Bristol Open Mic Nights The Top 10
Not many cities in the UK rival Bristol for live music venues. Open Mic UK outline the top 10 of Bristol’s open mic nights.
Open Mic Finder in Bristol
The birthplace of respected artists like Portishead and Massive Attack, Bristol has an incredibly varied and vast music scene. From the world-famous jazz-oriented The Old Duke with its rich history, to more modern hidden gems like The LeftBank Bar, there’s such a healthy selection of great bars and pubs for open mic nights that you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Best Open Mic Nights in Bristol
Planning a show-stopping performance or looking to catch some future superstars on stage in Bristol? You’re in the right place. Find the best open mic venues below, in no particular order:
1. The Old Duke – Eddie Martin’s Open Mic Night
One of the most venerable music venues in Bristol, The Old Duke is a well-known and well-loved jazz & blues bar in the heart of the city.
Named after Duke Ellington, this spot has become famous for its nightly live music, with their well-worn stage providing a worthy space for both new and experienced performers to show off their music skills.
The evening begins with blues superstar Eddie Martin performing a set to warm the audience up. After that, the mic is handed over to anyone who’d like to impress the crowd. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds though (although Eddie is a tough act to follow), all types of performers are welcome and it’s a very inclusive and friendly night.
Venue location: The Old Duke – 45 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4ER
Phone number: 0117 401 9661
Open Mic Night: Tuesdays from 9pm
Want to perform? Just show up on the night and have a word with the host.
2. The Hare on the Hill – Open Mic
The Hare is a light and airy traditional pub in Cotham that regularly has live music and entertainment available throughout the week.
For their open mic night, there’s a small, raised stage on offer, they provide a PA, lighting, a house guitar and 2 mics (the host Graeme Moncrieff can usually source other requests if given enough notice).
Go along and watch a great bunch of talented performers on the stage and join in if and when you want to (you’ll get a free drink if you do).
They mostly get acoustic performances, but also comedy and some electronic acts, and the area directly in front of the stage is quite narrow, resulting in a very cosy, intimate atmosphere. You also get a cool photo taken of you and uploaded onto their Facebook page.
Venue location: The Hare on the Hill – 41 Thomas Street North, Bristol, BS2 8LX
Phone number: 0117 908 1982
Open Mic Night: Wednesdays from 8pm
Want to perform? 7:45pm sign up or message the Facebook page to reserve your slot.
Bristol Open Mic Nights
3. The Rope Walk – The Rope Walk Open Mic
The Rope Walk bar is beautiful bar and restaurant, with flowers and candles on all the tables and an array of artwork and graffiti on the walls (the landlady Annie is well-known on the street art scene and she’s created a very unique space).
Welcoming all musicians—from solo performers to bands—for their weekly open mic night, there’s an in-house guitar, bass guitar and a gorgeous baby grand piano all available for use. Drums and backline can be requested in advance.
The host is James Dixon, they offer 15 minutes per performer, and instruments provided include guitars, bass, brums, keyboard, and there is also a baby grand piano that’s used for piano and vocal solo or duo acts.
There’s always a chilled out vibe perfect for the less experienced musician, and at the end of the night there’s a live jam to wrap things up.
Venue location: The Rope Walk – 5 Nelson Parade, Bristol, BS3 4JA
Phone number: 0117 963 5124
Open Mic Night: Thursdays from 8:30pm
Want to perform? Sign up with the host on the night.
4. The Golden Lion – Open Mic Night
Immensely popular, The Golden Lion has established itself as one of the key music venues in Bristol, with live music on offer six days of the week (a DJ plays on Sunday).
Featuring host Jim Davies of The Rin Tins, performers of all levels are invited to step up to the mic. They encourage acts to “Just get up and show us what you’ve got”, from singers, poets and comedians—all are welcome.
Full kit set up including an acoustic and bass guitar, a keyboard, drums, and congas. Jamming is encouraged and these nights are a guaranteed good time.
Venue location: The Golden Lion – 244 Gloucester Road, Bristol, BS7 8NZ
Phone number: 0117 924 6449
Open Mic Night: Every Wednesday from 9pm
Want to perform? All abilities are welcome.
5. The Bristol Fringe – Jelli Records Open Mic
The Fringe is a unique music, arts and entertainment venue in Clifton with something on offer seven days a week.
This quirky and soulful little bar hosts regular jazz nights and music gigs, and their open mic is not to be missed.
Steve Parkhouse is the night’s host, and the normal stage, lighting and PA are provided, along with very generous and attentive spectators, “the audience does listen and you are not just background noise”.
Performers are encouraged to bring CDs and any other promotional material, with the last Tuesday of the month being a songwriter’s showcase for invited musicians.
For a bit of a change from the usual free pint, they offer free food for all performers courtesy of Lucie’s Creperie.
Venue location: Bristol Fringe – 32 Princess Victoria Street, Bristol, BS8 4BZ
Phone number: 0117 330 0900
Open Mic Night: Every Tuesday from 8:30pm
Want to perform? Get there a bit early and let them know.
6. Grain Barge – Open Mic
Possibly the only open mic night on a boat! Climb on board this converted Bristol barge and discover one of the city’s best-loved gems.
Relaxed and friendly, this unique venue hosts a selection of live music in its intimate Hold Bar, with a weekly open mic night held ‘below deck’.
Hosted by musician Mike Dennis, whether you’re a songwriter, poet or musician, everyone is welcome.
They attract a very mixed crowd and some fantastic regular performers, but they are always hospitable to newcomers.
This is a great opportunity to meet some of the best players in the city. 15 minute sets and the standard free beer for performers.
