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.
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
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