Links to useful open mic/jam session guides to Barcelona:
Micros Abiertos, Jams, Eventos Participativos en Barcelone is a great Facebook page where people signal open mics as they are happening, usually with the Facebook event link. Totally active when I found it thanks to an organizer of an open mic in Barcelona.
Jam Sessions in Barcelona. An excellent site for finding jam sessions in Barcelona every night of the week with the current date.
Barcelona Blues Society. An association for blues music, and this page announces jams such as the one on Fridays at the Sports Bar (which I have not attended, so do not include below), or the one at the Sala Monasterio, which I have attended and so mention below on Thursday nights.
Brad Spurgeon’s findings on Open Mics in Barcelona:
Over the years I have performed at a lot more open mics and jam sessions in Barcelona than I have listed here, but most of them have either closed down or I cannot find further trace of them – such as the Bar ESe EFe, Bel-Luna Jazz Bar, the George Payne Pub, and a squat and a bar I never even knew the names of that had open mic jam sessions that were not publicised -, and that’s why I have such a short list from my own personal experience below. In my first years going to Barcelona, the most common kind of open mic in Barcelona was the open jam session – ie, where musicians play together in a band, with everyone taking their turn on the stage joining in. But on my last trip, I found there has been more and more of an open mic culture building up here, and that doesn’t surprise me – it is a very young, happening city.
Tuesday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. This venue and open jam session is connected with the Taller school of music, and it has a unique vibe. The room alone is worth playing in, as the stage is high, comfortable, well lit with a good sound system and most important of all, the feeling of performing in a kind of real old fashioned theater, in terms of the placement of the spectators, who are on the ground in front, but also on scaffolding rising up to the high ceiling. The place has been packed with spectators every time I have gone. It is well organized, the band is open to doing whatever you want to try, and you get a free beer as a performer and do not have to pay the cover fee. Above all, it has a different jam every night. Tuesday is the rock, pop, blues night. Here is the description from its own web site: “This venue, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, has been historically linked to the Taller de Músics as an artistic platform for young musicians, as well as being one of the few spaces in the city with a daily programme of live music. JazzSí is a small scale concert hall and therefore has never been a large scale tsunami, rather a constant fine rain which after all this time can boast of having amassed a total of: 648,000 spectators, 7,200 concerts and 36,000 musicians who have played there.”
Wednesday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, email@example.com, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Jazz jam session night – see full description on Tuesday listing above.
Thursday – Sala Monasterio, Passeig d’Isabel II, 4 08003, Barcelona, 616 28 71 97. Located near the port in the cellar of a building in what was a former monastery, this is a very warm venue with a great crowd, some wonderful musicians and a piano and drums and stage and lights and a great sound system with a full time sound engineer. Another classic blues jam session, it allows rock and pop songs as long as they are somehow related to the blues; this is how it seemed to me, in any case. It starts late, like after 11 PM when the organizing band plays a set before inviting musicians to take to the stage from a list they have signed.
– Freedonia, Carrer Lleialtat 6, Barcelona, Spain, 686 92 53 32 Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. This is only every second Thursday, so keep an eye on the link above, or one the link to the Freedonia association’s web site, which is behind these open mic. This is an amazing location, a double venue in the picturesque central part of the city near Sant Antoni metro, and with a front room venue devoted to a comedy open mic, and the back room for the music open mic. The sound system is pretty good for the instruments, not great for the vocals, as I mentioned in my report of my night at the Freedonia “micro abierto.” Three songs, a great audience, an underground feel, cheap beer, a classic open mic – as opposed to the more frequent “jam sessions” in Barcelona.
– Big Bang Bar, Calle Botella 7, Barcelona, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. The last time I went to the Big Bang Bar I was, totally in heaven to find that they had relaunched an open mic. I had been to this venue several times in previous years to attend its various open mic jam sessions in the fabulous back room with a small stage and great sound system – it felt like a recording studio. But a couple of years ago they had to close down the jams because of complaints from somewhere. I actually thought the bar itself was closed. But I found on returning in 2016, that there was now a stage in the middle part of the bar, a piano, a decent sound system, and the agreeable MC Oscar Martinez. And now, it was a classic open mic, not a jam session. All kinds of music welcome. And there was something very scary about playing in such intimate surroundings. But i was not scared enough to not return on the following Sunday for another night of the open mic, as it happens on both Thursday and Sunday. A great crowd both nights.
