First Round of Open Mics

This past week I went out to two open mics in the city.  One to play at and one to just spectate.  The first one I went to was at the Tree Bar.  I had first heard about their open mic night from fellow musician Zach Whitney who runs the the open mic there.  They have their open mic every Wednesday from 9pm to midnight.  Never having been to the Tree Bar I wasn't sure what to expect, but knowing Zach I thought it would be worth checking out.  When I first got there I was a little uncertain about the joint since it was pretty much empty.  I was a little early so I figured more people would show up.  The place was kinda run down and had several leaks in the ceiling but it had this charm to it.  They have a larger stage in the back for their main shows and a nice little set up in the bar area for their open mic.  Eventually a few more people showed up but maxed out around 10 to 15.  A pretty small crowd, most of them players themselves but everyone there was incredibly friendly.  There were a few interesting performers who went before me and though they weren't very polished I did enjoy them.  It made for a very laid back vibe where everyone could test the waters with their new material.  Many of my current songs are on the slower side so this intimate setting was perfect for me. They went over really well and all got positive feedback so that was reassuring.  I had a good time at the Tree Bar and really enjoyed getting to meet the few people that attended.

The second open mic I went to was at King Ave Five.  There was definitely a much larger attendance at this venue and they set up there open mic at their main stage so you get to experience performing on a larger stage.  I didn't perform at this one so I got to sit back and enjoy all the acts.  The first performer I saw was a lot tighter than the acts I had seen the previous night but overall I'd say the average level of talent was about the same.  Being that the venue was much larger, I didn't get to know as many of the performers.  The best part of my experience there was meeting an artist who had spent the previous week scouting out as many of the open mics in Columbus as he could. He shared with me his list which will definitely save me a lot of time in the future.  I do believe it would be worth my while to come back and play some of my songs at King Ave Five.  Over all my take away from both nights was that if you are looking to reach a lot of new listeners you're better off playing at King Ave Five but if your goal is to test out new material and to network with other artists, then your best bet is the tree bar.  

Austin FinleyComment