Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Worldwide Open Mic Thumbnail Guide: Budapest Edition

July 28, 2013

szimpla kert budapest

szimpla kert budapest

BUDAPEST – For my 11th city installment of my worldwide open mic guide today I am loading my Budapest page. As a reminder, it all started with my now very popular Thumbnail Guide to Paris Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music, and due to that guide’s success, I decided this year to do a similar guide for each of the cities I travel to during my worldwide open mic tour.

The Musically Interesting Budapest is Not a Great Place for Open Mics

Budapest is a musical city with lots of folk music and classical music and some popular music, and one of the biggest rock music festivals in the world: Sziget. But it is not a city that is strong on the tradition of the open mic and open jam. Having said that, it is the location of one of the best open jam sessions I have ever attended, at the Szimpla Kert, and it has its mainstay Irish pubs that have open mics, or open MCs and bands.

Worldwide Open Mic Guide Philosophy

The only guide I am really in a good position to update regularly is that of Paris, since I live there. But I decided to do guides to all the other 20 and more cities on my worldwide open mic tour in order to give the knowledge I have personally of each city’s open mics. The guide has links to sites I know of local guides that may be more up-to-date, but I have chosen to list the open mics or jam sessions that I have played in myself. There may be others that I know of, but if I have not played there, I will not include it on the list. That way, the user learns a little of my own impressions. But I cannot be as certain that the guide is up-to-date – so check before you go.

So here, now, in any case is the Thumbnail Guide to Budapest Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music. Please do help me whenever you have information to give me on venues.


  1. This was a tremendous help as my wife and I are coming to Paris in November 23,2013 and want to do an open mic. So, lots of good information for us. Much appreciated.

  2. Hi there, thanks for this guide, it can really come in handy for traveling musicians.

    One thing I would like to kindly bring to your attention is that many things have changed in Budapest over the past year. We now have at least three open mic events every week, at good venues, at least one weekly jam, plus a number of one-off events. The page is not only updated, as you have pointed out, but it actually offers info on ALL open mic and jam events known to us in Budapest.

    We’ve also received countless positive feedback from musicians who have recently visited the city, apparently they’ve had a great time and this probably comes through if you just browse through our photo galleries, one of which is in fact devoted to a collection of weekly Open Mic and Jam banners:

    So it’s true that we had a slow start, we’ve been working on this for over two years, but it’s now gaining momentum: we welcome all musicians from all over the world. 🙂

    • Thanks for that. Actually, I was in Budapest around 7 weeks ago, and attended what I could – but as I am there usually in August or end of July, and only from Thursday to Monday morning, often things are not happening during that period – aside from Szimpla and Jack Doyle’s. Unfortunately for me, and for my list!

Leave a Reply

Powered by
%d bloggers like this: