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Virtual Open Mics

Even before 2020, an open mic could lose its venue without warning.

Back then, the solution was to suspend the show until you could find another home. (My own event was bumped off the schedule at one bar by something called “Beer and Banjos.” Yeah, ouch is right.)

Enter 2020, when nearly every indoor venue closed indefinitely, open mic nights went virtual en masse, and we all learned a thing or two about technology and making the most of it.

These posts are meant to help hosts and organizers translate all that in-person energy to an online platform, find the upsides, and make an online open mic that’s more than just a stopgap.

Respect the Mic: 3 Veteran Moves for Virtual Open Mics

Respect the Mic: 3 Veteran Moves for Virtual Open Mics

It’s been 10 months and counting since most places banned the gathering of human vectors beings, which forced open mics to either suspend their shows or move to digital platforms. If you’ve become a virtual open mic regular, you’ve doubtless seen what happens to human...

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...

Heavy Hitters: A Virtual Banquet of Open Mic Pros

Heavy Hitters: A Virtual Banquet of Open Mic Pros

Here in the US, we’re at month four of not being able to gather in large groups. For people like me, that takes some of the sparkle out of my calendar—no shows to stalk and anticipate.  (As a close friend of mine—who keeps a reminder of upcoming events where she can...

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...