The county of Hampshire is the home of many country pubs, city bars and incredible venues for live music. From Roots Open Mic at The Railway Inn in Winchester (rumoured to be the oldest open mic night in the country) to the Tart Jam Night in Basingstoke, there’s a gig for every musician looking to perform in Hampshire.
Hampshire Best Open Mic Nights:
This article focuses on open mic nights in Hampshire, outside the major cities of Portsmouth and Southampton which have dedicated pages. For more open mic nights in Hampshire click here for open mic nights in Portsmouth and for Southampton open mic nights. So if you are looking for open mic nights near you in Hampshire, here are some of our additional favourites, as always, in no particular order:
#1 The Farmers Inn, Waterlooville: Jam Night
As country pubs go, The Farmers Inn has got bags of character, cosy corners to relax and a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
They host a fantastic jam night every Thursday night, where musicians from the local area come and play together. It’s run by Damiain Lodrick and most weeks he’s joined by a house band of musicians who he knows.
According to the pub’s manager, “Damiain is a local hero around these parts, a very well-respected musician, and over the years he’s created an entourage of the best players in the area.”
This helps to bring in a lot of new players to the jam night, as it can quite often benefit them getting in the local scene, plus it’s an opportunity to meet other musicians and organise gigs with new bands.
Check out The Damiain Lodrick Band below:
Equipment wise, there’s usually a drummer who brings a kit and there’s also a collection of bass and guitar amps on the stage too.
You can turn up on the night with any equipment you’d like to use or speak to Damiain to book a slot. It’s open to all ages, all levels, all instrument and all who wish to just watch and enjoy. There are many who just turn up to just watch and enjoy the music, while some say it’s a better night than if there had been a band hired to play.
There’s a good blend of blues, rock, soul and jazz and quite often an array of different instruments, including a whole brass section.
|Venue location:||The Farmer’s Inn– 300 Atherington Lane, Waterlooville, PO8 0TD|
|Phone number:||023 9259 3280|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Thursday from 9pm|
|Want to perform?||Just show up and let them know you want to perform|
What should performers expect from a jam night?
#2 The Railway Inn, Winchester: Roots Open Mic Night
The Railway Inn in Winchester, Hampshire is a blend of traditional bar and a music venue/arts centre. Equipped with a top spec PA and lighting rig, ‘The Barn’ is their underground venue – the perfect environment to experience live music of any genre, while the upstairs venue, ‘The Attic’ has been specifically designed for acoustic acts and comedy.
Roots Open Mic Night has been running there for over 20 years, making it Winchester’s longest running open mic.
It’s been an early exploration space for a number of notable careers, including Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Laura Marling and Frank Turner.
The venue has dedicated itself to live music since the late 1970’s and they also regularly showcase local, national and international acts, covering the full gamut of responsibility in terms of supporting all sectors of music.
|Venue location:||The Railway Inn – 3 St Pauls Hill, Winchester, SO22 5AE|
|Phone number:||01962 867795|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Monday from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Check their Facebook group|
#3 The White Hart, Basingstoke: Jam Night
The White Hart, or “Tart” as it’s affectionately known, is one of Basingstoke’s oldest pubs. There’s an eclectic mix of customers from all walks of life. They proudly call it a ‘proper old fashioned boozer’, where everyone is welcomed and made to feel at home.
After taking over ownership on Halloween 2016, the new owners also brought back live music. Singers, musicians, comedians, jammers and soloists are all welcome at their jam night.
Newbies and experts player alike, you can play together or alone. Try out new material or just get a feel for performing in front of a welcoming audience.
Whatever your style or ability, everyone gets a chance to perform.
Just show up on the night and get involved
|Venue location:||The White Hart – London Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4AE|
|Phone number:||01256 464384|
|Open Mic Night:||Every 2nd Thursday from 8pm|
|Want to perform?|
Thinking of attending your first open mic night? Here’s what to expect:
#4 The Golden Lion, Havant: Tuesday Open Mic
The Golden Lion a true family pub with the added bonus of excellent Indian food on offer.
Their open mic is hosted by local musician Nigel Hoar who also runs the following open mics across Hampshire and West Sussex:
- The Whitehorse, Westbourne (Monday’s acoustic)
- The Crown Hotel, Emsworth (Thursday’s mixed genres)
- Emsworth Sports and Social Club, Emsworth (Wednesday’s mixed genres)
Full PA with 3 mics provided at all venues with use of drums, bass and electric amps. Performers are encouraged to bring their own instruments.
Nigel will potentially be trialling acoustic only at the Golden Lion because of space and ambience, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on his Facebook page for details.
|Venue location:||The Golden Lion – 54 Bedhampton Road, Havant, PO9 3EY|
|Phone number:||023 9248 0401|
|Open Mic Night:||Tuesdays from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Check out their Facebook group for more info|
#5 The Wyvern, Lee-on-Solent: Open Mic
Situated on the edge of Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, The Wyvern is a great family & dog-friendly pub offering cask-conditioned ales, a great gin bar and live music at least once a month.
Their weekly open mic night is mostly acoustic sets, with some electric. They have the usual mic, amplifier and soundboard, just bring your own instruments.
Anyone that plays gets a free drink. If they think you’re good enough, they’ll book you in for a paid gig.
|Venue location:||The Wyvern – Lee-on-Solent, Common Barn Lane, Gosport, PO13 9DS|
|Phone number:||023 9255 2375|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Tuesday from 8:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Have a look at their event page|
#6 Central Bar, New Milton: Open Mic Night
Central Bar is a no-frills sports pub which offers pool, darts and a crowd-pleasing weekly open mic night.
