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The Crazy Mad Atmosphere of The Spot Open Mic in Graz, Austria

June 19, 2015

The Spot in Graz

The Spot in Graz

GRAZ, Austria – I discovered The Spot open mic in Graz last year up my return to Austria for the first time in more than a decade, and it was a fabulous evening of music in this university town of 300,000, the second biggest city in Austria. But last night, returning to The Spot, I hardly expected the open mic to be even better, wilder, more fun than last year. In short, it was a jam-packed even full of a vast cross-section of musicians, lots of duets, and some jamming.

It felt like I might have been in the middle of Paris, despite the much smaller surrounds of this beautiful ancient town with its well preserved old-town. It’s thanks to it being a university city, in fact, that it is so full of young people, many of whom are students, and so still playing music. There’s a jazz school, too, it turns out, which has produced some amazing jazz jams, but not in The Spot, rather in the adjoining bar that has in the past had some cool open jam sessions.

Not only is the pub a fabulous, small, and cozy setting perfect for an open mic, but the other two key factors I was discussing in my previous post for Raphaëlle’s open mic (which is happening tonight in Paris, by the way) are true at The Spot: The owner manager (a Canadian) is a musician himself, and loves the open mic format, and loves discovering musicians; and the MC does a great, free, friendly job of running the open mic – Steve, by the way, is a professor here too, so that all fits together….

Aside from the high quality and variety of the music last night, one of the things that really appealed to me was that although this has the feel of a expat pub and open mic, the musicians were an eclectic bunch: Canadians, Americans, an Estonian, Germans, British, and probably more. And that made it a truly international open mic of the kind I’m used to seeing in Paris.

What is different here, though, from most Paris open mics, is this went on until around 2 AM – although I had to leave before it ended! Because the pub has the advantage of not having any immediate residents living next to its walls and complaining about “noise.” It’s just such a fabulous environment and vibe that I suggest any readers of this blog heading to Austria to drop by at Graz every second Thursday when the open mic takes place (watch out, it closes in the summer), and try it for yourself.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: And so Finally Back to Graz – but Dammit, Someone Said, “Out Damned Spot!” | Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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