In venues up and down the country, new performers cut their cloth at open mic nights. Like many cities, Leeds has a fine tradition for hosting these fun events, so whether you’re a spoken word artist or a musician it’s time to suck up those nerves and step bravely onto the stage!
Seize the Mic – Carpe Diem, Great George St, LS1 3ED
Carpe diem in Great George Street has run open mic nights under various guises for many years, but it’s fair to say that they’ve absolutely nailed it with Seize the Mic. The atmosphere is friendly, open and welcoming, whether your talent is acoustic singer/songwriter, folk, spoken word, punk and metal, or even more leftfield stuff like improv and magic. They have an experienced in-house sound engineer who is gentle with newcomers and will help you to sound your best. Entry is free from 8 pm on a Monday night.
Jam Night at Duck and Drake – Duck & Drake, 43 Kirkgate, LS2 7DR
One of the oldest pubs in Leeds, the Duck & Drake is also host to one of the finest open mic nights in Yorkshire. Dick Turner runs a tight ship on the night where music, comedy and poetry are equally welcomed by the knowledgeable and friendly crowd. As well as the music, the Duck & Drake is renowned for its fine selection of real ales, but we don’t suggest sampling too many before performing!
The New Conservatory – The Albions, Albion Place, LS1 6JL
There are few venues lovelier to play than The New Conservatory’s book-lined bar. Hosting a free open mic night every other Thursday evening, this venue has a ‘give it a go’ policy that encourages any skill level and almost any medium. The locals are always appreciative of your efforts and will encourage you to come back again. Highly recommended.
The Hop – The Dark Arches, Granary Wharf, Dark Neville St, Neville St, LS1 4BR
One of the coolest little venues in Leeds, The Hop, hosts open mic nights every Wednesday. There’s a free drink for every act, but unlike many other nights, the Hop focuses solely on acoustic performance. They have an in-house electro-acoustic guitar available for the impromptu performer to use, and a balcony stage so that you feel like a real rock star!
The Ship Inn – 71a Briggate, LS1 6LH
The Ship Inn is a traditional pub with a nice selection of real ales served by friendly staff ─ a venue we thoroughly recommend for your first foray into public performance. Every Tuesday from 8:30 pm, Ben hosts a relaxed and enjoyable open mic event, where everyone is treated with respect and encouraged to join in the fun.
If you don’t need any Dutch courage to get up on stage, you may want to use Trafalgar Street as a cheap car parking option for your evening of local fame – but if you fancy a drink, please don’t drive, but take public transport instead!