They supply the PA system so performers can plug in whatever instruments they have. It’s hosted by Si Genaro, everyone is helpful and encouraging to new acts.
Fifteen-minute slots per musician, this evening is totally casual and family-friendly.
Free drink for all performers. Open to all ages, younger performers are asked to bring an adult.
|Venue location:||Central Bar – 50-52 Station Road, New Milton, BH25 6JX|
|Phone number:||01425 838072|
|Open Mic Night:||Sundays from 7:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Just show up and let Si know|
#7 The Cricketers Arms, Eastleigh: Del’s Open Mic
The Cricketers Arms in Fair Oak is a proper old school pub which has been hosting Del’s Open Mic for since 2017.
Run by Derick Ince (Del), this is one of the warmest and friendliest open mic venues you will find.
Del also hosts other open mics in Hampshire at:
- The Anglers Inn, Eastleigh (the last Thursday of the month)
- The Three Tuns, Gosport (first Sunday of the month)
PA, mics and leads all supplied, as well as powered speakers, a passive mixing desk and a spare guitar.
Del tries to encourage beginners and newcomers, so this is perfect for first-timers.
|Venue location:||The Cricketers Arms – 453 Fair Oak Road, Eastleigh SO50 7AJ|
|Phone number:||07739 177067|
|Open Mic Night:||First Tuesday of the month from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Everyone is welcome|
#8 The Fountain, Rowland’s Castle: Bob’s Wednesday Open Mic/Jam Night
Originally an old coaching inn, The Fountain is well-known for hosting lively open-mic nights and for local bands regularly performing on Saturday nights. Kerry and Mary Sinclair took over in 2017 and the pub went through a much-needed refurbishment.
The Fountain has a rich history in music – Herbie Armstrong, a former session musician with Van Morrison, was at the helm for 14 years. As fans of live music, the new landladies wanted to keep the venue a music and sports pub. The main bar is a fantastic venue for most bands, with the wooden floor and lay out of the bar ideal for a great sound.
Their weekly open mic is hosted by Bob Croxford, with backline and drums are provided.
Solo acts and bands welcome, but get there early if your want to participate, it’s already become a very popular night.
|Venue location:||The Fountain – 34 The Green, Rowland’s Castle, PO9 6AB|
|Phone number:||023 9241 2291|
|Open Mic Night:||Wednesdays from 8pm|
|Want to perform?||Get there early to secure a slot|
Ever considered hosting your own open mic night?
#9 Butter’s: Andover Open Mic Night
Butter’s is a family-run, independent business, with live on offer music every Friday and Saturday. This lively open mic night has been running for about 4 years.
The host is also a local performer and the nights are a mixed bag of entertainment. There are various musical performances of different genres, with occasional poetry and comedy. Musicians are welcome to go along and try new songs and they also are open to anyone who’d like to perform.
They supply PA system and guitar if needed, plus there’s a keyboard available. Performers are encouraged to bring their own instruments.
You’re guaranteed a fun time and it’s a great place to meet all sorts of musicians who care about great music.
Check their Facebook group for full details.
|Venue location:||Butter’s – 89 High street, Andover, SP10 1ND|
|Phone number:||01264 323583|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Thursday from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||No need to book, just turn up on the night|
#10 The Good Intent: Petersfield Open Mic And Jam
The Good Intent is a rustic 16th Century coaching inn in Petersfield. The pub features original oak beams taken from the ship it’s named after and plenty of charm.
Well-known for hosting live music on Saturday nights, they are also know for their open mic night on Thursdays, which is a great opportunity to meet local musicians in the area.
The night is run by Josh and Pete ‘Chopper’ Woodward, and they have regular players that can back anyone that goes along if needed.
Performers are given 15-minute slots, with every other slot available to book ahead of time, while he alternate 15-minute slots can only be taken on the night as you arrive.
They provide a full PA system and a house drum kit, but most performers bring their own instruments.
|Venue location:||The Good Intent – 46 College Street. Petersfield, GU31 4AF|
|Phone number:||01730 263838|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Thursday from 7.30pm|
|Want to perform?||You can book in advance or just show up|
Bonus Open Mic Nights in Hampshire
The Welcome Stranger, Andover: Open Mic Night
The Welcome Stranger was once a self-sufficient public house with their own granary and on-site brewery, which regularly hosts live music evenings and specialises in real ales.
Their monthly open mic is a very low-key affair. There’s no stage and you’ll need to bring your own instruments, but hey do have their own in-house PA system and everyone is welcome to get involved.
|Venue location:||The Welcome Stranger – Down Road, Kimpton, Andover, SP118PG|
|Phone number:||01264 772444|
|Open Mic Night:||The first Wednesday of the month from 8.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Just let them know on the night|
Lily’s Bar, Hayling Island: Jam Night/Open Mic
A family-friendly public house, Lily’s Bar hosts a bi-monthly open mic night.
A full backline and in-house drum kit are provided. All you need is guitars, bass, voices, etc.
All musicians, abilities and genres are welcome.
|Venue location:||Lily’s Bar – 12 Creek Road, Hayling Island, PO11 9RD|
|Phone number:||023 9263 7746|
|Open Mic Night:||Every other Tuesday from 8pm|
|Want to perform?||Open to all|
So now you know where to perform in Hampshire there are no excuses to get out there and get performing!