Open Mic Nights in NYC: Resource Guide hero

Open Mic Nights in NYC: Resource Guide

Posted Saturday, January 27th 2024 by Andy King
Wondering where to get started as an artist in NYC? Open mic nights might give you the start that you need. In this resource guide, I will discuss the value of performing and attending open mic nights and an exhaustive list of open mic nights in NYC that you can go to today!

A question that often pops up for me is “do you know of any open mic nights?” I do! But first:

What is an open mic night? An open mic night is where you can perform an original or cover song in front of folks, usually accompanying yourself or with a live band. There is usually a sign-up list and sometimes a fee. For many artists, this is the step between karaoke and performing your own set of music.

If this seems interesting to you, here’s why I think open mic nights are valuable:

  1. Community. At times, music can be solitary, but it doesn’t need to be and shouldn’t be! At an open mic night you will find your people. Folks who are also up and coming. Folks who are looking to start a band. Folks who are looking for feedback. Folks who are looking for songwriting partners. Folks who are looking for friends. Creating a community is vital to music making.
    
  2. Performing. This is an obvious one, but important nonetheless. This is where you can practice performing in front of supportive people who are also practicing performing. The bonus here is that the stakes are raised so you get to work through nerves and performance anxiety. If you want to perform, you have to rip off the bandaid at some point, so why not do it in a music community where folks will show you love.
    
  3. Supporting local, up and coming artists like you. If you’re performing at an open mic night you want supportive, excited audience members cheering you on. You can be that for someone else. What better place to check out new music and new artists than a local open mic night?

If you’re in NYC I’m going to give you a ton of venues where you can perform at an open mic night and if you’re not in NYC I hope this article encourages you to find a place in your area! Grab a friend, go support local artists, and make some music friends!

This list is non-exhaustive and varied. All of them will have different vibes so if you don’t love the vibe of one of them try another one out!

The List

DON’T TELL MAMA (Manhattan)
https://donttellmamanyc.com/

THE INSPIRED WORD OPEN MIC at THE PARKSIDE LOUNGE (Manhattan)
https://www.parksidelounge.nyc...

THE OPEN MIC DOWNSTAIRS (Manhattan)
Instagram @theopenmicdownstairs

OTTO’S SHRUNKEN HEAD TIKI BAR AND LOUNGE (Manhattan)
https://www.ottosshrunkenhead....

NUYORICAN POETS CAFE (Manhattan)
https://www.nuyorican.org/

SHOW N TELL at THE ASTORIA FOOD PANTRY (Queens)
Instagram: @showyandtelly

THE LOCAL BAR (Queens)
https://thelocalbar4104.wixsit...

KITTY KIERNANS (Brooklyn)
https://kittykiernans.com/

RESTLESS OPEN MIC at MARCHE LE WOOF (Queens)
Instagram: @restlessopenmic

OPEN MIC RENEGADES (Various locations)
Instagram: @openmicrenegades

THE UNDERGROUND OPEN MIC at BAR FREDA (Queens)
https://www.barfreda.com/

THE OPEN MIC at FRIGID NEW YORK (Manhattan)
https://www.frigid.nyc/

PADDY REILLY’S MUSIC BAR (Manhattan)
Instagram: @paddyreillys

SHILLELAGH TAVERN (Queens)
https://www.shillelaghtavern.c...

ALEWIFE BREWING (Queens)
Instagram: @astoriamusiccollective

THE WILD GOOSE (Queens)
Instagram: @thewildgoosenyc

IRISH HAVEN BROOKLYN (Brooklyn)
Instagram: @irish.haven

Andy King

Senior Voice Teacher Associate

Andy specializes in voice technique for Musical Theatre, Pop/Rock/R&B, and Classical. Mr. King’s clients range from professional Music Theatre actors to Professional Pop/Rock/Singer-Songwriters and sacred singers singing professionally in NYC churches and synagogues. He also accompanies and coaches a Musical Theatre class at New York Vocal Coaching. His clients have been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, on National Tours, and Regional Theaters.

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