Open mic nights are a superb way to practice your craft and have some fun at the same time. Most major towns and cities have a good selection of venues to choose from.
But, before I take a closer look at the best ways to find open mic nights near you, let’s look at what you can expect once you get there. Along with a few tips on preparation before you do. So, let’s get started with…
What to Expect
This will all depend on the type of open mic night you attend. Plus, it will depend on whether you’re going to perform or you just want to be part of the audience. If it’s the latter, you can skim this section and miss the next section altogether. For those of you looking to perform, read on.
The basis of an open mic night is that you turn up and play or perform pretty much whatever you want. That could be playing as a band, singing to backing tracks, telling jokes, or maybe doing a few magic tricks. In theory, there are no limits. But, in reality, things are not quite that simple.
Much like everything in life, there are rules for open mic nights. However, unlike in real life, most of these are unwritten. That means you have to do a little bit of research to make sure you don’t fall foul of the main ones.
Open Mic Night Rules
First, you’ll find that a lot of these events have a main theme. For instance, if you go to an open mic at a comedy club, it’s reasonable to assume that the audience will be expecting a comic.
This isn’t always the case. But, if you turn up with your rock band expecting to play a twenty-minute set, you are likely to be pointed to the door. Similarly, if you go to an open night at a Rap club, then expect to do some rapping.
All of this means it’s important to do your research. Go to the right night for either what you want to watch or for the talent you want to showcase. It’s not rocket science. Open mic nights for rocket science are in Houston, by the way.
Each venue is likely to have its own rules…
Unfortunately, these are usually unwritten. However, there will still be quite a few that are pretty much universal.
Try not to worry too much; just try to acquaint yourself the best you can with the basics. If you’re unsure, just ask. These places are incredibly friendly, and they’ll be no shortage of people willing to help you out.
One of the important things to know about open mic nights includes knowing the length of time allocated for your set. Also, understand that you’ll be expected to not just perform and leave. You should be supportive of your fellow performers when it’s their turn on stage. This is important.
Preparing for an Open Mic Night
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect at an open mic night. So, what about preparation?
If you’re relatively new to being on stage, performing can be a nerve-racking experience. This is where being properly prepared is essential. And the most obvious way to do this is through rehearsal. Trust me when I tell you that you can never spend too long rehearing.
The necessary gear…
Additionally, make sure you know what equipment is available and what you are expected to bring. For musicians, it could be that you have to bring all your equipment. Although more likely, it will be just your instruments.
Singers may be required to bring backing music. Magicians are advised to bring their own cards or props. And, rocket scientists, their own full-sized rockets, remember only in Houston.
One final thing you might want to do is pack a few disposable microphone covers. This makes more sense than ever these days. Alternatively, if you intend to make open mic nights a regular thing, it might even be worth investing in your own microphone.
Ways To Find Open Mic Nights Near You – Online Searches
Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to find open mic nights near you. Hardly surprising that the internet is going to be your friend. A quick search on Google (or your favorite search engine) for “Open Mic Nights Near Me” or “Open Mic Nights in…” will usually bring up a ton of results. More so if you live in a large town or city.
Openmicfinder, Meetup, and Openmikes are three of the leading websites for open mic nights. I’d urge you to take a look at these first. They are well organized with lots of listings and are likely to reap good results.
The largest of all the sites, it provides regularly updated information for open mic nights. Not only in the US and Canada, but in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand too. Even better, the list is updated daily.
This website covers much more than just open mic nights. It’s an online platform that connects people through events with the same interests. Although it’s not a dedicated open mic platform, it’s a great resource. And who knows? You might end up going for a weekend hike as well. Sounds good to me.
Another solid alternative, although it’s limited to the US and Canada. One of the nice features of this website is that you can filter the results to your specific needs. That means, if you’re only looking for music open mic nights, you can. It‘s a great feature and a definite time-saver.
Another obvious place to look for open mic nights is on Facebook. For many of you, this could well be your go-to place. Alternatively, it is worth giving Craigslist a try. Maybe not an obvious choice, but worth turning to if any of the other avenues don’t end up being fruitful.
There are no doubt plenty of local websites in your country or area that will also come up from a Google search, and these are also worth exploring.
If you still have no success…
I’d recommend you become a little more proactive and consider posting something on your social media account about what you are after. Social media often gets bad press, but often this kind of post will get you all the right sort of responses. It’s worth a try, and what have you got to lose?
The guys in music shops can honestly be your friend with this one. Despite the popularity of the internet in promoting music events, music shops are still a great source of information.
If they don’t have a gig notice board, then take the time to talk to the staff there. The probability is that they’ll have a good idea of any local open mic nights.
Looking to Get Your Music Out There?
If so, take a peek at our detailed articles on the Top Music Collaboration Websites and Apps, 6 Definite Signs That You Were Born to Sing, Can You Produce Music on a Chromebook, Can You Record Music on Your Phone, and Steps to Start Your Music Career for more hints, tips, and advice.
Also, if you’re an aspiring singer, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Live Vocal Mics, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, as well as the Best USB Microphones that you can buy in 2023.
And, to get ready for an open mic night, don’t miss our comprehensive reviews of the Best Karaoke Machines, the Best Karaoke Microphones, and the Best Karaoke Microphones for iPhones and Smartphones currently on the market.
Ways To Find Open Mic Nights Near You – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. Hopefully, you’ll be a little more prepared and also have a better idea of the best ways to find an open mic night. With a bit of luck, it could be the start of something very enjoyable and fun in your life.
One final tip, check if the open mic night is free or if there is a charge. Some of the better or more organized nights tend to charge a small fee. However, it’s usually worth the cost for the level of professionalism you get at these events.
Until next time, good luck, and make yourself heard.