TIPS FOR

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.

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. More Than Therapy...

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...

The Best Platform for a Virtual Open Mic

The Best Platform for a Virtual Open Mic

Open mic hosts, if you’re impatient to get back to doing your thing in a roomful of real live poets and musicians… If you miss the snapping, the clapping, the amen chorus, and even that one guy who saunters in late and runs over his slot every week… If you’re...

The Shift to Digital Open Mics

The Shift to Digital Open Mics

One of the things I say a lot when I try—and I try often—to convey just how great an open mic is (or was) is that you just had to be there. In the room. In the space. With all the other people. Breathing in the poems and the music… …and the air. Which in most states...

12 Tips for Open Mic Hosts: How to Be Flexible, Fair, and Fluid

12 Tips for Open Mic Hosts: How to Be Flexible, Fair, and Fluid

Let’s say you host an open mic, or you will soon, or you want to. I'm gonna assume you’ve done your time as a performer: You’ve seen good hosts (let’s hope) and maybe a few bad ones (equally instructive). You’ve got ideas. You’ve got opinions. But maybe you're looking...