Southampton Open Mic Nights — The Top 10

Southampton has made a name for itself through its thriving music scene and open mic nights. Both Craig David and British rockers Band of Skulls launched their careers in Southampton, proving that when it comes to breaking into the music industry, Southampton open mic nights are the ideal platform for burgeoning new talent to build a following.

Southampton Best Open Mic Nights

Looking for an open mic night in Southampton? In no particular order, these venues attract the best of the city’s breakthrough musical talent.

#1 The Stable: Stables Sessions Open Mic Night

Southampton open mic nights

The Stable hosts one of the newest open mic nights in Southampton. Run by musician and producer Ollie Butler, it’s known for being a fun night out. The venue is great and the staff are all very friendly and engaging.

There is a house guitarist who can accompany singers and the night is open to all performers! The venue is situated directly opposite the 02 Guildhall Southampton and primarily a pizza, pie and cider bar which will appeal to a few performers making a night of it,

The Stable have long been supporters of Live Music in the City- along with regularly hosting events including weekly music nights every Saturday. It’s a bit quieter than the other more established open mic nights but there’s a good variety of performers.

Venue location:The Stable – 138, Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DU
Phone number:023 8023 6710
Open Mic Night:Monday fortnightly from 7pm
Want to perform?Open to all, so turn up on the night to get involved

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#2 The Alex: Southampton Plug & Play

One of the finest open mic nights in Southampton, the Alex has an action-packed schedule and Tuesdays are no exception, with this old-school boozer playing host to its Plug & Play open mic night. Every third Tuesday of the month is a heavy metal night.

A nice touch for performers, there’s a free drink for anyone who takes to the stage. So be prepared to muscle in against a tide of open mic regulars.

There’s always a flurry of support from local student who frequent The Alex seeking music and cheaper drinks.

Venue location:The Alex – 6 Bellevue Road, Southampton, SO15 2AY-22
Phone number:023 8033 5071
Open Mic Night:Tuesdays from 7pm
Want to perform?They welcome performers of all genres, all styles and all abilities

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#3 Suburbia: Open Mic Night Tuesday in Southampton

Suburbia’s open mic is a monthly affair hosted by Zeus Bookings (who manage multiple live music events in Southampton), the night is organised with industry support and attracts a lot of interest.

Performers are encouraged to sign up on Facebook in advance to avoid disappointment. Every genre of music is welcome, from folk and indie through to spoken word and rap. So, roll up if you’ve got something to share with the crowd.

Venue location:Suburbia – 27-29 Onslow Road, Southampton, SO14 0JD
Phone number:07738 361059
Open Mic Night:Tuesdays, monthly from 7pm
Want to perform?Contact Zeus Bookings to let them know you’re coming down

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Thinking of attending your first open mic night? Here’s what to expect:

paid open mic nights

How do Open Mic Nights Work?

Want to know how open mics work, what happens, what they are like, and what to expect on the night? Here’s all you need to know about performing at your first open mic nights: Are you ready to get out there with your music? Get yourself started with an open mic! Having helped so many... Read more »

#4 Flying Dutchman: Open Mic and Jam Night

Open Mic Jam Southampto

Photography: Kriss Thakrar

Under new ownership, The Flying Dutchman hosts Southampton’s latest Open Mic and Jam night.

This Open Mic night is aligned and brought to you by River Studios in Southampton so there’s always someone there from the studio should you want any advice or just a chat. River Studios also do an annual Battle of the Bands in Southampton at the 1865.

The hosts is David Martin with a house band every other Friday, if you’ve always wanted to front an ensemble.

There are PA and mics, with performers of all levels welcome to get involved. The house band will even start jamming to your original songs to give a lovely creative vibe.

Under 18’s can also perform at the start of the evening (before 9pm).

Venue location:Flying Dutchman – 13 – 14 Terminus Terrace, Southampton SO14 3DT
Phone number:023 8033 5069
Open Mic Night:Every other Friday from 8pm
Want to perform?Show up early and let them know

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#5 The Social: Open Mic night Southampton “Buskin”

Buskin, The Social’s Wednesday night open mic event, attracts some top-flight talent, keen on showing off their vocal and guitar skills in a relaxed and ambient space. They also have a happy hour from 5-9pm on selected beers, wines, spirits and cocktails.

Each Wednesday boasts a different musical host who can double up as instrumental support for singers to play along while they perform. Be aware you may need to be persistent on the night to ensure you get your time on stage.

On a Summer’s evening, the folding doors at the front make The Social an attractive watering hole and ensure you’re performing to a good crowd. Hosted in the ground floor bar with a newly open kitchen (open until 9pm), The Social offers a good selection of bar type meals.

