making the scene

the 5 busiest genres in kelowna this year

What Genres Were Booked Most in Kelowna in 2021?

artists and bands playing in Kelowna this year classified themselves in 68 different genres. who knew there were even that many out there?

by Miles Overn

Ari Neufled | Photo copyright (c) 2021 Miles Overn Photography

just the facts

strictly based on the numbers

At publication time, and barring any further cancellations or additions, we had listed well over 1,000 live music events with artists identifying as belonging to over 60 different genres this year. That's a lot of variety, a great many different ways of not just identifying themselves as musicians, but of expressing themselves through their art.

kelowna music fans supported all of them

We only attended a very few events where there wasn't an audience present, whereas most had crowds nearing the capacities allowed under Covid constraints. That speaks volumes about at least two things: some venues have built their own loyal patron communities, and many local music fans have extremely varied tastes and truly want to support the local scene as often as they can.

did we get all the events?

Probably not, but we sure tried. We were in contact with as many venues as we could be from the very start of the year. We are pretty sure we missed a few shows here and there, and maybe even some cancellations, but we know that we came as close as humanly possible to get the numbers at least close....

any genres just miss out?

Actually there were a couple that ended up the busiest of the rest.... Both country and pop also had dozens of live shows around Kelowna this year. That's not to suggest that they were as busy as they would have liked to have been, but they were out there doing their thing as often as they could be.

what the fans told us

We have listened to what local music fans like, and to what drives them crazy, and in response to that we built out our This Weekend In Kelowna page which lists all the bands playing in all the venues in and around Kelowna. All on one page. One page that looks great on your phone, your tablet, your laptop or your desktop. Whatever device you use and wherever you use it. And it even shows you what genre they are. Thank you to all the fans who found their way over to that page on a regular basis. Especially to those who approached us at events all summer long and told us they were only there because they read about it on our site. We thank you, the musicians and bands thank you, and the venues thank you as well. In our humble opinion, you are the real heros; the warriors who determined to get out and support local musicians and businesses.

Other Articles in this Series

Top 5 Busiest Venues
A list and brief discussion of the businest venues in Kelowna this year.

Top 5 Busiest Artists
Who were the musicians and bands that had the most gigs this year.

Sell My Clothes, I'm Going to Heaven
4 magical moments of musicianship and musicality

Music By The Hour
More opportunities to catch live music early than you could shake a stick at.


#1 with 173 live music events

Partly due to the main rock venues being shuttered for most of the year, along with all the Covid restrictions, singer/songwriters managed to book and perform more gigs that any other style or genre.

The combination of extended periods of time when live music was restricted to being "background music" and to be played at a level where conversation could be had above it at a normal talking volume led to an enormous disqualification of bigger groups and louder bands. Still, that should not take away from the realization that Kelowna is home to some massively gifted singer/songwriters.

cover artists and bands

#2 with 138 shows

While solo artists got more gigs than their band counterparts in this category, it still was a relatively strong year for them as a whole.

The same restrictions that kept most rock bands from being able to gig this year played into cover bands not performing more often. That did open the door for a whole bunch of younger and newer solo artists and duos to get their feet firmly in the door, and a couple of them finished in the top 20 busiest artists of the year.


#3 with 121 performances

While the days of Kelowna being considered a "blues town" may be long past, a pair of blues artists single-handedly placed the blues as the third most booked style of music in Kelowna this year.

While The Blue Gator was forced to go dark for most of the year due to Covid, both wineries and craft breweries welcomed the sounds of the blues to fill their venues this summer and fall. Have to mention Memphis Blues and their providing Poppa Dawg a weekly gig for keeping the blues pumping in town.


#4 with 111 events

This was actually a hard one to decide what to do with. A large portion of the live music events included in the 111 we counted were the weekly Jazz Jams at the RCA. While we don't know if the hosts were compensated for facilitating the jams, and while we also acknowledge that the majority of players were amateurs, the jams served up an awful lot of very satisfying jazz music over the course of the year.

Of course there were other jazz gigs happening during the year, and the busiest jazz singer actually made it into the top 5 busiest musicians this year.

folk and indie folk

#5 with 85 shows

Another tough category. Where does one draw the line between folk and roots and Americana and even singer/songwriter? However, we went with limiting to the artists that define themselves as either folk or indie folk.

These artists also benefitted from the restrictions and constraints and guidances imposed by the Covid pandemic and the ever shifting health orders and such.

Genres we shot in 2021

Acoustic | Acoustic Rock | Alt Pop | Alternative | Alternative Rock | Americana | Bluegrass | Blues | Blues Soul | Cabaret | Celtic | Celtic Rock | Classic Rock | Classical | Country | Cover | Dance Rock | Electro Soul | Folk | Folk Rock | Fusion | Gypsy Jazz | Hawaiian | Indie | Indie Folk | Indie Soul Pop | Jazz | Jazz Pop | Latin | Musical Revue | Pop | Pop Rock | Pop Soul | R & B | Rock | Roots | Singer/Songwriter | Soft Rock | Soul | Vocal

- and countless others -