horseshoe tavern

Toronto's legendary live music venue is starting in-person concerts this month

In-person concerts are starting up again at one of Toronto's most historic live music venues, and you don't even have to wait until next month to go.

The Legendary Horshoe Tavern will soon finally be able to let people back inside for live music again. They've been offering alternative programming like drive-ins and a series of livestreams, but now there are actual in-person tickets available for their next set of livestream acts.

The venue announced on social media that in-person tickets are now available for physically distanced tables of two to six people on their website for the upcoming round of Horseshoe Hootenanny Livestreams.

The first acts you'll be able to see in person are Birds of Bellwoods with Wooly on July 23, then the Julian Taylor Band will take to the stage as well as Skye Wallace on July 24. Following that, comedian Shaun Majumder will perform on Aug. 6.

The venue was actually permitted to open to 50 people last summer, but like the vast majority of music venues in the city the Horshoe decided to stay closed.

"The 'Shoe has been closed, minus non audience live-streams, since Mar. 17 2020, and to be able to reopen finally, on Wednesday July 21, even in a limited capacity, I feel like a seriously humongous heavy weight will be lifted from my shoulders," Horseshoe owner Jeff Cohen tells blogTO.

"I believe with our very high vaccination rates and very low daily infection rate it's extremely safe. Nevertheless, we will only be reopening at a very low 19 per cent capacity."

Tables will be placed six feet apart, nine feet from the stage, for a capacity of 90 people (down from 460).

"It'll have the feel of a 1930s, 1940s jazz or blues club, including table service, less opening bands, more bands doing multiple sets, earlier operating hours," says Cohen.

"It's not ideal, period, but if that what it takes for folks to be able to see live music again indoors we will gladly pivot, noting we are going to keep love streaming some of the bands so those who are still not ready to come out can enjoy watching at home, or in their backyards."

Other acts like The Arc SoundHawksley Workman and The Mooks are slated for August as well, and beyond that shows are booked for bands like Nada Surf, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and The Hold Steady.

There are plenty more acts planned for the venue for well into 2022, and it's looking more and more like those are going to be getting closer to the regular concert experience we love.

Lead photo by

Brian Morton


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