York boasts plenty of open mic nights with a variety of music styles and venues. Open mics in York are most commonly found on Mondays in live music pubs, but there is at least one on every day apart from Saturday nights. York open mics will always provide the ideal experience for all tastes.
The Best Open Mic Nights in York
Looking for an open mic night in York? For Yorkshire open mics, check out this article, while these venues attract the best of the city’s breakthrough musical talent, in no particular order.
Top Weekly Open Mics in York
|Click to see details:||Which night?|
|Evil Eye: Open Mic Night||Thursdays|
|The Golden Fleece: Open Mic Night||Mondays|
|The Red Lion: Vinnie’s Open Mic Night||Sundays|
|The Deramore Arms: Open Mic Night||Wednesdays|
|The Spread Eagle: Spread The Jame||Wednesdays|
|The Three Legged Mare: Open Mic Night||Thursdays|
|Sotano: Ruby Tuesdays Open Mic||Tuesdays|
|The Golden Ball: Open Mic||Mondays|
|The Fossgate Social: Social Sessions||Tuesdays|
|The Habit: Open Acoustic Sessions||Mondays|
#1 Evil Eye: Open Mic
Hidden behind their specialist gin shop you’ll find an escape from the norms of York and a place to relax and there’s no better place to be on a Thursday night. Watch, sing, or play at the Evil Eye open mic night, every Thursday at 42 Stonegate.
Hosted by Robert Loxley Hughes and his band, you’re always in for a good time there, no matter what your age or ability.
Mics, guitars, pedals, bass, drum machine, turntables, and percussion are all available.
Head down and show them what you’ve got!
|Venue location:||Evil Eye – 42 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS|
|Phone number:||01904 640002|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Thursday from 8pm-12 midnight|
|Want to perform?||Turn up early on the night or check their Facebook group|
#2 The Golden Fleece: Open Mic
Hosted by Anthony Bandeira Falkenburg and Sam Oliver, The Golden Fleece open mic night has been running around 2 years now.
They happily provide the back line 2 mics, guitar, bass, Cajon/percussion, and if you want to give it a go, an out of tune piano!
Performances vary here – they always have duos and solo artists playing a variety of covers and originals, other times they’ll have full bands rocking out next to poets and comedians.
Busyness also varies – they recommend artists to get down early to get a slot, as most of the time it is busy, but occasionally they have more chilled out nights.
Head down to the bottom bar in the oldest and the most haunted pub in York which is built with no foundations that creates a crooked interior, there’s also a skeleton who sits at the end of the bar!
Finally, all performers receive a free pint of their choice, and all draft is a pound off for all attending!
|Venue location:||The Golden Fleece – 16 Pavement, York, YO1 9UP|
|Phone number:||01904 620491|
|Open Mic Night:||Mondays from 9-11:30pm|
|Want to perform?||Stage slots are available on the night|
#3 The Red Lion: Vinnie’s Open Mic
The Red Lion Open Mic is a cosy one to go to if you’re free on a Sunday night.
Running from 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm every Sunday, The Red Lion has a Yamaha Stage Pass 500 PA system. They also have two Shure SM58 mics, and there’s a tangle wood house guitar anyone can use.
Everyone gets a minimum of 3 songs and receives a free drink token for their performance. The drink token can be used on the night or saved and used any other time.
The open mic has been running for almost 7 years now! Vinnie has been hosting it since it started – check out their Facebook page for more details.
|Venue location:||The Red Lion – Merchantgate, York, YO1 9TU|
|Phone number:||01904 640418|
|Open Mic Night:||Sundays from 6:30-11:00pm|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up and play|
Open mics near me
Thinking of attending your first open mic night? Here’s what to expect:
#4 The Deramore Arms: Open Mic
The brilliant Peter Wookie is the host of the Deramore Arms open mic night every Wednesday. It’s a lovely pub with a great atmosphere, right next to the University of York.
All types of musicians are welcome – all styles too. Originals and covers all go down well at the Deramore Arms.
P.A is provided, as is a free pint for every performer! Sign up early with Peter on the day to avoid disappointment.