Saturday – Belchica, C/Villarroel 60, Barcelona, +34 625 81 40 01 Another classic open mic, run by the same Oscar Martinez who runs the one at the Big Bang Bar. A really neat stage, a great bar with a front part where people can talk, and then the back room, where people can listen to the music. Pretty good sound system too.
– JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Another Jazz jam session night – see full description on Tuesday listing above.
Sunday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, email@example.com, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Another Rock Pop Blues jam session night – see full description on Tuesday listing above.
– Big Bang Bar, Calle Botella 7, Barcelona, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. For the description of this one, see above, on Thursdays….
The main places you would probably want to start looking at for full-fledged bands and other cool musical stuff are:
Monday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Great jazz band concerts – see full description on Tuesday listing above in the open mic section.
Thursday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, email@example.com, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Great Cuban and Latin music concerts – see full description on Tuesday listing above in the open mic section.
Friday – JazzSí Club , Requesens, 2, 08001 Barcelona, tel.93 329 00 20, firstname.lastname@example.org, Bus: 20, 24, 64, Metro: L2 – Sant Antoni. Flamenco music concerts – see full description on Tuesday listing above in the open mic section.
Not sure which days for concerts, but: Sala Monasterio, Passeig d’Isabel II, 4 08003, Barcelona, 616 28 71 97. Various concerts. Check out the jam entry in the Thursday spot, above.
Pingback: Worldwide Open Mic Thumbnail Guide: Barcelona Edition | Brad Spurgeon's Blog
July 12, 2013 at 3:56 am
hey, i’m guessing the sala isn’t kid friendly, if it starts around eleven. wish we were in town tuesday night. great resource, by the way. if you need to know about toronto.
July 12, 2013 at 10:15 am
Thanks, and yes, I think that the place is not kid-friendly. I don’t even know what the laws are for minors in bars in Spain.
August 17, 2013 at 2:46 am
I’m an American and planning on moving to Barcelona in November to teach english. I make/perform hip-hop music in my spare time. Are there any open mics or bars in Barcelona or the surrounding areas that are open to hip hop artists signing up to perform? Any help would be great.
I’m glad I stumbled across your blog. I will definitely be checking out these spots when I’m over there. Thanks!
August 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm
Hi, thanks for your comment, and I’m glad my list will help a little. Unfortunately, I don’t know about places that are specifically open to hip hop, although my experience in general is that most open mics and jams do accept it, even if they don’t specialize in it. I think also, that given my list for Barcelona as a starting point, you’re sure to meet people at the open mics who know of places that specialize in hip hop.
September 16, 2013 at 8:53 am
thanks very much for the post. I am local and regretfully there are not so many open mic nights or evenings here in Barcelona. If you think of the massive amount of bars we do have it is actually depressing. It is a big shame. However, I would highlight as well there are (let’s say) many unknown or spontaneous venues which I believe are difficult to track. I find it would be great anyone publishing them, for agenda’s don’t do it properly… A ghost scene than even cultural agendas aren’t unable to track, most of them usually relying on such Jamboree’s or JazzSí’s programs. Those kind of places are great, but are far away of being enough! More regular, plain and beautifully organised Open Mic nights would allow many other musicians to be.
Yep, we all know this!
Thanks for the reading! 🙂
September 16, 2013 at 11:07 am
Ah! That is what that thing was all about when one night I passed a bar and people were playing music, and they invited me in to play – even though it was not really an organized open mic. I had stumbled across that place just after playing in another open jam in a squat that I had heard happening from the street. A very interesting observation on the musical life in Barcelona – thanks very much for the comment and information….
February 6, 2014 at 11:35 am
Hi Brad. Like the list. I’m coming to Barca for two months to teach English, but I’m really excited to experience the music scene. I play blues guitar (electric) and would love to go to some jam nights – are there any particularly relaxed places where I could just turn up and jam with people? (I’m coming alone so couldn’t bring a band or anything… so looking for open jams really!) Thanks in anticipation.
February 6, 2014 at 11:38 am
Hi Alex, I’m sorry, but for the moment the only places I know of, and what the evenings are like, are on the list. I live in Paris and go to Barcelona once a year. So this list is all I have for you – although I’ll be back in April and hopefully I will find more places to add.
