Whether you've written new music you want to test on an audience or you're looking to see Denver's best up-and-coming talent (and perhaps some of the worst, as well), open-mic nights are for you. Artists including the Lumineers
and Ian Cooke
have attributed their success to these musical free-for-alls. Here are ten of our favorite open-mic nights and jams, some focused on music and others open to everybody from crooners and comedians to magicians.
2199 California Street
Wednesdays, 9 p.m.
The Mercury Cafe has been a stalwart supporter of Denver musicians — not just by giving them two stages on which to perform, but also by employing a host of local artists as waiters, bartenders and dishwashers.The restaurant's open-mic night begins at 9 p.m. every Wednesday in the Jungle Room, and it's free and open to all types of acts. Be sure to sign up with the host upon arrival. Then enjoy a late-night coffee, a cocktail or a snack while you wait to perform and watch others.
Syntax Physic Opera
Courtesy of Syntax Physic Opera
554 South Broadway
Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Every Tuesday, Syntax hosts Denver songwriters Rachael Pollard and Anthony Ruptak's open-mic night, which has quickly become a must-attend event frequented by some of the city's best musicians. Sign-up starts at 7:30 p.m., and the open mic begins at 8; there's no cover. Feel free to sing or snag a drink at the bar and enjoy some local talent.
Your Mom’s House
608 East 13th Avenue
Tuesdays, 9 p.m.
On Tuesdays, the Capitol Hill All-Stars host a free open-jam/open-mic night from 9 p.m. until 1:45 a.m. at Your Mom's House. Artists are encouraged to bring their own instruments. This event is 21+.
The Corner Beet
1401 Ogden Street
Thursdays, 6 p.m.
The Corner Beet is abuzz during morning hours; on Thursday evenings, the spot is full of open-mic entertainment. Sign-ups begin at 6 p.m. and the show ends around 10. Enjoy a kava or a chai tea latte during the show.
1215 20th Street
Tuesdays, 7 p.m.
Join Soul Daddy and His Band on the first and third Tuesday of the month for free open-mic nights. Artist sign-up begins at 7 p.m., and the show starts at 8.