There are so many hidden gems in the local music scene of places to perform and witness great live-music. Open mics are a great way to meet people that share your same passion! They are a wonderful opportunity to network with other artists in the scene. For some, heading out to the city might be a little out of the way. Below are some open mic/jams in the suburbs that you do not want to miss out on!
1.) Empire Burgers and Brews, Naperville
Empire’s Open Mic night is a great place to meet other local musicians. It has been up and running for a little over three years! With the big stage, solid sound, and location in the lively downtown Naperville, it is where you want to go be on Tuesday night. Each musician/band has up to 15 minutes or three tunes to debut. They accommodate the underaged artists by reserving spots for them to go first! There is always musicians looking to have an improvised jam on stage! If you are a singer seeking a band to back you up, there is a strong possibility you will find some talented folks to help you out. To add, it is a fairly large space, so make sure to pack the place with your family and peers when you go!
When: Every Tuesday night
Time: Sign-up’s at 8:30, Show starts at 9:00.
Note: Follow them on Facebook here for updates and footage from the open mic!
2.) Ballydoyle, Aurora
The open mic at Ballydoyle is fresh in the Chicago-land music scene. It has been cooking since February of 2020, so it is fairly new! Like the open mic at Empire, it is run by Sound Summit Studios. There is great sound quality and you can find your favorite local musicians constantly guest hosting! Plus, it is one of the only open mics in the area that allows for stand-up comedy!
When: Every Wednesday night
Time: Sign up’s at 8:30, performances at 9:00.
Note: Drums, keyboard, amps are provided!
3.) Ashbury Coffee House, Willowsprings
Ashbury’s offers a comforting space to test out new material every Wednesday evening. It takes place in a smaller room in the upstairs of the coffee house. It radiates positive energy. Everyone you meet is humble, kind, and happy to be there. Rappers, bands, singer-songwriters, poets, and even accordion players have taken the Ashbury stage; it is the most diverse open mic I have been to! They offer drinks and food till 1 AM. Personally, I cannot get enough of their Tiramisu!
When: Every Wednesday night
Time: Sign-up’s at 8:30 pm, performances at 9.
4.) Uptown Tap, Plainfield
If you are into the blues or want to hear some bands take on your favorite classic-rock tunes, Uptown Tap’s weekly open jam is for you. The open mic has been around for sometime and it a great place to meet musicians with a lot of experience on their hands. It is a lot of fun to perform with the colorful stage-lighting and close proximity to the audience! To add, there is some rad décor consisting of guitars hanging off the walls and concert posters of musical legends. It is a real cool space!
When: Every Thursday night
Time: Sign-ups 7:30, Open mic 8:00
Note: Underage folks need to leave by 10:00 pm. Make sure to get there early to sign up and express that you are underage on the list!
5.) Cafe and Barr, Geneva
Hosted by lovely local folk musician Mirabelle Skipworth, the open mic at Café and Barr is a great way to get connected with other artists! The staff at Café and Barr are very supportive of the local music scene! There are performances consisting of local musicians going on constantly at the shop every weekend. Artists of all sorts come out to showcase their talent at this open mic that occurs every other Friday!
When: Every other Friday night
Time: Sign ups at 6:30, Performances start at 7
Note: Follow Café and Barr here to see what Friday’s there is an open mic!
There are so many more open mics in the suburbs! You just need to keep an ear out for them. Listen to Local Chaos every Sunday from 8-10 pm to hear all about the newest open mics emerging in the Chicago-land music scene.