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.
Dates for the PNE in 2020 were going to be August 22nd to September 7th. Except for the first two Mondays, a fairly major concert was going to take place each night for the season. Because of the coronavirus, however, 2020’s plans have changed.
PNE CONCERTS & COVID-19
Because of the concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, all events involving crowds of 50 or more people have been cancelled in British Columbia for this summer. As a result, the PNE’s annual summer concerts won’t be taking place in 2020. The PNE itself is still happening, although not in its usual format.
Playland is still happening this year, although the first day of the season was postponed until July 10th. The PNE itself is also still going ahead, although in a scaled-down drive-thru-style format. There will still be live entertainment, but no major concerts where people are crowded together.
Dates for the PNE’s drive thru-style event are August 22nd to August 30th. See our article about the Pacific National Exhibition for more details.
PNE Summer Night Concerts
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.
See below for 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 could pay extra in advance for reserved seats.
Below is 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.
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 2019 the PNE took place from August 17th to September 2nd.
The fair was open every day from 11 am until late evening, except for the first and second Mondays of the season when the place was 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, which is just a few blocks from the Trans-Canada Highway.
Night concerts at the PNE 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. 2019 also offered special nightly performances by Tyrone Reveen, with his “Superconscious Experience” featuring illusion and hypnosis.
Another new feature this year is a nightly pyrotechnic and performance show that will wow the senses. As well, less famous local bands and performing arts groups entertain throughout the day for which admission is also free and advance tickets are not required or available.
Festival Park Music Acts
Each year four great bands perform at various times as part of the Festival Park Music Acts series of concerts which are free with general admission. Bands last year were Dr. Strangelove, Side One, the R&R Allstars and Groove & Tonic.
Below is who performed and when in 2019. Live music times were from 7:00 until 8:00 pm and then again from 8:30 until 9:30 pm.
- August 17, 18, 20 & 21, 2019 – Groove & Tonic: a Vancouver party band.
- August 22, 23 & 24, 2019 – Moon Coin Show Band: a local Vancouver-based band specializing in a wide range of popular hits.
- August 25, 27, 28 & 29, 2019 – R&B Allstars: a local R&B band.
- August 30, 31 & September 1 & 2, 2019 – Ten Souljers: an event band made of some of the region’s finest musicians.
For more information about the fair, click PNE.
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 Top 100 Places