BONUS: The owner is always looking to book people for gigs, so make sure to impress everyone there!
|Venue location:||The Deramore Arms – Main St, Heslington, York, YO10 5EA|
|Phone number:||01904 427333|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Wednesday from 8-11pm|
|Want to perform?||Turn up early on the night to book your slot, or just turn up later and play.|
#5 Lendal Cellars: Cellar Sessions
Run by Jimbo Doomface & Presh, Cellar Sessions is always a fun open mic night to go to!
Expect a welcoming atmosphere every week – full PA system & backline are provided, including drum kit, acoustic guitar, electric bass, bass amp, guitar amp.
Performances range from solo acoustic performers to full bands, plus impromptu jam sessions… all styles & abilities are welcome.
The event takes place downstairs in the cellar. Every Wednesday from 8:00 pm, just turn up or contact one of the organisers in advance to guarantee your slot.
The night is free entry for all, with a free drink for performers. They’ll also be booking bands & artists for paid “Featured Artist” slots.
|Venue location:||Lendel Cellers – 26 Lendal, York, YO1 8AA|
|Phone number:||01904 623121|
|Open Mic Night:||Wednesdays 8:00pm-late|
|Want to perform?||Check their Facebook page for details|
#6 The Three Legged Mare: Open Mic
The open mic at the Three Legged Mare is a brilliant, warm atmosphere and is hosted by a chap called Alistair Lawrence (and occasionally Dan Webster).
They use a half size PA and a monitor amp so the performers can hear themselves well. The open mic also offers up a house guitar and house piano. The piano belongs to Alistair and one of his friends – it’s frequently used for busking in York!
The piano is well looked after and at the open mic night, they also have it mic’d up so it can be heard throughout the pub. Alistair and the Three-Legged Mare welcome all kinds of artists from comedians, poets, magicians, burlesque dancers; but primarily they get singers with guitars or small bands.
The open mic was created over ten years ago by Dan Webster (in The Rook and Gaskill). Dan created the three-song rule – whoever you are, you perform per the time you arrived, and everyone performs three songs. Dan advertised it as ‘If Bono shows up he has to wait his turn with everyone else’ and they’ve pretty much stuck with that same format. First come first served!
Every performer gets a free pint at this place if you perform, which is quite the incentive. The Three-Legged Mare open mic takes place every Thursday from 9 pm till 12. It’s now staged by the entrance to attract passers-by.
The night is often quite busy, but sometimes it’s more chilled. Alistair always does his best to give performers the best sound mix he can, and then it’s up to YOU to win over the pub!
|Venue location:||The Three Legged Mare – 15 High Petergate, York, YO1 7EN|
|Phone number:||01904 638246|
|Open Mic Night:||Thursdays from 9pm-12 midnight|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up – first come first served. Or check their Facebook group|
#7 Sotano: Ruby Tuesdays Open Mic
One of York’s only Tuesday night Open Mic nights, head down to Ruby Tuesdays for another great open mic session in York.
It’s free entry, with a great vibe and drinks promotions! With vinyl interludes, this isn’t one to miss.
In terms of equipment, make sure to bring your stuff as the instruments provided is different each week.
Each performer gets a short slot to perform whatever songs they would prefer, you are welcome to sing covers or originals.
It runs from 9 pm until late. All are welcome. Make sure that you stay to support the other musicians throughout the night, you might even make a few friends!
|Venue location:||Sotano – 1 Little Stonegate, York YO1 8AX|
|Phone number:||01904 620230|
|Open Mic Night:||Tuesdays, 9pm-late|
|Want to perform?||Turn up and play|
#8 The Golden Ball: Open Mic
Golden Ball’s open mic is currently run by Colin Cutler and Tom Beer. It’s been running for about 7 years and is a staple in the York music scene.
If you want to play at this one, there is a house acoustic guitar, keyboard, double bass, 3 microphones, Cajon (drum box) PA system, bass amp, and guitar amp.
In terms of musical genres that perform at the Golden Ball open mic, it’s a pretty mixed bag. Often guitar singers, spoken word poetry, young and old bands come in and play, rock royalty, a bit of everything.
At one point in time, the night was very busy, but it’s quite chilled at present – a good place for beginners to play without too much pressure. It can, however, fill up on magic nights.
