Open Mic

Open Mic at ClubVT is Southern Vermont's newest and largest venue for Open Mic Shows!

Open Mic runs every Wednesday starting March 6th from 7:00 PM to 10:30 PM  in the dance club room at ClubVT in Putney, Vermont. (please check our schedule as another event may already be scheduled in its place).

Open Mic time at ClubVT is a performance venue time for live music. Open mic night is not karaoke, a comedy act, nor a poetry slam night. (We can and will have those items on another night - see our schedule of Events or check out our Facebook page) Our audiences come to Open Mic to hear live music.

Open Mic is free and open to performers.

Open Mic Information

Open Mic is divided into 20/30 minute slots beginning at 7:00 PM with the last slot at 10:00 PM. ClubVT is open until midnight +/-.

Open Mic is free and open to performers and on a first come, first serve base. So you need to show up and sign up to perform. Come and enjoy the Vermont Experience!

We have a sound system with microphones. We encourage bringing your instruments and setting up earlier than later. Yes we allow drums and portable keyboards. We are looking to add our own Baby Grand Piano soon. 

Other Open Mic Night Useful Information

Open mic nights are a great way to practice performing in front of an audience, as well as gaining new fans and connections along the way.  An open mic is an event where all types of performers go to perform in front of an audience. There's no need to get booked by an agent or call anyone way in advance. All you have to do is sign up when you get here (but you might want to show up early) You can also just attend to meet people, and not have to perform.

The great thing about most open mic nights is that the audience, mostly performers themselves, are really kind and encouraging to newcomers. It's a wonderful environment to build your confidence and stage presence in front of a crowd, and get useful constructive criticism along the way.

Below are some strategies you can use during an open mic night in order to get the most out of every experience. 

It's always a good idea to bring along a CD of backing tracks you can perform to, just in case. You never know what's going to happen at these events, so if an opportunity comes your way, you want to be ready and prepared to take it. For instance, lead players can sometimes be invited up to play on many people's sets.

If you don't have musician friends already, you will make new friends at open mic nights. And the people who play at open mics generally go to multiple locations, and not just one. 

Practice before you get here. At open mic nights, we get all different levels of talent. While people are generally understanding of those less talented, and will give them a chance, you don't want to be one of them. Even though this is still practice time for you, you also have the opportunity to build up some good connections in the music industry if your're prepared. Because of this, you should make sure you're at a decent level beforehand.

Self-examination sometimes isn't enough, so we suggest asking some trusted friends what they think of your music. And get them to tell the truth - ask them to leave their polite comments at the door. Otherwise, you won't get an honest answer.

There are a number of ways to prepare for the gig. Practicing in front of a mirror using your hair brush or bottle as the microphone isn't quite the same as performing in front of an audience, but it's better than nothing. At the very lease make sure your lyrics are firmly memorized. You would be surprised at how quickly your words escape you when you have a crowd waiting for you to play and sing.

At most open mic nights, you will not have the opportunity to play more than one to three songs. So practicing is easy. You'll want to go through each song a number of times, remembering to identify any problem areas as you go. You can then work on those rough areas until they're smoothed out, and then do a full run-through again just to make sure you're go everything down. If you're going to be singing, then remember not to sing your voice raw before arriving at the venue.

An open mic is the place to practice in front of an audience, and you will hone your craft as you perform more often (it's the best practice you can get for free). But do yourself a favor and practice alone first to get your act together. Mistakes can happen, but if you are well-rehearsed, you will be able to minimize them.

Bring Giveaways and Business Cards. If you have a CD or something with your music on it, bring a few copies to the open mic event to give away or sell after the show is over. Also bring your business cards, a pen and something you can take notes on (if your mobile phone doesn't have these capabilities). Open mics are great for networking and you should be prepared for this.

If your performance is any good, people may come up and compliment you after the show. This is your opportunity to network and/or gain fans. Give them your CD or stated link and ask for their email address in return. Also give them a business card if you have one, so that they can visit your website to find out more about you. 

You should also approach any performer that you enjoyed seeing. Compliment them and ask for their information. Hopefully that interaction will start a working relationship that is beneficial for the both of you. This can lead to collaborations, the swapping of links, and the sharing of useful information. 

But try not to be too forward in your networking, as that can send the wrong signal to people. For example, if you just go from person to person,  table to table handing out business cards, most of those people will simply throw them away. If you have no intention of building honest,sincere connections, others will sense that, and not want to connect with you.

Also, don't give away too much. After all, you work hard on your music, and it can be very difficult to build a following and make money from it. A CD for an email address is fine. A CD for a CD (exchange with another artist) is also fine. But limit the number of things you give away, because that can sometimes cheapen your brand. Your art is worth something.

Record Your Results. Once the night is over and you're back home, take inventory of your results for the night. It is important to reflect on your outcomes so that you know where to improve and what works best. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to reflect on how you did:

  • How did my performance go over? Am I satisfied with it?

  • What song(s) did I perform?

  • At what venue did I perform at?

  • Was the crowd responsive?

  • What was the crowd's reaction to my music?

  • Did the audience like it? How could I tell?

  • How many people came up to me after the show was over? What did they say?

  • What new connection have I gained?

  • How can these connections help me?

  • How many people did I manage to refer to my website and mailing list?

Capture all of this data so that you can track your progress. Tracking may seem tedious, but the most successful people in the world track, measure, and analyze how they utilize their time. We suggest you do the same.

Experiment & Uncover Your Uniqueness. Once you are comfortable playing open mic nights, you need to start shaking things up. Regular attendees will become familiar with you and your songs, and even though you can keep practicing and making them better, you're unlikely to coax new reactions out of people after you've made your impression.

If you are getting awesome reactions from your songs, then great, you have found your sweet spot. But complacency is the enemy of innovation, and innovating has a way of propelling "just an open mic regular", to "a noteworthy, up-and-coming artist." We have seen this happen. And being known as an up-and-comer on the scene has its advantages, because suddenly venues and other artists will start tracking you down to collaborate with them and play shows.

To stand out, you are going to have to make some honest (but sometimes harsh) observations about your peers. Is everyone playing acoustic guitar and singing "Pretend Idaho" songs? What's the opposite of that? Are keyboard or piano players in short supply? Is everyone using a loop station to make themselves sound bigger than they are? What could you do that no one else is doing? Or, what could you do better than anyone else?

This is about discovering (and uncovering) who you truly are as an artist, not merely about zigging when others zag (but that's a useful skill too). When you fill a hole that no one else is filling you stand out like a sore thumb. And if you pull if off with skill and style, you're the unquestioned champion in the room. So, don't be the same as everyone else. That's the last thing you want to be. Dig deep into who you really are, and craft fresh music around your identity. Dare to be different.

Conclusion. Open mic nights are a great way to practice performing in front of an audience, as well as gaining new fans and connections along the way. Hopefully this information provided above is useful, and helps you grow as an independent artist. Good Luck from ClubVT.