The top 10 Dorset open mic nights. Known for its rural countryside and tranquil coastline, Dorset may not be the first place you’d expect to find a bustling music scene, but it has an abundance of hidden gems to suit every taste. Below, we take a look at the top 10 open mic nights in Dorset covering towns such as Bournemouth and Poole.
Dorset Best Open Mic Nights:
Looking for an open mic night in Dorset? In no particular order, these venues attract the best of the city’s breakthrough musical talent.
#1 Delfino Lounge, Poole: Dorset Open Mic Night
A newer open mic in a popular venue, Delfino Lounge is in a great location overlooking Falkland Square. They’ve got floor-to-ceiling windows that open right up along the front; ideal for a relaxing evening of music.
The lovely and talented Samantha Laurilla is your hostess for the night, with each act invited to sing up to three songs. There’s no stage, with acts performing against a backdrop of wall-to-wall artwork, with muted lighting and plenty of space to move around.
There’s a PA system all set up, so performers just need to turn up with their instrument of choice or a backing track. It’s quirky and easy-going, with an appreciative audience and a free drink for all acts.
They do limit the evening to 12 slots, giving each performer a fair chance to display their talent.
Added bonus: if you impress them with your expertise, they’ve got two paid monthly slots up for grabs on the last Saturday of each month.
|Venue location:||Delfino Lounge – 8-9 Falkland Square, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1ER|
|Phone number:||01202 649274|
|Open Mic Night:||The third Thursday of the month from 7pm|
|Want to perform?||To secure a place, contact Samantha on Facebook|
#2 O’Neill’s, Bournemouth: Revolving Doors Dorset Open Mic Night
Hosted by Si Genaro, who dubs himself a “semi-professional indoor busker” with assistance from Nacho Jase, this weekly affair has garnered a dedicated following and created some very memorable evenings.
The setup is simple, with three mics across the stage, an acoustic guitar available for use, plus an in-house PA system and a stage monitor. Nacho is happy to accompany on bass if required.
Acts are allowed 3 tracks each, but if you fancy performing, make sure you arrive early to get your name down on the board. These nights do get really busy.
Jamming is encouraged and all bands and performers are welcome.
|Venue location:||O’Neill’s – 231 Old Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1JZ|
|Phone number:||01202 312174|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Tuesday from 8pm|
|Want to perform?||Open to all acts, this is a very popular night with local musicians|
#3 Branksome Railway Hotel, Poole: Open Mic Night in Dorset
This Victorian hotel is steeped in history, with the open mic being a great start to the weekend. It’s held in the bustling main bar and you’ll find a wide range of offbeat instruments, from didgeridoos to bagpipes.
The host is local musician Mik Parsons, who provides lighting, a PA system with mics, and plugs for guitars. The idea is to simply turn up, make some noise and have some fun.
They encourage visitors to, “folk up, pop down, jazz in, and rock out” and they see a mix of regular players and new talent each month.
|Venue location:||Branksome Railway Hotel – 429 Poole Road, Poole, Dorset, BH12 1DQ|
|Phone number:||01202 769555|
|Open Mic Night:||The last Friday of the month from 9pm|
|Want to perform?||Open to all, pop down and play/sing along|
Thinking of attending your first open mic night? Here’s what to expect:
#4 Buffalo Bar, Bournemouth: Buffalo Jam Open Mic Night
Recently relocated to Lansdowne, Buffalo Bar is famous for its regular live music events, DJ sets and Jam Sessions, and they’re looking to continue that tradition in a new home.
Their original open mic was one of the longest-running in the town and attracted a colourful assortment of local characters — See the dedicated photography book which features black & white images from the original venue.
This night is generally an informal, chilled affair with a good mix of experienced musicians, absolute beginners and everyone in between.
Rab (of Dead Lettuce fame) is the evening’s host; a jolly, ginger Irishman with a welcoming attitude who’s happy to provide back-up if required.
There’s an acoustic guitar and a 4 track mixer with two microphones available for use.
Solo guitarists, full bands, stand-up comedians and poets come through the door weekly.
The usual free drink for all performers is on offer.
|Venue location:||Buffalo Bar – 24-26 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8AD|
|Phone number:||01202 209773|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Wednesday from 9:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Just let them know on the night|
What should performers expect from a jam night?
#5 The Green Man, Minster: Open Mic Night
The Green Man is a lively traditional pub full of charm and character, and they’ve put together an open mic night to support local musicians and provide a venue for some of the superb musicians the area has to offer.
Run by the Acoustic Connection, experienced local open mic organisers and the creators of Ringwood Unplugged, this monthly event displays some of the freshest up-and-coming local musical talent.
Pop in and listen to an assortment of live music, spanning many genres and ages, then join the line-up when you’re ready.
Whether you’re just starting out, or have been performing for years, this smallish venue is ideal for showing off your skills.
|Venue location:||The Green Man – 1 Victoria Road, Wimborne, Minster, BH21 1EN|
|Phone number:||01202 881021|
|Open Mic Night:||Third Tuesday of the month from 7:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Everyone is welcome; just turn up early on the night or let them know|
#6 Camden Bar & Kitchen, Poole: Open Mic Night
A popular café bar with a peaceful vibe, good music and a faithful clientele, their open mic night is described as, “Awesome music by awesome people for an awesome crowd.”
The décor is rustic, with exposed brick walls, twinkling fairy lights, and worn chalkboard displays. The staff and audience are welcoming, with a free beer for all performers, if a bit of Dutch courage is needed.
There’s a two-song maximum, with those watching asked to be respectful while acts are on stage.