Head downstairs to the bar room of the pub to find everyone on the night. It starts at 9 pm and finishes at 11 pm. Every performer gets 15 mins (or 3 songs). Just turn up on the night to secure a slot.
|Venue location:||The Golden Ball – 2 Cromwell Rd, Bishophill, York, YO1 6DU|
|Phone number:||01904 849040|
|Open Mic Night:||Mondays, 9-11pm|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up and play. Check their Facebook group for details.|
Ever considered hosting your own open mic night?
#9 The Fossgate Social: Social Sessions
The Fossgate Social is a charming local pub that runs an open mic every Tuesday.
Kicking off at 8 pm, join everyone for a candlelit evening, showcasing fantastic local talent (which includes you!)
Bring your instruments, plug them in, and play to your heart’s content – everyone is welcoming and appreciative of each other’s music.
If you don’t fancy performing, simply sit back, relax, and enjoy music and poetry. If you do perform, however, expect a free drink to come your way.
|Venue location:||The Fossgate Social – 25 Fossgate, York, YO1 9TA|
|Phone number:||01904 628692|
|Open Mic Night:||Tuesdays from 8-11pm|
|Want to perform?||Turn up and play|
#10 The Habit: Open Acoustic Sessions
Hosted by Dan Webster, the Open Acoustic Session is for anyone who wants to come along, play an acoustic instrument, and have a chilled-out Monday evening.
It’s a very informal night, starting at 8:30 pm and welcome to everybody.
There is no PA – this is a relaxed ‘sing a song and pass on the guitar’ style night. It has a personal touch and a community feel to the night.
All types of music are welcome – traditional, original, and contemporary.
Of course, it’s free! With discounted drinks, you’d be mad to not head down and have a jam next Monday.
|Venue location:||The Habit – 40 Goodramgate, York, YO1 7LF|
|Phone number:||01904 611072|
|Open Mic Night:||Mondays, 8:30-11pm|
|Want to perform?||Check their Facebook group for details|
Bonus Open Mics in York
Kennedy’s Bar and Restaurant: Open Mic
This is another friendly place in a very cosy bar and restaurant. Hosted by Kell Chambers, this is a great one to go to if you’re at a loose end on a Wednesday night.
All genres are welcome, as are covers and originals. Turn up after 9 pm, or arrive early to make sure you book in a slot with Kell.
Free drinks voucher for all performers. Make sure to ready your three best songs and “wow” the York audience!
|Venue location:||Kennedy’s 1 Little Stonegate, York, YO1 8AX|
|Phone number:||01904 620222|
|Open Mic Night:||Wednesdays, 9pm-Late|
|Want to perform?||Simply turn up early on the night and book in a slot with Kell|
The Nook: Open Mic Night
With such a buzzing atmosphere and awesome local acts, The Nook’s open mic is very popular with the locals.
It’s a warm night and a perfectly intimate environment to strut your stuff or test-drive new songs.
Run by Simon Francis Bolley, come strut your stuff in return for a delicious Nook beverage. Every Friday 8:30pm – 11:00pm.
All abilities and experience levels are welcome. For more information, make sure to enquire at the bar or online.
|Venue location:||The Nook – 3A Castlegate, York, YO1 9RN|
|Phone number:||01904 627122|
|Open Mic Night:||Every Friday, 8:30-11:00pm|
|Want to perform?||Simply turn up on the night|
Bi-Monthly Open Mics in York
Valhalla: Open Mic Night
This place is one of the heavier venues on our list! Head down to Valhalla open mic for some alternative/rock vibes.
If you’re into any form of rock then make sure to come to this one. It’s a very fun venue and everyone is welcome.
Hosted by Kelly Ann Bolland, Valhalla provides a guitar and mic should you need to borrow one.
It’s only a small bar, so it won’t be hard to find Kelly and get your name on the list. BONUS: 3 songs get you a free drink!
|Venue location:||Valhalla – 4 Patrick Pool, York, YO1 8BB|
|Phone number:||01904 653999|
|Open Mic Night:||Every other Monday, 7:30-9:30 pm|
|Want to perform?||Performance slots are available on the night|
Viccy Vaults: Acoustic Jam
The Viccy Vaults Acoustic Jam night is every second Wednesday of the month and it’s run by “the human jukebox!”
