How to Find Open Mics Near You (To Actually Gain Exposure)

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Written by Ramsey Brown.

Finding opportunities to perform live music in front of an audience can be quite difficult for musicians, but this is something necessary to do in order to become more confident and an overall better performer. If you are looking to gain exposure and get your music in front of people, open mics are a great way to do this. 

Open mics can be found just about anywhere, you just have to know where to look and how to find them. If you are looking to promote your music at an open mic near you, we’re here to discuss exactly how you can do this.

We’re going to talk about open mics, how they work, their importance in boosting the career of a musician, and the best ways you can find open mic opportunities near you. So, make sure that you read this article till the end if you want to accelerate your music career and succeed in the industry.

What are Open Mics?

Open Mics are live shows that are hosted on a smaller scale and can be found in cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, and other areas. They serve the purpose of entertaining the crowd and also gives local talent a chance to showcase their skills in front of an audience.

In these shows, musicians are able to get on the microphone that is connected to a PA system to make their voices louder. Since a mic is involved, musicians, singers, and vocalists can greatly benefit from performing at an open mic.

Both amateur musicians and professional performers can be found at open mic nights in restaurants and cafes. This is mostly used as a marketing tactic by owners to bring more customers to their establishments.

Professional and popular musicians are hired by these open mic venues to increase the interest of customers and people in their franchises. Amateur singers and musicians can make appointments and pay for their registration to perform at these different places. 

But don't worry, it’s likely that there are plenty of venues in your area that offer free open mic performance opportunities. It’s highly recommended that you take advantage of these opportunities and play music as frequently as possible in order to become a better performer and more recognized artist in your city.

How Do Open Mic Nights Boost Your Music Career?

There are multiple reasons why performing at open mics can boost your music career. Let's take a look at some of these benefits that will definitely make you want to be a part of every open mic night near you.

Become More Confident

One of the most important things as a performer is having confidence in the ability to play or sing your music. Stage fright is a very real problem but can be overcome with practice and getting on stage as much as possible. If you want to make an impact in the industry and blow fans away with your performances, you need to be extremely confident in yourself and your music.

Before you step on the stage and perform in front of thousands, the best way to practice would be standing in front of 50-60 people, doing your best, learning from your mistakes, being yourself, and simply winning the crowd over. That's why open mics are great places for gaining a confidence boost.

Increase Industry Networking

With so many incredibly popular stars in the music industry already, and so many artists that are trying to become big, getting popular has become a hard task to achieve for even extremely talented singers.

That's where industry networking comes in. By making contacts with event organizers, music producers, big-shots, and investors, you can pave the way to your music career success. Open mic venues are usually great places to find such popular people in the industry that can help get you the exposure that you want in front of the audience.

Growing your Audience

When you're singing and performing solely on social media and not showcasing your music to a larger audience, you can't expect to grow significantly because a lot of people won’t know that your music is even out there.

When you perform at open mics, one thing that you're definitely sure to get is exposure. When performing in front of a crowd and performing well, you’ll eventually build up a decent following of people who are interested in your music. These opportunities are bound to get you famous or well-known, and people will begin to spread the word about you.

Making Artist Connections

On your own, it can be difficult to make a sustainable career in the music industry. You can't go too far if you don't have a lot of friends and connections with pull in the industry.

The best thing to do for your career is going and performing at open mics where you can find a lot of upcoming musicians and professionals to befriend and spend time with. You can jam with them, share opportunities, and much more that will give you a greater chance at having a successful career.

Best Ways to Find Open Mics Near You

Now that we know what open mics are and why they are so important for a musicians career, let’s discuss how you can find the best open mic opportunities around you. For some artists, this can be a difficult task and something that takes time. For your ease, we’ve listed some of the best ways of finding open mics near you.

Through your Musician Network

If you're looking to find open mic nights and opportunities in your area, the best way to go around this is to get information from your music colleagues and musician network.

Making colleagues and acquaintances in the music industry is incredibly important because you can share information about different opportunities that one of you may not be previously aware of. Many artists get gigs strictly by word of mouth or having another artist friend mention their name to venue owners. 

Expanding your network can be extremely beneficial to any artist’s career and is a great way to find out about open mics near you.

Asking Friends and Family

Learning about the nearest open mic opportunities can be very fruitful for your grooming and career future. Another great way to learn about them aside from your music network is through your social circle.

It's possible that your family members or friends might be aware of or involved in some kind of open mic concert. Asking them about what they know and whether they’ve heard of any music event opportunities can be a great way to find out about open mics around you. You could even provide them with some of your music business cards to hand out to venues that are looking for artists to come perform at. At the end of the day, the more exposure the better your chances are to shine.

From Social Media Groups and Pages

Social media is one of the greatest places to get information from. Facebook itself even has an event page which is dedicated to letting users know the latest events near them. There's a huge database of different news, advertisements, offers, promotions, events, and much more on there.

If you want to know about nearby high-quality open mic opportunities, you can use the help of social media groups and event pages. From Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and more, there is a plethora of information that you can find useful when searching for venues to perform at. Joining music related groups is a great place to find other musicians or venues posting about events near you. You can also ask to be notified on certain platforms or pages when an event takes place around your area.

Exploring your Town

You might try all different kinds of methods to get information about music events and open mic opportunities in the area but without a physical survey, you won't always get all the necessary information you need.

That's why it can be helpful to explore the area yourself to find posters and placards at bars, restaurants, and other venues that may be hosting open mic performances. You'll be able to find all the info from the venue you need like point of contact, registration info, times, it’s a paid or free event, and more. This also gives you the opportunity to make a connection with the venue owner and market yourself and your music.

Search on Google

Google - one word that solves all your problems. Google is the most obvious place to go for finding the best open mic options near you.

Google uses your GPS location and finds nearby businesses and the events that they've planned as close to your searched keywords as possible, so you can find what you're looking for. If what you're looking for is an open mic venue, then Google will definitely help you find them.

Through Advertisements and TV

The most common and effective source of information that's been around for quite some time now is TV and digital media. Be on the lookout for commercials on the radio or television advertising events for music performance opportunities.

Watching or listening to local channels based in your area is a great avenue to find events that most people forget about. Once you find certain places to perform, it’s likely that these venues will continue to have open mics throughout the year. It’s important to get locked in at these places earlier than later to secure your performance spot down the road.

Wrapping Up

Open mics can be incredibly vital for a successful music career, but finding quality open mic venues near you can be difficult. With the help of these tips mentioned above, you can make your search for open mic establishments pretty easy and effective. Share this article with your other musician friends so you can both be on the search for performance opportunities near you and begin advancing your music career! 


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