B oulder's a great town to develop your artistic talents, and there are plenty of open mics, jam nights, bluegrass picks and poetry readings to get you on your way.

Lots of local bands got their first on-stage experiences in Boulder, but you don't need to be looking to get noticed. Plenty of folks just go to have fun. Here's a guide to help you find the right place to show off your stuff.

Conor O'Neill's

Where: 1922 13th St., Boulder

When: Acoustic Jam, 3 p.m. Sundays; Traditional Irish Session, 7:30 p.m. Sundays; Open Stage, 8 p.m. Tuesdays; Bluegrass Pick, 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays

Phone: 303-449-1922

Web: conoroneills.com

One of Boulder's longest-lasting open mic nights takes place every Tuesday at Conor O'Neill's pub, along with several other chances each week to congregate and play with local musicians.

Johnny's Cigar Bar

Where: 1801 13th St., Boulder

When: 7:30 p.m. Mondays

Phone: 303-449-0884

Web: johnnyscigars.com

Johnny's Cigar Bar has undergone several incarnations of its open mic nights.


This time around, the open mic nights welcome everyone from musicians to stand-up comics. Plus, this is one of the few venues in town with a baby grand piano. Bet your originals will sound awesome on that.

Abo's on the Hill

Where: 1124 13th St.

When: 6:30 p.m. Thursdays

Phone: 303-443-3199

Web: abosonthehill.com

Every Thursday, the Abo's Pizza hosts a drop-in picking circle that attracts bluegrass fans young and old, with a delightful handful of regulars.

This is a great place to show off your twang skills and meet other performers.

Boulder Outlook Hotel

Where: 800 28th St., Boulder

When: 7:30 p.m. Sundays

Phone: 303-443-3322

Web: boulderoutlookhotel.com

If you want to show off your blues, jazz and jam skills, then head over to the Boulder Outlook Hotel. The hotel offers Sunday night jams that alternate between blues and jazz nights, plus an occasional Tuesday jam.

Laughing Goat Coffeehouse

Where: 1709 Pearl St., Boulder

When: 8 p.m. Mondays

Phone: 303-440-4628

Web: thelaughinggoat.com

Student poets and locals can try out their works at the Laughing Goats weekly poetry reading.

Newbies and pros show off their works every Monday at this long-running event. In fact, the readings are held every week -- rain, shine or holidays.

Outback Saloon

Where: 3141 28th St., Boulder

When: 9 p.m. Thursdays

Phone: 303-444-0081

Web: outbacksaloon.net

The Outback Saloon on 28th St. has also become part of Boulder's open mic scene. The venue's open mic night is held every Thursday.

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew

Where: 303 Main St., Lyons

When: 8 p.m. Tuesdays

Phone: 303-823-6685

Web: oskarblues.com

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew offers locals a bluegrass pick every Tuesday in the idyllic small-town setting of Lyons...and you might be checking out the show alongside bikers. Don't worry, they're cool.

Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids & Solids

Where: 1555 S. Hover Road, Longmont

When: Bluegrass Pick, 12 p.m. Sundays and 8 p.m. Tuesdays; Electric Blues Jam, 7:30 p.m. Mondays; Singer/Songwriter Open Stage, 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays

Phone: 303-458-9400

Web: oskarblues.com

Oskar Blues' bigger Longmont location features features a whole lot of chances to jam in three different styles. The Bluegrass picks are hosted by big local names in the genre -- Bonnie Sims and K.C. Groves.

Waterloo Icehouse

Where: 809 Main St., Louisville

When: 9:30 p.m. Thursdays

Phone: 303-993-2094

Web: waterloolouisville.com

The Waterloo features an acoustic open mic night that runs Every Thursday.

Sign up is on a first-come first, first play basis.


Where: 2675 North Park Drive, Lafayette

When: The first Wednesday of the month

Phone: 303-665-2757

Web: nissis.com

Nissi's relatively new open mic night that runs the first Wednesday of the month. Musicians and comedians are invited to show off their stuff at the monthly event.