Looking for the latest local talent? Boulder has a bevy of open mic nights designed to showcase undiscovered artists and performers.
Whether it’s time for you to make your on-stage debut or you’re dragging a talented friend out to talk him or her into it, test the performing waters at one of these Boulder open-mic nights.
1922 13th St.
One of the longest-running open mic nights in Boulder, Conor O’Neill’s Open Stage is held every Tuesday at 8 p.m.
“[Open Stage] is very unpretentious; everybody is welcome,” said Elie Bouchard, a bartender at Conor O’Neill’s who has worked Tuesday evenings for the past 13 years.
“It’s a nice room, filled with friendly people.”
While watching your new favorite musicians, you can enjoy Open Stage specials, like a $2 Session Lager or a taste of the old country with $4 shots of Powers Irish whiskey.
1290 Folsom St.
A campus ministry at CU-Boulder, Wesley Fellowship holds an open mic night the first Tuesday of every month during the regular school year at 8 p.m. (breaks and holidays excepted).
The event relaunches Sept. 3 this year. The stage at Wesley Chapel is augmented with a full lighting rig and sound system, as well as “an appreciative crowd [where everyone] supports each other,” said director Roger Wolsey.
“Open mic night is a safe place to self-express,” Wolsey said.
The chapel is an LGBTQ-friendly space and welcomes a wide variety of acts, from singer-songwriters to dancers, mimes to puppeteers, for its casual, uncensored open mics.
The Attic Bar and Bistro
949 Walnut St.
Running from 8 to 11 p.m. every Tuesday, The Attic Bar and Bistro is another ideal venue for catching intimate live music.
“We try to build a community of aspiring musicians,” said partner Michael Moore. “The tables are set up family-style to encourage players to meet other musicians.”
Crowds can enjoy the songs while sipping $3 Fat Alberts (The Attic’s signature house drink), available from 9 p.m. until close.
3141 28th St.
Complementing the pool tables, dart boards and shuffleboards, Outback Saloon offers a sweet setup for musicians and bands looking for an open mic night.
The stage is equipped with a house drum set, microphones, amplifiers and even house guitar and bass musicians can borrow for their performance. Not limited to music, Outback Saloon’s open mic nights (Thursdays at 9 p.m.) have hosted comedians and more.
“We’ve had a bit of everything,” says manager Nick Rueschhoff. “We’ll even have bands travel through and play a small set on open mic night to get some exposure.”
Boulder’s Home of the Blues
800 28th St. (at Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites)
Located at the Boulder Outlook Hotel, Boulder’s Home of the Blues alternates between a jazz jam the first and third Sunday of each month and a blues jam on the second and fourth. Anyone is welcome to join the players on stage, but bring your chops.
“The jams are open to everybody, but they play at a pretty high caliber,” said Dan King, Ambassador of Cool/operating owner.
Jam nights run from 7:30 to 10 p.m.
King said everyone from local musicians to CU students to high school kids get up and play, creating a showcase of local tunes and talent.
Innisfree Poetry Bookstore & Cafe
1203 13th St.
Held every Tuesday at 7 p.m., Innisfree’s open poetry readings provide a platform for wordsmiths to share their verse.
Each poet gets about 5 minutes to read during the open mic, and some participants accompany themselves on guitar or other instruments.
Abo’s on The Hill
1124 13th St.
Pick Night at Abo’s on The Hill gives music lovers a chance to catch talented locals plucking out bluegrass jams galore while munching New York-style pizza.
Pick Night starts at 6 p.m. on Thursdays and runs until the players are tired, allowing ample time to sample specials like $5 cheese slice and Pabst Blue Ribbon, $3 well vodkas, $4 highballs and tequila sunrises and $3 Upslope beers.
Contact writer Adam Rowan at email@example.com.