Venue location: Grain Barge – Mardyke Wharf, Hotwell Road, Bristol, BS8 4RU
Phone number: 0117 929 9347
Open Mic Night: Every Tuesday from 8pm
Want to perform? You can sign up from 7pm.
7. LeftBank Bar – Open Mic Night
The LeftBank, a bohemian bar on Stokes Croft with a passion for all things alternative, attracts all the cool kids in Bristol with a wide array of music; funk, reggae, jazz, blues and beyond.
Running for over ten years, their open mic sees singers, songwriters, instrumentalists, poets, and even dancers take to the stage.
Hosted by Oliver James Dennison and Tom Egan alternately, house guitars and bass are provided, but they encourage performers to bring their own instruments if possible.
A great place to try an open mic if you’re new or nervous, plus the regular free drink offer for all acts if you need to settle any nerves.
Venue location: LeftBank Bar – 128 Cheltenham Rd, Bristol, BS6 5RW
Phone number: 07746 720354
Open Mic Night: Wednesdays from 8pm
Want to perform? Sign up from 8pm at the bar
8. The Kingsdown Vaults – Open Mic at the KDV
The Kingsdown Vaults (sister pub to The Golden Lion) has been at the heart of Bristol’s music scene, hosting countless live acts and events through the years.
Their music policy is wholesome with a focus on folk, Americana, country and blues, their weekly open mic night has been a central part of the KDV’s events programme for years.
Hosted by the fantastic Ben Hopkin (Beyond Rivers) and sometimes Lewis Creaven, they attract some truly superb talent. Several popular singers are said to have performed here before they made it big.
You never know where an open mic night can take you.
Venue location: The Kingsdown Vaults – 31 Kingsdown Parade, Bristol, BS6 5UE
Phone number: 0117 942 4353
Open Mic Night: Thursdays from 8:30pm
Want to perform? Don’t be shy, let the host know and get involved.
9. The Gallimaufry – Open Mic
An independent Bar, Restaurant and live music/arts venue, the Galli is a bastion of great free live music in Bristol with a generous blend of Folk, Jazz, Boogaloo, Blues & Alternative sounds on tap.
George Ezra has popped up through the years for a long-running residency here and considers the pub a second home. Check him out performing here: https://youtu.be/nIbGo52YKtM
The open mic stage is open to all, Mike Dennis hosts, and they are always scouting for talented acts to book, so this could be your shot at a paying gig.
Venue location: The Gallimaufry – 26/28 The Promenade, Gloucester Rd, Bristol, BS7 8AL
Phone number: 0117 942 7319
Open Mic Night: Mondays from 8pm
Want to perform? 8pm sign up, if you fancy getting stuck in.
10. The Oxford – The Famous Open Mic
On the south side of the river, The Oxford has gained a reputation as a great venue for live music, with their open mic night being a highlight of the week for musicians in the area.
Hosted by familiar face Graeme Moncrieff, they’ve got everything you need to perform; a full PA with stage monitors, stage lighting, house guitar, plenty of mics, and a very supportive audience.
The words ‘Time flies when you’re having rum’ is written on a skull and crossbones sign above the busy bar, there’s a motley crew of colourful character and a lively atmosphere.
Slots are 3 songs long, and all are welcome to perform.
Venue location: The Oxford – 22 Oxford St, Bristol BS3 4RL
Phone number: 0117 907 5845
Open Mic Night: Every Thursday from 8pm
Want to perform? Arrive early to get on the list, this one gets busy.
Bristol’s Monthly Open Mic Nights
Grounded Horfield – Open Mic Night
This friendly cafe-bar has a lovely, relaxed vibe and attracts a really mixed crowd. All musical styles welcome, we provide amplification equipment and those who give it a go will get a free drink. No need to book a slot, just turn up on the night!
Whether you sing, dance, talk, or rap, there’s room for you. Hosted by Harry Harding.
Venue location: Grounded Horfield – 421-425 Gloucester Road, Horfield Bristol, BS7 8TZ
Phone number: 0117 951 1505
Open Mic Night: Third Wednesday of the month from 8pm.
Want to perform? No need to book a slot, just turn up on the night.
The Cross Hands – Open Mic
Running for over five years and hosted by musicians Deborah Williams and Neil Hoskins, this is a chilled out monthly open mic ideal for budding songbirds and experienced pros alike.
Many talented Bristol musicians have appeared here since it started, including The Busk, Tom Terrell and more.
They provide a PA system and all styles are welcome, plus they hire the best acts to perform at their annual Cider Festival.
Venue location: The Cross Hands – 1 Staple Hill Road, Fishponds Bristol, BS16 5AA
Phone number: 0117 965 7759
Open Mic Night: The first Wednesday of every month starting at 8pm
Want to perform? You can sign up on the night.
Other Open Mic Nights in Bristol
The Arts House – 108A Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RU
Phone number: 0117 923 2858
Every other Friday from 8.30pm
The Arts House is an excellent performance and events venue right in the heart of the Artisan quarter of Bristol, and their basement space is home to cinema night, life drawing and a fortnightly open mic that’s open to everyone.
Golden Guinea – 19 Guinea St, Bristol BS1 6SX
Phone number: 0117 987 2034
Monthly on a Sunday from 8pm.
‘Bristol’s best backstreet boozer’ the Guinea’s is known for folksy tunes, songs and shanties, with play on a range of instruments including guitars, mandolins, violins, banjo and flute on show.
So now you know where to perform there are no excuses to get out there and get performing!
Don’t forget to check out the Dorset Open Mic Nights the Top 10 and also consider entering Open Mic UK with auditions coming to Bristol.