Opening up about open mic

For a current list of open mic nights on the Gold Coast, visit our Gold Coast open mic and jam nights page.

The Gold Coast is steeped in more music than most people realize, and one example of this is the booming open mic night scene. While the perception of cats-howling-at-each-other, two chord, over-done cover attempts isn’t always incorrect a lot of the time open mic nights are a great stage for budding artists. Providing a safe space to explore performing, most musicians that get up are local talents… or have at least practised in their bedrooms frequently enough to not sound horrible.

Speaking to the hosts of the open mic night at The Loft on Chevron Island, allowed me to peek behind the curtain. Ryan, Cristal and Flynn have dealt with the ups and downs of accommodating the rush of rising performers who want to get in front of the microphone. Flynn explained, “Our hopes are that in a couple of months we’ll see one of the artists who have played an open mic night on a bill, playing with a band or recording their EP”.

While an open mic night can feature as little as 5-7 regulars, it isn’t uncommon for upwards of 18 people to want to play their hearts out to a room full of strangers and friends – a situation which requires a lot of juggling and the occasional knockback. Each night is different, depending on the venue, with Helm bar in Surfers Paradise hosting a jazz filled Tuesday night open mic. The Swingin’ Safari also opens its stage to the masses on Wednesday and The Cave at Nobby Beach is infamous for its packed out jam nights on Sundays.

Being a staunch supporter of live and local music these opportunities are not only a delight, but also a necessity. Without open mic nights many an artist wouldn’t develop the courage or experience that leads them into a burgeoning career as a musician. While exploring the many open mic nights the Gold Coast offers, one thing I will advise audience members of is to listen with a kind ear. Keeping an open mind allows you to really appreciate both the fumbling attempts of the first-timer and the experienced caress of a seasoned performer, both of which will wow you with their vulnerability. Until you have stood, sat or shaken in front of people you wouldn’t hum in front of and poured yourself into an instrument, you will never know how truly frighteningly exhilarating performing is. So forgive the occasional forgotten lyric, missed chord or nervous laugh and enjoy all that open mic nights have to offer.

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