This acoustic open mic is an intimate evening suited to newer performers looking to build their confidence.
|Venue location:||Camden Bar & Kitchen – 6 Bournemouth Road, Poole, Dorset, BH14 0ES|
|Phone number:||01202 383879|
|Open Mic Night:||Mondays from 8:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Have a word with one of the friendly hosts on the night|
#7 The Angel Inn, Longham: Open Mic
Hosted by 2 local musicians, this open mic is a very chilled evening and very popular with the locals, with a range of performers of all ages, quite literally from 15-90.
Hosted by Mikey Ball and Chris Collins, they look to showcase local talent with minimal fuss, and the open mic night attracts soloists, acoustic guitarists, keyboard players, ukulele players, rappers and many more.
They provide a PA system and guitars if needed, as well as the ability to plug in backing tracks, and they can usually source any other items if asked in advance.
No act too big or small, they accommodate everyone.
|Venue location:||Angel Inn – 188 Ringwood Rd, Longham, Dorset, BH22 9AP|
|Phone number:||01202 873778|
|Open Mic Night:||Every second Thursday from 8:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Just rock up and rock on|
#8 The King’s Head, Poole: Open Mic Mayhem
This open mic night bills itself as, “totally awesome and way above average” with a jolly atmosphere and all sorts of acts getting involved, including the occasional comedian or poet.
Run by Ricky Bennets, instruments available include a drum kit, electro-acoustic guitar, mics and a PA system.
Performers range in ages from Room 13 to the house band FOG on the Quay (“bunch of old crumbles with a combined age of 245!” as he says).
|Venue location:||The King’s Head – 6 High Street, Poole, Dorset BH15 1BD|
|Phone number:||01202 681150|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Thursday from 8pm|
|Want to perform?||Get there early to secure a slot|
Ever considered hosting your own open mic night?
#9 The Blue Boar, Poole: Open Mic Night
The Blue Boar is an impressive three-floor pub full of character and characters. It’s got log burning fireplaces for the winter months and memorabilia adorning the walls.
Their weekly open mic is a fun-packed and entertaining way to soak up all the local musical talents that Poole has to offer. Hosted by Calvin Glen (who also hosts the open mic night at Roxy’s), this one is very inclusive and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Whether you want to perform or sit back and enjoy the show with a pint of award-winning ale, everyone is invited.
|Venue location:||The Blue Boar – 29 Market Close, Poole, Dorset BH15 1NE|
|Phone number:||01202 682247|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Tuesday from 7pm|
|Want to perform?||Musicians, singers, poets, comedians are all welcome|
#10 The Dorset Soldier, Corfe Mullen: PJ’s Open Mike Night
Nothing too fancy, the Dorset Soldier is a laid-back local pub run by Geoff and Tracy, which features two separate bars offering the best of both worlds.
Reasonable prices and traditional fare make this venue a busy one, with live music nights, tribute acts and a popular weekly open mic night.
A very friendly and casual mid-week offering, performers bring their own instruments, with the host Phillip Job setting up a full Bose system PA and mixer desk, with two microphones.
|Venue location:||The Dorset Soldier – 117 Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen, BH21 3JZ|
|Phone number:||01202 694403|
|Open Mic Night:||Wednesdays from 8:45pm|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up and play|
Bonus open mic nights in Dorset
The Ropemakers, Bridport: Dorset Open Mic Night
An excellent live music venue, the Ropemakers is, “a bit of a Tardis”, in that it’s bigger than it looks from the street.
Their open mic is hosted by Si Dew and Nick Randall from Behind Closed Doors and it’s a fairly relaxed night with a variety of acts, all acoustic.
They provide the PA and microphones plus the mixing desk, but they ask performers to bring their own instruments.
If you fancy showcasing some original music, poetry or something completely different, then their stage is open to all.
|Venue location:||The Ropemakers – 36 West Street, Bridport, DT6 3QP|
|Phone number:||01308 421255|
|Open Mic Night:||The first Wednesday of the month from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Everyone is welcome|
Tweed Jacket Presents: Absolute Music Open Mic Night & Showcase
Absolute Music runs open mic nights and showcase events with Tweed Jacket all over county. The nights are hosted by professional musicians who know how to get the most out of an open mic session.
They hold various events at locations including:
- Red Lion, Swanage
- Loch & Quay, Christchurch
- The Overcliff Pub, Bournemouth
- The Gloucester, Weymouth
- The Quay Inn, Wareham
- The George Inn, Chideock
|Venue location:||Tweed Jacket Music Ltd – Various locations|
|Phone number:||07447 838553|
|Open Mic Night:||Various dates. All of their evenings start at 8pm unless otherwise stated|
|Want to perform?||Email Dave for more info|
Various Locations: Howl Open Mic
A growing open mic night run by Elijah Wolf, as well as various ambassadors throughout Dorset, these events are about creating a space and atmosphere where everybody is welcome to perform.
Howl Open Mic and Howl Songwriters Showcases have been running in the Dorset/Devon/Somerset for a decade. Howl events have gained a reputation for being welcoming and for their enthusiastic and encouraging atmosphere.
As a songwriter whose songs have been played on national radio Elijah is super keen to promote and encourage original songwriters and performers at any Howl event and is now running specific Songwriter Showcases as well as the open mic nights. You don’t need to book to play at a Howl event just turn up. P.A is provided.
Or, if you prefer, you can just relax and listen to a showcase of local music.
|Venue location:||Howl Open Mic – Various locations|
|Phone number:||01308 421255|
|Open Mic Night:||Various dates & times|
|Want to perform?||Check their Facebook page to confirm|
So now you know where to perform in Dorset there are no excuses for not getting out there and get performing!