Open mics in and around Asheville

ANYTHING GOES: West Virginia-based band The Change, in Asheville while leading a residency with LEAF Schools & Streets, recently played an open mic at One World Brewing. Photo by Cindy Kunst

The Asheville area is known for its creative culture — from visual artists and craftspeople to architects and fashion designers. But it’s performers who draw crowds to concerts, readings and stand-up shows.

So, how does a comic with a new bit or a poet with a work-in-progress polish that future hit piece? By trying it out an open mic.

Artists who are new to writing, performing or sharing work can also find a friendly audience and necessary feedback at open mics. The democratic, often anything-goes shows are made up of whoever signs up to perform on a given night. There’s typically a time limit for each presenter, and some open mics have a theme or a host to usher the evening along, but what happens in front of the microphone is, truly, wide open to possibility.

Billing itself as “Asheville’s most open mic,” the Sly Grog Lounge invites solo performers, groups, songs, stories “or whatever you got to our welcoming and supportive stage.” That’s the kind of encouragement that can draw even the shyest poet to the spotlight. Meanwhile, comedians can polish their jokes at The Odditorium and The Southern, and writers find kindred spirits at Noble Kava and The Flood Gallery.

The lion’s share of open mics are geared toward musicians. Songwriters and instrumentalists can claim their few minutes of fame at least four nights a week.

Mondays
• Music, hosted by Chris Whitmire, 6 p.m. at 185 King Street, Brevard, 185kingst.com
• Music, comedy and poetry on select Mondays, 6 p.m. sign-up, 7 p.m. show at The Grey Eagle, 185 Clingman Ave., thegreyeagle.com
• Music and poetry, 7:30 p.m. sign-up and 8 p.m. show at One World Brewing, 10 Patton Ave., oneworldbrewing.com
• Music, 9 p.m. at Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave., jackofthewood.com

Tuesdays
• Music, 8:45 p.m. at White Horse Black Mountain, 105-C Montreat Road, Black Mountain, whitehorseblackmountain.com
• Music, hosted by Arrow Sound, 8 p.m. at UpCountry Brewing, 1042 Haywood Road, upcountrybrewing.com
• Comedy, hosted by Tom Peters, 9 p.m. at The Odditorium, 1045 Haywood Road, ashevilleodditorium.com

Wednesdays
• Music, hosted by Mark Bumgarner and Billy Owens, 7 p.m. at Blue Mountain Pizza, 55 N. Main St., Weaverville, bluemountainpizza.com
• Music, comedy, poetry, etc., hosted by Richard Yon, 7:30 p.m. sign-up and 8 p.m. show at Twin Leaf Brewery, 144 Coxe Ave., twinleafbrewery.com
• Poetry, storytelling, spoken word, music, comedy and more, hosted by Caleb Beissert, 7:30 p.m. sign-up and 8 p.m. show at Noble Kava, 428 Haywood Road, facebook.com/groups/167051416661439
• Disclaimer Comedy Open Mic, 9 p.m. at The Southern, 41 N. Lexington Ave., southernkitchenandbar.com

Sundays
• Poets and short stories, 5:30 p.m. at The Flood Gallery, 2160 U.S. Highway 70, Swannanoa, floodgallery.org
• Music, hosted by Billy Litz (through Aug. 26), 6 p.m. at The Barrelhouse, 1459 Merrimon Ave., facebook.com/thebarrelhouseAVL
• Music, with Fox Black and friends, 6 p.m. at Good Stuff, 38 Bailey’s Branch Road, Marshall, heygoodstuff.com
• Stories, music and more, 6:30 p.m. sign-up and 7 p.m. show at Sly Grog Lounge, 271 Haywood St., slygrog.wordpress.com

Upcoming:
David Joe Miller’s spoken-word open mic (formerly held at the SOL Bar and Buffalo Nickel) returns to Asheville. The free event, for storytellers and poets, launches at Habitat Tavern and Commons, 174 Broadway, on Monday, July 30. 7 p.m. sign-up and 7:30 p.m. show. It will continue on the last Monday of each month. storytellingcalendar.com

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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One thought on “Open mics in and around Asheville

  1. Cynthia Potter

    FYI the Open Mic at Flood Gallery has moved. “True Home Open Mic” is now every Thursday, 6:00-8:30 pm.
    Uncensored expression: anyone is invited to step up to share song, music, poetry, comedy, magic, stories, rants & raves, & other performances! 6 pm signup, perform 6:30-8:30 pm.
    Flood Gallery Fine Art Center
    850 Blue Ridge Rd • Black Mountain, NC 28711 • Next to Veterans Park

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