Venue location:The Social – 21 Lower Banister St, Southampton, SO15 2EH
Phone number:023 8017 5175
Open Mic Night:Wednesdays from 9pm
Want to perform?They invite anyone with the slightest musical inclination to get involved

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#6 The Cricketers Arms: Ales and Anthems Open Mic Night

Based in the heart of Southampton’s Bedford place, the open mic night at The Cricketers has been a city favourite since its launch last year.

Not only do you get the floor to showcase your skills in a pub packed full of peers, but for those who enjoy a drink, there’s the added bonus of a wide selection of ales on tap for only £2.80 all night. So you won’t be short of Dutch courage if you’re a first-timer to the stage.

Venue location:The Cricketers Arms – 34, Carlton Place, Bedford Place, Southampton SO15 2DX
Phone number:023 8022 6448
Open Mic Night:Thursdays from 8pm
Want to perform?Stage slots are available on the night

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#7 The Hobbit: Monday Night Open Mic

A little outside the city centre in the heart of student land, this lively pub once faced closure over its use of The Hobbit name, before it was thankfully saved by overwhelming public support. Even saw Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry chimed in.

Having run every Monday night, since 1996, sadly The Candle Club stopped in 2018. After a brief stint at 1865, time was called, as a result of the closure of the Talking Heads where it  had been hosted at in the Polygon for many years.

No longer The Candle Club, but something similar, they are back on a Monday night at a new home.

On the back of SO Music festival and with so much keen interest shown by so many people Emily Mongan and Charlie Cordès themselves have committed to gathering talented souls from all over Southampton for this all-new, fantastic Monday night Open Mic.

The list opens at 7.00, acts start as early as 7.30. Organisers will be on hand from 7 onwards and late arrivals are welcome. As always those who show up will get a slot, late arrivals will be considered; any and all acts are welcome.

Those looking for a chance to Compere and get their feet wet top side are also welcome. They have a piano, a Cahon and room on stage for as many as you might cram on! They also have an ace tech section and sound desk, plus mics and instruments.

Everyone gets a minimum on 10 minutes and this is a great night to get involved with.

Venue location:The Hobbit  – 134 Bevois Valley Road, Southampton, SO14 0JZ
Phone number:023 8023 2591
Open Mic Night:Mondays from 7.30pm
Want to perform?Everyone is welcome

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#8 Mango Tapas: Mango Jam

Mango Jam is a real gem of a night. Some talented local musicians get up and play with the house band and performers and singers will interchange for an entertaining night.

Another night hosted by Jonathan Fashole-Luke, this is great place to find fellow musicians to potentially collaborate with.

Though it may seem slightly intimidating at first, go along, take it in and take the plunge when you feel you’re ready.

Mango jam rocks into the early hours with the basement bar open until 3am.

They offer table service throughout the Jam, and if you book a table you’ll get a complimentary Thai Tapas sharing board when you order a bottle of wine.

Venue location:Mango Tapas – 5 Canute Road, Ocean Village, Southampton, SO14 3FH
Phone number:023 8033 1477
Open Mic Night:Thursdays from 9pm
Want to perform?If you want to get up and play, just have a chat with the host

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What should performers expect from a jam night?

What to Expect from a Jam Session + 11 Jam Session Tips

Jam sessions are a great way to improve your skills as a musician and make some new friends at the same time. It’s also fantastic for confidence and it could really open doors and lead to great exposure for you as you start your career in the music industry. Jam sessions are all about finding... Read more »

#9 104 Kitchen & Cocktail Bar: Open Mic Night

104 Kitchen & Cocktail Bar hosts a newer open mic in the city centre, run by Fragile Lucy.

Slots are 4 songs or 15-20 minutes each. Bring your own instruments, but they do have a Cajon you are welcome to use.

They also have a cracking selection of drinks and food on offer, plus all performers receive a free drink.

Registration from 7:45pm and they also have a karaoke night on Fridays.

Venue location:104 Kitchen & Cocktails Bar – 104-108 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DT
Phone number:023 8023 5930
Open Mic Night:Tuesdays from 8pm
Want to perform?Just show up and let the host know what you want to do

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#10 Retro Cafe: The Retro Jam and Open Mic

The Retro Cafe is a great little venue in trendy Bedford Place, with a cosy and eclectic feel that’s perfect for a more intimate night of live music.

Their night is hosted by Elliot House and has been running since 2018. They offer up a friendly, chilled atmosphere where really anything goes, and it’s a great alternative to the usual nights on offer.

According to their event page, “For too long have Saturday nights in Bedford place been owned by the vodka guzzling hordes of club night goers. This is our last stand in the fight for real, live music on weekends.”

They have a house acoustic guitar and Cajon drum, but performers are welcome to bring their own instruments. It’s the only Saturday night Open Mic in Southampton, plus every performer gets a free beer!

