Leeds is absolutely packed with open mics and jam nights, and they’re a great way to meet people and network, especially if you’re new to the city. We’ve handpicked a few of our favourites, in case you fancy an impromptu sing song!
The New Conservatory – Every other Thursday
The New conservatory is right in the City Centre, downstairs on Albion Place, near the Trinity centre. They host an Open Mic night every other Thursday night, and it’s a really great place to meet people.
All kinds of acts are welcomed, so the music is often really diverse, but they do encourage acts to be acoustic if possible, as there’s only a small sound system.
Registration is from 8:30pm, and the first act is on at 9pm. Performers must be over 18.
One Mic @ Dock 29 – Once a month, dates vary
One mic isn’t your typical open mic set up. It’s hosted at Dock 29, on Clarence Dock (close to Liberty Dock student halls), and it’s a bit more competitive than you might expect. Each night features 3 or 4 acts, who play completely acoustic and unplugged, and then the audience chooses their favourite.
The winners are announced at the end of each night, and then later, all the winners are invited to compete against each other for prizes. Each event is usually live streamed on social media too, and recorded.
It’s worth mentioning that acts must contact the One mic Facebook page to register to play beforehand.
The Ship – Tuesday
Located just off the main High Street, Briggate, The Ship is a proper local Leeds pub. Drinks are cheap, and every Tuesday, it hosts an open mic night.
It’s not necessarily a talent hotspot, but everyone’s lovely, and the crowd are really welcoming. If you’re a new performer, or a bit nervous, The Ship is a great choice of place to play. It’s generally acoustic music, but they welcome poetry and spoken word artists too.
Open mic night starts at 8:30pm and runs until close (around midnight).
The Box – Tuesday
The Box sports bar in Headingley is a real student hotspot, and every Tuesday evening there’s an open mic night, hosted by Muted productions. Sign up is at 7pm, but you can also sign up in advance on their Facebook events.
Every performer is guaranteed at least 2 songs, and The Box provide a guitar for people to use, as well as the facility to play backing tracks, and a sound engineer.
Two featured performers play a set each week too. Each open mic performer receives a free drink after they’ve played.
The Hop – Every Wednesday
The Hop is a great little bar on Granary wharf, in the dark arches, between the canal and Leeds train station. Every Wednesday is their acoustic open mic night, which begins at 8:30pm.
They have an in house electro acoustic guitar you can use if you can’t bring your own, and they welcome all styles of acoustic music. Every performer gets a free Coors Light, and a receptive crowd.
Sela Bar – Tuesday Big Band Night
If you’re a Jazz musician, Leeds had you covered too. Self Bar & pizzeria in the city centre host a big band night, at which a traditional big band play a set with guest horns players, and then after that, you can get up and join them!
It’s free entry, and pizza is served until midnight. The standard is really good too, with some top quality musicians often stepping in, so it’s never a disappointment.
LS6 Cafe – Wednesday Evening Jazz Jam
LS6 cafe is a lovely student cafe, located just off Hyde Park. Each Wednesday there’s a Jazz night from 8pm until 11pm, which begins with a jazz band, often made up of students or alumni from Leeds College of Music, and if then followed by a Jazz Jam.
The Jam is frequented by some of the highest quality Jazz musicians from the surrounding areas, so it’s a brilliant place to meet new people, especially if you’re into Jazz.
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