although you can pay extra in advance for reserved seats.
Below was the PNE concert lineup for 2019.
- Saturday, August 17, 2019 – Blue Rodeo
- Sunday, August 18, 2019 – Cheap Trick
- Tuesday, August 20, 2019 – 98 Degrees
- Wednesday, August 21, 2019 – Burton Cummings
- Thursday, August 22, 2019 – Vince Neil the Legendary Voice of Mötley Crüe
- Friday, August 23, 2019 – Smokey Robinson
- Saturday, August 24, 2019 – Now’s the Time Tour – Collective Soul & Gin Blossoms
- Sunday, August 25, 2019 – STYX
- Tuesday, August 27, 2019 – UB40 (For the Many 40th Anniversary Tour)
- Wednesday, August 28, 2019 – Colin James
- Thursday, August 29, 2019 – I Love the 90’s featuring Vanilla Ice, Montell Jordan, Biz Markie & Rob Base
- Friday, August 30, 2019 – Hammer’s House Party: MC Hammer with Special Guest Bobby Brown
- Saturday, August 31, 2019 – Billy Idol
- Sunday, September 1, 2019 – The Beach Boys
- Monday, September 2, 2019 – TLC (25th Anniversary)
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and information to help you make the most out of your concert experience at the PNE (in years without pandemics).
TIP #1: If you don’t want to stand in line or risk not getting in, and if you don’t mind spending extra, consider reserving your concert seats. The cost varied between about $15 and $30 a couple of years ago. In 2019, however, the cost was between about $38 and $72 depending on the concert. You can pay a lot more too if you want to meet the bands in person.
TIP #2: For the really popular groups, consider reserving your seat well in advance. On the other hand, don’t reserve too far in advance as late August in Vancouver has a tendency to be wet and you might not want to pay extra if it’s going to rain.
Night Concerts Admission
Admission to the PNE Summer Night Concerts is free with general admission to the fair. Unless it’s raining, most concerts fill up however, and the most popular ones almost always sell out.
Every year there are disappointed fans that can’t get in. To avoid disappointment, as mentioned above, advance tickets are available for a fee, ranging from about $38 up to $70 or so.
Free Advance Tickets
For the past couple of years, instead of making people line up for hours in the evening to get into the concert venue, the PNE has been issuing concert admission tickets starting at 11 am on the day of each concert.
Beginning at 11 am each day, concert-entrance general admission tickets to the same evening’s concert are available for free at the Ticket Office by the Amphitheatre entrance. New as of 2018, you can also reserve your spot on the day online (subject to a nominal fee of about $3). In 2019 people getting tickets this way could get a maximum of two concert tickets per person.
When and Where
In 2021 the PNE takes place from August 21st until September 6th.
The fair is usually open every day from 11 am until late evening, except for the first and second Mondays of the season when the place is closed. The one Monday when the PNE is open each year is Labour Day which is the first Monday in September.
The Pacific National Exhibition is located at 2901 East Hastings Street in Vancouver. It’s just a few blocks from the Trans-Canada Highway.
Night concerts at the PNE usually take place every evening at 8:30 pm in the PNE Amphitheatre which is in the northwest corner of the area with all the fair’s rides and midway attractions, so just slightly north of the Ferris wheel.
Other Concerts & Entertainment
In addition to the PNE Summer Night Concerts there is a lot of other free entertainment offered at the fair including the SuperDogs shows.
Each year some great bands perform at various times as part of the Festival Park Music Acts series of concerts which are free with general admission.
To learn more about what’s happening at the fair this year, see our article about the Pacific National Exhibition.
For more information about the concerts, see the PNE’s Official Website.
To learn more about the fair, see our article about the Pacific National Exhibition.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s August and September Calendars
- Vancouver’s Shows & Entertainment Calendar
- Free Summer Concerts
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Labour Day Weekend in Vancouver
- Vancouver Top 100 Places