Are you looking for a way to take your performance skills to the next level? Whether you are a singer, a musician, a comedian, or another type of performer, practice makes perfect. It takes a thousand hours to perfect a skill, and you need to put in the hours to become a professional.
Performing at open mic nights is the perfect way to gain experience and hone your skills. You are usually given just five or ten minutes to perform and connect with the audience. So, let’s take an in-depth look at how to find open mic nights near you, so that you can have a lot of fun and gain some valuable live experience.
What are Open Mic Nights?
Open mic nights are live shows that are hosted in bars, cafes, restaurants, and nightclubs. They are held as a way of filling the venue without having to have a large entertainment budget. Open mic nights usually attract large crowds of performers, their friends, and people who are looking to be entertained.
Open mic nights usually last for around two or three hours. Some open mic nights are reserved for a certain type of performance like music, poetry, or comedy. Other open mic nights are open to all types of performers and boast a more eclectic atmosphere.
People who want to perform usually arrive at the venue before the event starts and sign their name on a list. The average allotted time for each performer is between five and ten minutes. The host usually performs at the start and end of the night and introduces each performer.
The Best Ways to Find Open Mic Nights Near You
Most large towns and cities host a wide range of different open mic nights. Many venues offer open mic nights on quiet days of the week to bring in extra customers. There are plenty of ways to track down local open mic nights once you know how.
Through your Performer Friends
Even if they have not mentioned it to you before, your performing friends are likely to attend open mic nights. In fact, they may attend open mic nights on a regular basis. They can be a valuable resource of information on the best open mic nights to attend.
Asking Friends and Family
You may find that friends or family members perform at open mic nights. If you have family members who work in the hospitality industry, they are likely to know where you can perform. Even non-performing friends may have seen adverts for local open mic nights.
Social Media Groups and Pages
A quick search on your favorite social media pages should provide a wealth of information. Many venues like to tag their most popular performers, which can help you to make connections. You can reach out to some of the performers and ask them which open mic nights they recommend.
Follow Your Feet
Simply exploring your neighborhood can lead you to different open mic venues. Many establishments post their weekly evening entertainment schedule on boards outside. Make notes of all the open mic nights you see advertised or step inside the venue to make inquiries.
How Do Open Mic Nights Boost Your Career?
People who have their sights set on being professional performers often start off at open mic nights. Sharing space with a group of amateurs may not feel like you are on the road to success. However, there are several ways that performing at open mic nights can take your career to the next level.
Become more confident
Getting up on stage in front of a room of strangers can be nerve-racking, and even professionals suffer from stage fright. Performing at open mic nights is a great way of getting over your fear and gaining more confidence. You can start off at small venues and gradually attend larger events as your confidence increases.
Many professional comedians and musicians are also fans and enjoy attending open mic nights to unwind. There are plenty of opportunities to meet other performers both before and after shows. While some people are more approachable than others, some performers are happy to help you make connections.
Building your fan base
If you are currently trying to make a name for yourself, performing at open mic nights is a great option. This helps you to reach a wider audience and show people what you can do. If you are lucky, your new fans may take videos of your performance and share them on social media platforms.
Many venues that host open mic nights also pay performers on other nights of the week. If you impress the owner of the venue, you may be offered your own set. Performing during the open mic night allows you to let the audience know where else you are performing that week.
Making Artist Connections
Many performers meet their band members and comedy partners during open mic nights. The informal setting of open mic nights often leads to collaboration. There are opportunities to try out your stuff on stage to find out if you have formed a winning partnership.
How to Find Open Mic Nights Near You – Finding the RIGHT Open Mic Night
After doing a little research, you are likely to find that there are several open mic nights near you. However, some venues and nights are better than others in terms of atmosphere and exposure. Here are some tips on how to find the right open mic night for your needs.
Check out the venue
Not all venues are well set up to host open mic nights. Some venues feature a stage close to the bar or the bathroom. This will mean that there is a lot of noise and distractions while you are on stage.
Before attending an open mic night, it is a good idea to visit the venue on another day of the week. This gives you the opportunity to see how the stage and audience areas are set up. If the general atmosphere does not work for you, it is best to check out a different venue.
Make sure it is the right type of open mic
Most open mic nights welcome musicians of all types with open arms. However, it can be more difficult to find the right spot if you are a comedian or a poet. Some venues insist that comedians and poets work clean, which can be tricky if you have a lot of blue material.
If you are unsure about the style of the open mic night, attend as an audience member first. Take note of the types of performances that are held during the evening and how the audience responds. This will indicate whether or not your material will be well received.
Find out if there is a cover charge
Some open mic nights require you to pay a fee to sign up or charge a fee at the door. In other cases, there may be a strict food or drink minimum in order to attend. Make sure you know what the cover charge is in advance and are prepared to pay it.
Find out the sign up process
The last thing you want is to spend all week rehearsing only to find that all the sign up slots are full. In general, performers need to sign up at least fifteen minutes before the event starts. In some cases, you may need to sign up the day before to secure your spot on the stage.
Timing is everything
Find out how long you are allowed to be on stage before you sign up. Most open mic nights have a strict time limit, which can be anywhere from between three and ten minutes. Going over your allotted time can get you dragged off stage and even banned from the venue.
The last thing you want is to run out of time when you are in the middle of your set. Having extra time when you have finished can be equally as awkward. Find out how much time you have on stage in advance and time your set so that it fits perfectly.
Essential Items for Open Mic Performers
Performing at open mic nights can be tough, and it is important to be prepared for any outcome. There are certain items that can help to take your performance to the next level. Here are some cool products that no open mic performer should be without.
You may turn up at the open mic night to discover that the house microphone is not working properly. This will not be an issue when you have this cool wireless microphone with you. It boasts a compact and portable design and a range of effects that can be added at the touch of a button.
It can be difficult to hear yourself properly when you are in a crowded and noisy venue. Being unable to hear your backing music properly can seriously mess with your timing. These wireless headphones eliminate this issue and boast five hours of charge to serve you all night long.
Attending open mic nights is a great way to make connections and build a fan base. These blank cards help to make sure that people remember you and keep in touch. The cards are blank and printer compatible, allowing you to add your name and details of all your social media platforms.
More great microphone recommendations
Don’t let your performance suffer because of a bad in-house microphone, take your own to an open mic night to guarantee your best performance. Not sure what is best for you? No problem, simply check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best XLR Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best Microphones For YouTube, and the Best USB Microphones you can buy in 2023.
Also, have a look at our comprehensive reviews of the Best Condenser Mics Under $200, the Best Shure Microphones, the Best Interview Microphones, the Best Microphones For Recording Electric Guitar, the Best Lavalier Microphones, or the Best External Microphones For iPhone currently on the market.
How to Find Open Mic Nights Near You – Final Thoughts
Although they may be given a free drink or two, open mic performers do not get paid for their time. However, it is important to try and attend as many open mic nights as possible. This is a great way to meet other performers and make important connections.
Talent scouts sometimes attend open mic nights searching for up and coming performers. You may even be offered a paid gig opening for one of the more established performers. While getting up on the stage can be daunting at first, many famous performers launch their careers at open mic nights.
All the best with your search for the perfect venue.