Shows and open mics

Below are all of my currently scheduled shows and planned open mic appearances.

All open mics I'm planning to attend are prominently labeled with “OPEN MIC”. 

All other events are scheduled performances, either solo or with a band. You can see start times and other details by clicking on the event in the calendar. 

March 2024

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Why do I have Open Mics listed on my “Shows” page?

Simple; people keep asking me about them. “Where do you play?” “When are you playing next?” If I don't have a full-length performance coming up soon, I'm still happy to let people know when and where they can catch me soaking up my proverbial fifteen minutes of fame. This can also help the venue, the other performers, and the open mic event itself. If a handful of my friends/fans come out and buy a few drinks at 7:00 on a Wednesday night, that's more business for the venue and a bigger audience for the other performers, as well, all of which helps keep the open mic scene alive and thriving. Ditto with other performers asking me, “What other open mics have you played at?” Many of these are poorly advertised, so word-of-mouth among musicians can be a vital factor in creating and maintaining the larger open mic community. (Also, see below under “SUPPORT”.)

Open mic rules are particular to each individual venue/event/host, but below are some general guidelines:  

  • LENGTH - Typical set length per performer varies from 1-4 songs (or about 5-20 minutes, for other art forms). 
  • ORDER - These are commonly run on a first come, first served basis, usually with a signup list put out 30 minutes before the start time. Less commonly, hosts will announce online signup a day or two ahead of the event. Rarely, hosts will pull names out of a hat, keeping everyone on their toes. 
  • COST - Most are free. Some request a small donation (especially if they happen to be run by a nonprofit). Tips for the host/venue are universally welcome and appreciated. :) 
  • AGE - Some are all ages, some all ages until a certain designated hour (OLCC rules, no doubt), some are strictly 21+ because they're held in a 21+ venue, i.e., a bar. Less commonly, there are a few open mics (I know of only two here in the Portland area) that are specifically for teens/kids. 
  • ORIGINALS VS. COVERS - Some places will only allow original music. This can be for one of two reasons. First, it may simply be a highly songwriter-oriented event/venue. The second reason is that the venue may not want to pay the annual licensing fee to permit cover tunes to be played there. (Yes, this is a thing; if, as a music venue, you choose not to shell out to ASCAP, BMI, etc., and they catch you allowing people to publicly perform music to which they collect money for the performance rights on behalf of the artist/rights holder, they do, in fact, have legal recourse against your venue.) 
  • SUPPORT - In my experience, open mics are, by nature, a supportive environment. You're usually playing to a room full of fellow performers, every one of whom once set foot on stage for the first time, probably sweating and shaking with nerves and adrenaline. My philosophy is that anyone courageous enough to get up in front of a live audience and pour out their heart and soul via their chosen art form deserves support, applause, and recognition for their courage. Anyone who disagrees is hereby invited to step up and give it a try. :)