Policy Change


I've gotten more and more submissions in the last year for pay-to-play open mikes. I'm not talking about venues where there's a cover or minimum for everyone — that's an interesting argument to have (see the many listings here where that very argument goes on), but I don't see it as particularly preying on people desperate to perform.

On the other hand: a $20 performer's entrance fee? $5 to sign up? Those need to be deleted, and new ones will not be accepted. openmikes.org exists for the benefit of the performers, first, last and always. And this crap in no way helps musicians, poets or other artists.

I'm not immediately going through all 2,000+ listings — let me know if you see one that's still here, and I'll take it down.

(Comedy open mikes are excepted from this rule, as this would otherwise eliminate a huge chunk of the listings.)


When I go to the trouble to lug my axe to an "open mike", I usually leave if I am asked to pay a cover. I don't really see the difference between that and a sign up fee. Most of the open mikes are populated by "folk" musicians. It has beeen a trend to show them less and less respect. (This may be the fallout of there being more and more of them/us...) The only way to get respect is to stop accepting disrespect.

Perhaps the other half of that is for us to keep our individual and collective karma clean by making sure we don't just accept folks that play out of tune and other equally unpleasant behavior. That is not license to be a confrontive ass- but realize that as musicians we need to answer the question:

"What is the purpose of music?'

Elsewhere on this site I read some remarks that I thought were pretty much right on as regards open mike bummers. If you want attention- pay attention. Pay attention to what you are doing and how it is being received. Pay attention to what the other performers are doing too. Over the years I see more and more folks hold animated conversations through the performance of others and then leave right after their own set is over. If you want respect, learn to show respect. That doesn't mean give up your principles. Just remember that it is not all about YOU.

Pax Tabasco Y'all

Walter C

"If you want to make friends and community, you must learn to share food and music."
Gramma Zollie Craft

I played an open mic in Canton OH where they charged EVERYONE who came in. The owner hired someone to guard the door and exact the toll. I was there to promote my gig that Saturday. It was his idea I drive the 45 miles one way from Cleveland to help the crowd. I did. But I had to pay anyway. On Sat, there was no cover and no one at the door. There was a dinko sign semi-hidden on the counter that suggested folks drop in $2. There were 65 folks there, I can count while I play. The owner took 20% of the donations and I went home with $28. I am not playing there any more. Do you think I should tell folks about this place by name? He had 75 folks at the open mic.

Hi everyone I'm from St Albert Alberta Canada and I run a similar site for musicians to check for open jams I agree whole heartedly with what your musicians are saying. I play for the love of music and expected to be treated the same way as I play. Check out http://www.reverbnation.com/gerrypearson and you'll hear what I have recorded from Jams since Jan. this year from throughout the Edmonton Area. I hope that I haven't stepped on anyone's toes by posting this so I wouldn't feel too badly if you didn't want this posted but I did put in my email address and you could always send me a email.

Gerry Pearson

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This page contains a single entry by Paul Roub published on February 13, 2008 4:17 PM.

Want to try something new? was the previous entry in this blog.

The official rules for Jenocyde's ideal open mike is the next entry in this blog.

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