Venue location:Retro Cafe – 34 Bedford Place, Southampton, SO15 2DG
Phone number:023 8178 3900
Open Mic Night:Every other Saturday from 7pm
Want to perform?Open to absolutely everyone

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Bonus Open Mic Nights in Southampton

Crammed Inn: Open Mic

open mics in Southampton

The Crammed Inn is a relaxed and friendly micro bar which opened in 2018 and located on the High Street. Offering premium keg and cask ales along with a good range of wines and spirits, specialising in gin. Plus cocktails and Fizz Fridays.

They host a monthly open mic night on the first Saturday of each month (like the Crammed Inn Facebook page to see the events). Open to all styles of music and levels of ability.

Hosted by Ben Poore of The Ben Poore Project, they provided an intimate and welcoming environment to enjoy live music from the best talent Southampton has to offer.

Venue location:Crammed Inn – 48 High Street, Southampton, SO14 2NS
Phone number:023 8057 6252
Open Mic Night:First Saturday of the month, 8-11pm
Want to perform?Everyone is welcome

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Gusto Lounge: Gusto Jam:

With a walk-in lounge bar on the ground floor and a beautiful restaurant on the first floor, Gusto Lounge is the perfect place to begin any evening out.

They host a fun  jam night every Bank Holiday Monday and if you want to take part, join them early on the day and they will do our best to get you on.

It’s all free to watch or perform and happy hour will be running as well as some delicious food available.

Full Band Jam – drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and microphone.

Let the host Jonathan Fashole-Luke know if you want to play or sing, everyone is welcome.

Venue location:Gusto Lounge – 1 Commercial Rd, Southampton, SO15 1GF
Phone number:023 8063 4531
Open Mic Night:Bank holiday Mondays from 4pm
Want to perform?Let them know on the day

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Belgium & Blues: Open Mic Night

Hosted every other Sunday by Southampton Blues Band the Fake Shakes, this open mic night is relatively new.

Set in Southampton’s Cultural Quarter, Belgium & Blues is a quirky, independent bar and their open mic if one of the most laid back in town. Get there early for a solo spot or rock up later to jam.

There’s also a free beer for all performers if you need a little extra motivation.

Venue location:Belgium & Blues – 184 Above Bar St, Southampton SO14 7DW
Phone number:023 8022 5411
Open Mic Night:Every other Sunday from 7pm
Want to perform?Musicians of all levels are welcome

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The Cricketers Arms: The Cricketers Jam

An extremely popular, busy and inclusive jam night every other Sunday at The Cricketers. With a lively, interchangeable house band providing accompaniment with keys, percussion, guitar and even a bit of flute!

All styles of music and levels of ability are welcome, and the manager is always on the lookout for new acts to perform at the bars regular paid gig nights.

Venue location:The Cricketers Arms – 34 Carlton Place, Bedford Place, Southampton SO15 2DX
Phone number:023 8022 6448
Open Mic Night:Every other Sunday. Turn up at 9pm
Want to perform?Chat to friendly host David if you fancy performing

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Oasis Bar: Friday Night Live

A fun and boisterous Open Mic night on every other month (Like the Oasis Bar facebook page to hear about upcoming events).

Their aim is to make great music, and not take ourselves too seriously! Expect incredible talent, crazy covers, and artists joining forces to bring you great music.

Hosted by Ryan Saunders from Twisted Entertainment.

Venue location:Oasis Bar – 137 High St, Southampton, SO14 2BS
Phone number:023 8023 8605
Open Mic Night:Occasional Friday from 9pm-1am
Want to perform?Let them know on the night

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The Art House: Moving Voices

The Art House are a mostly-voluntary, love-filled, not-for-profit gallery, venue and cafe. They offer an outspoken, truly-inclusive, safe space and a home-from-home for many.

Their monthly open mic is a great place to try something new for the first time, whether it’s spoken word, poetry or music.

If you are looking for a place that’s different from anywhere you’ve ever been, somewhere that thrives on the unexpected and unusual, you will feel very at home there.

Venue location:The Art House – 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, S014 7DW
Phone number:023 8023 8582
Open Mic Night:The last Friday of each month from 7:30pm
Want to perform?Check their Facebook group for info

So, now you know some of the top open mic nights in Southampton there are no excuses to get out there and get performing!

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Have you considered entering Open Mic UK? Auditions are coming to Southampton!

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Alan Ward-Best
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Alan Ward-Best

Pls update. Open Mic Talking Heads Southampton which moved from the Polygon to the 1865 has finally closed.

Mike Kirk (OMUK)
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Mike Kirk (OMUK)

Thank you for letting us know, Alan. Do you know if The Candle Club is closed permanently?

Benjamin Poore
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Benjamin Poore

Please update the Open Mic at Crammed Inn.

It’s now held on the first Saturday of every month and hosted by Ben Poore of The Ben Poore Project.

Thank you

Laura
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Laura

Updated 🙂

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