Jul
11th

Our Top Pics for Open Mic Nights in Orange County

Categories: Cool Music Finds, Student News |

open-mic-night-fullerton

Open mic nights are the perfect way for fledgling singers and performers to hone their craft. And even if you’re not performing, they’re an exciting way to spend a weeknight and support your local arts scene. Open mics bridge an important gap between the officiality of a ‘gig,’ and the ultra-casualness of a karaoke night. Gigs can be overwhelming in the sense that you’re often pressured to draw your own crowd. Karaoke nights, while a good way to experiment with performance techniques, don’t afford the opportunity to sing your own music, use your own backing tracks, play your own instruments, or banter with your audience. We’ve collected a few open mic nights around Orange County (and Long Beach) that we think you’ll enjoy.

Max Blooms Cafe Noir — Fullerton

220 N Malden Ave Fullerton, CA 92832
Vibe: Noir, Vintage
Date/Time: Wednesdays 8-10, Thursdays 8-10
Kid-friendly: Not Really

Max Blooms Cafe Noir is a one-of-a-kind gem in Fullerton. Decorated a la 1940’s noir, the venue hosts nights for comedians, music gigs, classic movies, and, of course, open mics. The place is small, so come with only your closest compadres. Website

Gypsy Den — Anaheim, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa

211 W Center St Promenade Anaheim, CA 92805
Vibe: Bohemian
Date/Time: Wednesdays at 8
Kid-friendly: Yes

Gypsy Den is close to our hearts, because it’s our venue for our adult recitals (well, we like to call them kickbacks). Decorated like a really snazzy-looking attic, the patrons in this cafe tend to be respectful, and supportive. I’d assume open mic is on a first come, first serve basis, but contact the cafe to be sure. Website

Alta Coffee — Newport Beach

506 31st St. Newport Beach, CA 92663
Vibe: Casual, Quaint
Date/Time: Tuesdays at 8
Kid-friendly: Yes

A casual locals’ haunt, Alta Coffee is a quaint cafe and breakfast spot in Newport Beach. It’s one of those places that regulars keep their own mugs on the shelf. The open mics here seem to be a little more formal — you have to contact John Carrillo (Owner? Booker?) at Website

The Harp Inn — Costa Mesa

130 E 17th St. Ste A, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Vibe: Casual, Pub, Irish
Date/Time: Mondays at 8, Tuesdays from 7-8
Kid-friendly: No

Located near our Costa Mesa studio, what better way to celebrate your voice lesson than with a Guinness and a microphone? The space is large, and you’ll be performing to the whole room, but don’t be intimidated: The Harp Inn is as casual and unpretentious as it gets! No word on how to sign up for open mic. My guess is it’s first come, first serve. Website

Viento y Agua — Long Beach

4007 E 4th St. Long Beach, CA 90814
Vibe: Art Gallery, Boutique
Date/Time: Thursdays, sign-up is at 7:30, performances run from 8-10
Kid-friendly: Yes

Viento y Agua is a cozy cafe and gallery, located in Long Beach, that boasts 4.5 stars on Yelp, making it our most popular venue for an open mic night. A quiet study spot and art house by day, Viento y Agua has live music, four evenings out of the week. Thursdays are open to blossoming poets and musicians. Ground rule: musicians are limited to one song. Website

Portfolio Coffeehouse — Long Beach

2300 E 4th St Long Beach, CA 90814
Vibe: Casual, Hip
Date/Time: Wednesdays, sign-up is at 7, performances run from 7:30-10
Kid-friendly: Not Really

Portfolio Coffeehouse is another popular fixture in Long Beach which hosts an open mic night on Wednesdays. Portfolio is your neighborhood cafe, constructed in the ’90’s with art patronage in mind. It’s small, so if you’re afraid of singing to a large crowd, this is the place to go. The website doesn’t list a song limit. Website

1 Comment

  1. Comment by: Erin
    Posted on: 17th Jul 2013Reply

    Thanks for the post! I’ve never done an open mic night before but I think I’m going to try to go to one near my house in Long Beach.

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