For those with courage, passion and talent, open mic nights offer the opportunity to step onto the stage and wow the crowd. Of course, it helps to take the plunge at a favorite watering hole, amongst friends — open mic performances are a bit like karaoke without a net. Whether it’s a poetry slam, comedy or music, Philadelphia has numerous venues that sponsor open mic nights.
3720 Midvale Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Java Ink, a tattoo/gallery/cafe located on Midvale, sponsors poetry nights, acoustic nights, live music and other open mic events. A non-chain coffee shop, Java Ink hosts local performing artists as part of its efforts to establish a community venue for various artists. The cafe serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and other drinks. It also has outdoor seating.
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Jolly’s American Beer Bar
3801 Chestnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Home of the dueling pianos, Jolly’s American Beer Bar is driven by audience participation. The Tuesday Night Showcase has a standing invitation for area bands and performers. On Thursday nights, belt one out with Jolly’s “intensive ‘care’aoke. On Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy the dueling piano show and take to the dance floor. The dueling piano show is interactive.
Connie’s Ric Rac
1132 S. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Connie’s Ric Rac hosts a Wednesday night open mic jam, and there is no admission. Patrons are invited to jam or perform rehearsed pieces. In addition to audio equipment, the management also has extra instruments on hand, and the business also welcomes area bands to take to the stage. And aside from music, an open mic standup show is held every Sunday night.
1001 N. 2nd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Gunner’s Run, located on a street that began life as a canal, is always looking for local musical talent. When music is not on tap, take in a ball game. The establishment also hosts concerts in its courtyard during warm weather months. Gunner’s Run is owned by a regional concert promoter, a tattoo artist and a music agent.
122 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Though known for its sushi, HeadHouse also hosts acoustic open mic nights, first Friday events and live entertainment five nights a week. Tuesday is open mic comedy night and Thursday evenings are ladies night DJ or live music. First Fridays host a free art and trunk show, and live music. Saturdays are karaoke with DJ Thunder or can be reserved for open bookings.
Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on Examiner.com.