Opened in 2011, the Commonwealth Bar and Stage often fills its two stages with extraordinary talent from around the world. Built on the remains of a former warehouse, the bar offers live performances and renowned DJ sets to eager audiences.
The venue can hold about 400 people, with stages on its upper and lower levels. Both are used on regular DJ nights, such as Modern Vintage Saturdays, where classics and new hits are juxtaposed. The bar draws acts from across all genres, from Parquet Courts’s wry post-punk to the folksy stylings of Hayden. The dance and electronic lineups are just as impressive, and past guests have included LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, DJ Shadow and Ryan Hemsworth. Other events include monthly Hip-Hop Karaoke and 10 at 10, a regular night that gives local hip-hop acts the chance to play for 10 minutes at a time.
The Commonwealth contributes to the Calgary music scene on a regular basis. It has hosted shows for SoundOff, a showcase that promotes the city’s music scene to industry professionals. The annual Sled Island Music and Arts Festival holds shows at the venue, allowing Calgary fans to see acts such as Fucked Up and Shotgun Jimmie.