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Open Mic Hosts

Every town needs an open mic. A proper city needs one every night of the week.

Running an open mic can be a simple operation—mic, list, host, done. Or you can trick it out with features, competition, pre-show workshops, and infinite other variations.

Whatever your format, you’ve gotta pick a venue, set the schedule, and bang out at least some basic rules. And you’ve gotta promote the event.

Here’s a collection of advice—gathered from open mic nights across the US (including my own)—to help open mic hosts and organizers create an event that hums and set your local talent up for success.

The Perfect Venue: Choosing a Home for Your Open Mic

The Perfect Venue: Choosing a Home for Your Open Mic

Oh, the motley glory of open mic venues! If you’ve been to one, you’ve been to…one. With the notable exception of Busboys and Poets (a handful of DC-based restaurants and political bookstores, each with a stage purpose-built for weekly poetry events), open mics are a...

How Open Mic Builds Empathy

How Open Mic Builds Empathy

This is the third in a series that explores what makes an open mic worth doing—as in organizing, hosting, attending, performing at, or becoming a regular. Not just because it’s entertaining and inspiring, not just because it’s a great way to improve your craft, but...

Open Mic Will Make You a Better Listener

Open Mic Will Make You a Better Listener

This is the second in a series that explores what makes an open mic worth doing—as in organizing, hosting, attending, performing at, or becoming a regular. Not just because it’s entertaining and inspiring, not just because it’s a great way to improve your craft, but...

How Open Mic Might Just Save the World

How Open Mic Might Just Save the World

This is the first of a series that explores what makes an open mic worth doing—as in organizing, hosting, attending, performing at, or becoming a regular. Not just because it’s entertaining and inspiring, but because it's a defiant act of humanity. Talking with open...

What to Call Your Open Mic?

What to Call Your Open Mic?

Practical Advice and 8 Awesome Names that Flaunt It So you want to start an open mic but you don’t know what to call it. It’s a special problem to have, and there's not a lot of places to go for specific advice. Ask an SEO expert and they’ll tell you to get a...