The best open mic nights in Atlanta

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There’s probably an open mic night for everyday of the week in Atlanta. With a thriving arts and entertainment community, open mic nights in the city have been having a couple of decades worth of popularity. But the DIY entertainment source has really surged in recent years. It's everywhere from nightclubs to restored churches in the heart of Atlanta. Even the Decatur public library hosted one less than a year ago.

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If you’re looking to try your hand at an open mic night or just want to be entertained, the options are pretty much endless. It may be nerve-wracking to get up on the stage, but many metro Atlanta open mics don't require a highly competitive streak to start.

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Here are some spots to line up your open mic night plans in or near Atlanta:

ArtsXchange Open Mic

8-10:30 p.m., Fridays Sept. 13, Oct. 11, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13.

Free, donations welcome

2148 Newnan St., East Point. 404-624-4211.

Very much in keeping with the open mic spirit, the ArtsXchange is resuming this event as one of its first when it reopens its doors with a new name. The inclusive venue is a great place for talented newbies (and open mic veterans) who want to share stories, poems or upcoming events. It makes a nice date night, too, since between performers there are plenty of galleries and studios to check out. Hosted by veteran slam poet and workshop teacher Teresa Davis and artist and teacher Ken J. Martin.

Explore» Celebrate spoken word and poetry at this Decatur spot

Songwriters Open Mic at Eddie's Attic

7:30 p.m. Mondays.

Tickets $5-$6.25.

Eddie's Attic, 515 N McDonough St., Decatur. 404-377-4976.

Sort of the granddaddy of music performance open mics in the Atlanta area, Eddie's is in its 25th year of providing a format for aspiring performing songwriters "of all levels of ability," the venue says. "Consisting of both local and national acts, performers have ten minutes each to make the Attic stage their own. Each act performs two original songs, and a panel of judges chooses three finalists.These three are invited back to the stage at the end of the night to perform one more song. The judges then select one winner. Performers are judged in five different areas: songwriting, vocal performance, playing ability, stage presence, and audience response." To sign up for your shot at fame, call Eddie's at 404-377-4976 between noon and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, but only after reading up on the rules and regulations.

Open Mic Night With Java Monkey Speaks

8 p.m. Sundays, list 7:30.


Appearing at different venues, access the Facebook page to keep up on the rotation.

This open mic has a 15-year history of showcasing folks performing one piece each, poem or song. They have a tradition for filling slots, too, with the first 17 being called randomly and after a break and feature, being called in order.

Open Mic at Kat's Cafe Atlanta

9 p.m. Thursdays.

Free entry.

Kat's Cafe, 970 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-347-2263.

This snug nightclub is the gracious host for what it describes as an "Open Mic jam session for musicians and vocalists. If you can sing, this is your night to shine!" Signature martinis are the preferred drink for the crowd and performers who need a bit of warmup.

Open Mic nights at Apache Cafe

Times, prices vary.

New, temporary location: 880 Woodrow St SW, Atlanta. 404-594-1170.

This intimate cafe and gallery is temporarily housed in part of the Murphy Park Fairgrounds, but the open mic nights will go on. Each has varying admission fees, table minimums and audience age. The third Tuesday tradition of "Sound & Lyrics" all-genre open mic will carry on for Sept.17, $10 admission and "bring your own picnic." Spoken Word Poetry Open Mics will most likely happen on some future Fridays before the Apache gets back to its usual space and consistent open mic times.

Standup Open Mic at the Laughing Skull Lounge

8 pm. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (door time 7:30).

$12 plus two-drink minimum.

Local Atlanta comedians and visiting national comedians working on their craft.

The comedians for this 21-and-over open mic are booked in advance, and they each get four minutes. No censorship, either, which gives the gathering a raucous vibe. As the organizers describe it, "You'll see people doing jokes for the first time, expanding on current jokes, and sometimes just plain eating it... which is also pretty awesome!" If you want to try your luck getting booked as one of the 15 or so comedians who take the stage each night, email the booker, Ben Evans at: Make sure you provide the information specified on the Laughing Skull website.

Relapse Comedy Thursday Open Mic

8 p.m. Thursdays, list "drops" at 7:30 p.m.


380 14th St., Atlanta. 404-464-5894.

Don't accidentally miss this 21-and-up venue. It reopened about three years ago and is run by upstanding community and comedy supporters. If you stay after open mic, you just might see another free comedy show.