Open mic nights are a big part of the local music scene in London. Playing at open mics is a great way to meet local musicians, get over stage fright, or just enjoy a night out. Many London open mic nights are focused on acoustic acts but there is also space for all genres from rock music to hip-hop. Are you a folk singer ready to perform with a microphone on stage? Maybe you’re a rapper that wants to test out some new rhymes? Performing at an open mic night is the perfect place to do this. Who knows, you may even be able to book some gigs out of it! Looking to skip the open mic and book a concert straight away? Try contacting booking agents directly through Groover.
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Many of the open mic events in London require artists to book a time slot in advance to play. There are venues and music bars where artists can sign-up when they arrive, but communities like Acoustify and London Unplugged organize multiple shows around the city and require signing up in advance.
Here is our selection of the 10 best places to be heard on the open mic London scene.
1. The Hope & Anchor – Acoustify
Every Monday night, Acoustify hosts an open mic night at The Hope & Anchor in the trendy neighborhood between Brixton and Clapham. This beer garden and pub is a hotspot for young people and a great atmosphere to play in. To play the open mic, send an email to email@example.com to book a time slot in advance. Up to ten performers are chosen to play every Monday night and the show starts at 7:30pm.
2. Bishops Bar – Acoustify
Acoustify hosts another open mic night on Thursdays at Bishops Bar in Fulham. The same booking process applies for the Thursday sessions and performers are welcome to play original music as well as cover songs. Book your spot to play in this cozy bar and restaurant!
3. Bubblebath Open Mic @ Fiddler’s Elbow
Bubblebath Open Mic is an experimental open mic night held on the first Tuesday of every month at Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden. Performers can email firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time or sign up starting at 7pm on the night of the show. Performances begin at 7:30pm and each artist has 8 minutes on stage or can play 2 songs. This is a great place to meet other musicians in the area and see a diverse range of performances!
Suburbia is an eclectic nightclub and music venue that hosts the Plug and Play Open Mic Night every Wednesday. Sign-up starts at 7:30pm in person and runs on a first come first served basis. There is a full backline on stage and all genres of music are welcome. The open mic at Suburbia also offers a jam session where local artists come out and showcase their talents together.
5. Ram Jam Records
Located at the back of The Grey Horse Pub in Kingston is Ram Jam Records: the former spot of the Ram Jam Club where Jimi Hendrix used to play. Every Wednesday night, artists are invited to play 1 to 3 songs during their open mic. They provide guitar and bass amps, a piano, and a drum kit. Sign-up is at 5:30pm and the performances start at 6pm.
6. The Harringay Arms
The Harringay Arms Pub in Crouch End hosts a music-only open mic every Wednesday night from 7:30pm. Musicians can pre-book a slot by emailing E-O-M@outlook.com or by just showing up early. In addition to the open mic night and weekly concerts, they also host drag shows and pub quiz nights. They often book solo singer-songwriters for weekly gigs so you could potentially book a show here!
7. The George IV – London Unplugged
Every Wednesday night, London Unplugged hosts an open mic night at The George IV in Chiswick. To play, you have to sign up in advance on the London Unplugged website. They open booking requests two-weeks ahead of each show, so make sure to sign up fast! What sets this open mic apart from the rest is that each performer gets to play a longer set of four songs rather than just one. Only solo performers, duos, or trios are allowed to perform acoustic music at this open mic. They also offer professional photo and video services for a small fee if you want to record your set!
8. The Distillers – London Unplugged
London Unplugged hosts another open mic every Thursday night at The Distillers in Hammersmith. The same rules apply for signing up in advance to play but The Distillers is a livelier atmosphere. If you’re looking to play a short set and even record a live session, these two open mics are the best place to do so. The event starts at 7:30pm and performers take the stage at 8pm.
9. Hercules Pillars – UK Open Mic
UK Open Mic hosts a handful of open mic nights throughout London and one of them is at Hercules Pillars in Covent Garden on Saturday nights. Sign-up starts at 7pm but they recommend booking ahead of time through their eventbrite page. Artists have up to 10 minutes on stage to perform but are welcome to play just one song if they prefer.
10. Anchor Bankside – UK Open Mic
Every Tuesday Night, UK Open Mic welcomes new talents to the microphone at Anchor Bankside in London Bridge. Booking your time slot in advance is highly recommended. The UK Open Mic nights are a warm and welcoming environment for artists to play and meet other musicians. If you enjoy playing at Hercules Pillars and Anchor Bankside, check out their website to see the rest of their open mic London events!
The open mic London scene is full of opportunities for emerging artists
After you’ve conquered the open mic London scene, check out the ten best places to be heard in New York City!