It’s another very friendly atmosphere for everyone. Instruments provided include a couple of acoustic guitars and a bass. Of course, you can bring your instruments. Two mics and stands are also provided.
It’s easy to play on your own or if you want other people to jam with you that’s cool too. Slots are 15-20 minutes, with a chance to get up again if it’s quiet.
A lovely atmosphere and friendly pub. Easy access for wheelchairs and everyone welcome. Second Wednesday of the month from 8 pm.
|Venue location:||Viccy Vaults – 47-49, Nunnery Ln, York, YO23 1AB|
|Open Mic Night:||Second Wednesday of the month, from 8pm|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up and play|
What should performers expect from a jam night?
Monthly Open Mics in York
Bishopthorpe: Open Mic
Hosted by Becki Stiles and Tim Senior, the Bishopthorpe open mic has been running since January 2019.
The vibe is very casual and welcoming. They welcome all levels of performers and Becki has vowed to never let it become cliquey or elitist! Most of the people that come and perform are not professionals, they just like to get up and perform once a month.
Equipment provided: – Full PA with 2 x SM58 mics and a couple of standard Gear4Music Bluetooth mics if needed, acoustic guitar x 2, 88-key fully weighted digital piano, ukulele, music stands, and laptop for backing tracks.
Sometimes the night has vocalists that don’t play an instrument, so you’re welcome to use backing tracks. The Social Club has a nice, large function room with a stage and a full PA system.
If it’s a busy night the stage is used. They welcome all ages and all abilities. Generally, most performers are self-accompanying musicians but they also host poets, and have an in-house magician who comes pretty regularly!
Bands are welcome to try out new material, performance spots are first come first served, but if you want a specific time, just message Becki on the number below.
|Venue location:||Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club – 12 Main St, Bishopthorpe, York, YO23 2RB|
|Phone number:||07834 775779|
|Open Mic Night:||Last Thursday of every month, 8-11.30pm|
|Want to perform?||Just turn up and play|
The Bell and Crown: Acoustic Night
The Acoustic Night runs monthly, on a Sunday February-June and October-December, as well as being incorporated into our long-running festival at the end of August/beginning of September!
Hosted by local musician, engineer, and producer, Chris Miley provides an excellent PA system and any instruments on request.
Running since 2006, performances have been solo/small groups, featuring original music and covers, usually at a fairly accomplished standard. It’s held in The Bell & Crown in Snaith, an open plan, free entry pub.
Sometimes the night can get busy, but often it’s quite chilled, but always a good atmosphere.
Open mic artists can sign up from 7 pm, in special circumstances can book in advance. Open mic 8-9pm featured artist 9-9:30 pm, then open mic until the end.
The guys at The Acoustic Night pride themselves on being one of the best-sounding open mics around, and they love to promote original music wherever possible.
A multitrack recording of your performance is also available.
|Venue location:||The Bell and Crown – 18 Market Place, Snaith, DN14 9HE|
|Phone number:||07974 565014|
|Open Mic Night:||Sundays, monthly, 8-9pm and 9:30pm onwards|
|Want to perform?||Turn-up for a slot on the night from 7 pm|
The Basement: Open Mic Night
The Basement is well-known for ‘promoting original music and art through York’s impeccable talent.’
A monthly open mic night that showcases those with a creative buzz. Built for any kind of performer – poets, comedians, singers, musicians, and rappers are all welcome here.
Guest headliners, up-and-comers, first-timers, and old-timers all meet in the chilled surroundings of The Basement.
They recommend that performers arrive in time for doors at 7:30 pm to avoid disappointment – slots are allocated on the evening and are no longer than 10 minutes.
|Venue location:||The Basement – City Screen Picturehouse, 13-17 Coney St, York, YO1 9QL|
|Phone number:||0871 902 5726|
|Open Mic Night:||Monthly from 7:30-10:30 pm|
|Want to perform?||Simply turn up at 7:30 pm on the night and sign up|
So now you know where to perform in York there are no excuses for not getting out there and get performing!
Open mic nights near me in York
Have you considered entering Open Mic UK? Auditions are coming near York!