Performing at open mic nights


Open mic nights have become increasingly popular as venues across the country embrace them as an opportunity to showcase live music. While some nights are dedicated to acoustic performances, larger venues even provide equipment for bands to plug in and play. Despite the ongoing debate surrounding their impact on the music scene, open mic nights undeniably offer advantages for individual musicians and bands.


Advantages of Open Mic Nights


One of the greatest benefits of performing at an open mic night is the opportunity to connect with other musicians. In the audience, you may find potential collaborators, new band members, sound engineers, and producers. Be sure to stick around after your performance, exchange business cards, and get to know the organizers and regular attendees.

Violin and Guitar

Music Sales

If you are an original artist with recorded music, use your open mic slot to promote and sell your EP or album. Mention the availability of physical copies on CD, USB drive, or vinyl if you have them with you. For digital releases, have business cards ready with links to where your music can be purchased online. This way, you can share your music with producers and industry professionals you meet.


Performing regularly in your local area helps you become established in the music scene and gain recognition within the musical community. As you build familiarity, more people will learn about you and your work.

Potential Show Opportunities

Many venues source acts for their weekend entertainment from the open mic nights they hold during the week. This means that a short set at an open mic could lead to a longer paid gig on a Friday or Saturday night. Additionally, you never know who might be in the audience – engaged couples may attend open mic nights to discover performers for their wedding.

Tips for a Successful Performance

It is crucial to be prepared before going up on stage, treating an open mic night as you would any other gig. Basic musicianship includes tuning your instrument before playing, unplugging only after receiving approval from the sound engineer, and expressing gratitude to the audience.

Guitarist Tuning

Securing a Slot

Open mic nights can be unpredictable, sometimes being canceled or rescheduled with short notice due to circumstances beyond the performers’ control. To avoid disappointment, always check with the venue before traveling there. On the other hand, some open mic nights are highly popular, so it is advisable to secure a slot early. Utilize social media to find out who organizes the events and reach out to them for a performance opportunity. Alternatively, arrive early to increase your chances of getting on stage.


Hosting an Open Mic Night

If you can’t find an open mic night in your area, consider starting one yourself. Speak to local venue owners and landlords about the possibility of hosting, discussing a reasonable price. Here are a few things you might need:

  • PA equipment: Depending on the venue’s existing setup, you may need to provide a flexible PA system and sound equipment.
  • Contacts: Being able to attract performers is crucial. Begin by reaching out to your personal network and then expand your reach through advertising.
  • Set of material: In the early stages, you may need enough material to keep the night going until the end, even if the number of performers is limited.

If there is already an established open mic night in your area, gather information about it, such as its frequency, whether it has a consistent host, and who the best person to contact regarding the event is.


Open mic nights offer an inclusive and welcoming space for performers to share their music. As attendees, it is important to be respectful and supportive of others. While open mic nights can be found in most cities, they are particularly popular in bustling urban areas like London, Liverpool, and Manchester.

Share your experiences! Have you recently attended any exceptional open mic nights? Do you have tips for those considering attending? Let us know in the comments below.

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