March 7, 2014 at 11:00 am
Even dough I personaly did not like much the atmosphere… I will leave here another option for Jam Sessions in BCN called Harlem Jazz Club – Barcelona. I am in no way afiliated with this club. The purpose here is just to leave more options.
March 7, 2014 at 11:26 am
Thank you very much for that suggestion! I had heard of this place, but never have been there. I’ll try it next time I’m there, if I can. And I’ll put it on the list.
April 8, 2014 at 5:33 am
Hey brad, where would you say is the best music scene in the world that you have experienced..? And do you know how easy it is to get paid gigs in Barcelona..?
April 8, 2014 at 11:32 am
Hi Scott, that’s an interesting question, but it is really impossible for me to say what is the best place. The problem is that they are all so different, and all have something that’s really cool – the best ones, that is. Of those that have surprised me and made me feel like I was on another planet, I’d say, Istanbul, Japan (Tokyo and Nagoya), Oxford and London are great too, New York, Sao Paulo, Paris, Toronto, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne.
I have no idea how easy it is to be paid in Barcelona, but I imagine it is as difficult as everywhere else!
August 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm
I’m planning to start an Open Mic night in a bar next to Macba museum from september (when the temperature cools down) and so I’m looking for any artist who wants to spend some good time
get in touch
August 4, 2014 at 10:58 am
Give me more details and I’ll put it on my list. But only when it actually happens. Thanks.
September 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm
i would like to know more about your plans
I´m livin in Sweden and I would like participate on open mic nights
September 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm
Sorry, I don’t know of any open mic nights in Sweden. Maybe someone else reading the blog does know something and can come to the rescue!
May 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm
I was wondering if you got your open mic up and running? I’m a singer songwriter and will be there from the USA May, 20th.
October 19, 2014 at 10:07 am
Cool Blog. Flying out today to Barcelona with my country band to play a festival there this Friday. The keyboard player and I are into jazz, latin, blues, soul/funk and looking for some jamming opportunities and musicians to hang with. We both teach at a music school I started in 2006 in Colorado, USA. Hope to meet you and some other folk while out. Any help finding some players to hang with is appreciated.
Will check out Jamboree, WTF Jam session and Harlem Jazz Club… any other hot spots to meet and jam with musicians? Seeing as we’ll have our whole band in town, and they are mostly rock/country/swing players; any jam sessions they might like. Yes, we ARE bringing the BANJO so look out! cheers!
October 19, 2014 at 12:51 pm
Hi Steve, thanks for the comment. I’m afraid that I actually live in Paris, and my Barcelona open mic guide is one of more than 20 that I have of places I visit once a year. So, I can’t really give any more information than what I put in the guide. I was last there in April, so it’s up to date to April. If any other ideas come to me, I’ll let you know.
Pingback: Jamming With(out) Groucho, in Freedonia | Brad Spurgeon's Blog
Pingback: An Update to My Barcelona Open Mic Guide | Brad Spurgeon's Blog
Pingback: Update of Thumbnail Guide to Barcelona Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music | Brad Spurgeon's Blog
April 25, 2017 at 4:52 am
I’m a singer of Stones and Classic US and mostly late 60’s British rock, I’m coming to Barcelona in May 2017.
Are there rock open mics in Barcelona where my genre of music is welcome and it’s an open mic?
April 26, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Cool! Well, I’m sorry to say that the only open mics and jams that I know about in Barcelona are those that I have written about on this list on which you have commented! So I can’t really add anything other than what I have said here. I don’t live in Barcelona, but I have visited once per year for the last 15 years at least, and in the last six or seven years I have updated this list on each visit. But it does represent all my knowledge about the scene in Barcelona. Try also using some of the links on the page and you will learn more, no doubt….
April 9, 2018 at 12:17 pm
thanks so much for the list, we’re planning on going to barcelona & perform in as many openmics we can.
by the way, we’ve been organising an openmic in Tangier (Morocco) since 2009 every mondays, so if anyone is passing by & want to join us, please contact us on https://www.facebook.com/groups/Liveroomtanger/
April 9, 2018 at 7:14 pm
Thanks for the comment! I would love to go to that place in Tangier! Maybe someday….