Open Mics in Paris:
For a limited time, I want to use my own list of open mics in Paris to announce that next week, on Friday the 24 March 2023, I myself will be holding an open mic at TAC Teatro in Aubervilliers. It is as good as being in Paris, since it is just a few metro stops from Paris and actually borders on Paris. And this will be an AMAZING open mic with an AMAZING location. It will also be the occasion in which for the first time I will show extracts from my documentary film about open mics around the world, with here a focus on those of Paris. It is now an historical film, as it was entirely filmed in 2011! But I have only now finished the editing. Here is the Facebook invite for the event. Please on Friday 24 March 2023, COME to this open mic!: https://www.facebook.com/events/229815516058026
Back to my guide of open mics in Paris throughout the week, for you:
– Le Klein, 36 rue du roi de Sicile, Paris 4e. M° Hôtel de Ville / Saint-Paul A fabulous bar in the heart of the Marais, Le Klein is a great location for an open mic too. But it is the vibe created by the people running the bar and the open mic that really makes this one a success. A classic open mic system, with a small stage area at the front of the bar, so no room really for a whole group – but if you are two or three, guitar, vocals, violin, that sort of thing…perfect! It starts at 8 pm, with a sign up an hour before that. They announce they go until 11 pm, but they were playing until midnight the night I went when I wrote this report of my first visit to Le Klein open mic…
– Bastille Blues Jam at the Angora, 3 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris – Tél : 01 47 00 25 00. Like it sounds: A blues jam. This is a great venue with a massive oak bar and the management likes music, running frequent concerts in the room on the first floor above the bar. But the blues jam takes place on the ground floor by the front window, because they cannot have drums on the first floor.
– Belushi’s, 159 Rue de Crimée, 75019 Paris, France, 01 40 34 34 40. This open mic has been going on an off under various guises in the building of a youth hostel. There is a jam side to it, if you feel like playing with the musicians that run it – but its open to solo. The first and only time I went to the most recent incarnation of this open mic, I was great, hugely let down by Belushi’s open mic and if you read the post I wrote about it then you will see why. It was the only time I encountered anywhere in the world a crew that takes your name down on the performers list, has you wait more than two hours – along with a string of other performers – only to say that it is now midnight, and the open mic is finished, and if you did not get to play, come try again another time. So, yes, it starts at 8 p.m. and finishes abruptly at midnight, never mind if your name is on the list and you have waited for hours to play. Otherwise, it is a very successful open mic, a bit of a jam, a great MCing job aside from the brutally incompetent list making…. Go at your peril!
– Galway Pub: 13 quai Grands Augustins Paris 6, Téléphone : 01 43 29 64 50 This is a great open mic to play at in terms of its stage, as you play with your back to the front window of the bar, which opens in summer, and you get the feeling you are singing to the people in the street as well as the people in the bar. Which is, in fact, the case. But some nights are definitely busier than others in terms of the musician attendance. It can vary from absolutely great nights, to so-so nights. But it is definitely a “must do” in Paris open mics.
– Rush Bar: 32 Rue Saint-Sébastien, 75011 Paris. The Rush bar open mic quickly rushed onto the scene in Paris to become one of the fastest growing, best know, most fun open mics. Set in a fabulously cosy bar, with a multicultural feel – I mean, musicians and spectators come from all over, including a healthy showing from France itself! It was at first run by a long-time Paris expat musician, Charlie Seymour, and done in the classic way of two or three songs per guest, mostly guitar and vocal stuff, but other instruments and all styles are welcome. The first night I played there, I immediately felt at home, as I wrote in my blog post about this fabulous new edition to the Paris open mic scene at the Rush Bar. But then when Seymour and his crew moved to the Bastille area bar called the Bootleg – see below – this Rush bar open mic was taken over by the people who ran the open mic called the Escargot Underground. And, like magic it is just as good as the original! I mean both the original Rush bar open mic and the original Escargot Underground. Highly recommended!
– Some Girls, 43, rue de Lappe, 75011 Paris, France, Phone 01 48 06 40 33. Starting around 21:30, and located on the Rue de Lappe, one of the Bastille area’s most famous streets for nightlife. This cozy rock ‘n’ roll bar named after the album by the Rolling Stones has as a theme…the Rolling Stones, as I pointed out in my writeup about the Some Girls open mic after my first visit. And the music is decidedly rock. But the open mic itself is open to everything, pretty much, and likes to encourage the jam situation too… Oh, and the beer is cheap! An essential part of the open mic experience….
– Yellow Mad Monkey, 8 rue de Lappe, Paris, France, 01 43 38 30 20. And yet another open mic and jam session on the Rue de Lappe on the same night as the one I just wrote about above! Decidedly, the rue de Lappe is coming back to life… if it ever left it. This is a sprawling, neat bar with a very lively atmosphere, and the open mic jam session is more of a live karaoke, whereby the MC musicians will play along on their guitar and bass with people who want to sing, as I pointed out in my writeup about the Yellow Mad Monkey open mic after my first visit. But if you want to go up with your guitar and sing, that’s just fine too. Two songs each, it starts at 8:30 pm, and it is fun, good sound, good hosting, and the beer’s … beer.
– Madame Louis, 1 Quai de Bourbon, Paris, France, 01 40 51 05 05. The following open mic no longer exists, from what I hear from one who ran it. However, I have seen on Facebook that there is a jam session that appears to happen here on Mondays with someone else running it. So in the interest of providing as much information as possible, I will leave my original entry up here, as it will definitely tell you about the kind of location and environment this jam has the potential for. Here it is: It is rare to find an open mic, jam session, on the Ile St. Louis. But now we have this new one, located in the second basement – with a balcony view of the stage from the first basement – in an old building that feels like a maze of a pub. An absolutely fabulous environment to play in, a great stage, fine hosting, and there is even a piano on the stage. Again, this is more jam than open mic, but again, if you want to go up with just your guitar and vocals, you can do so. Each performer gets two songs, and, in fact, this usually means that the jammers as a group stay together for a couple of songs… i.e., they ask which musicians in the audience want to join the stage for which instruments, and the jam begins. It’s mostly pop rock folk blues soul – i.e., probably not jazz… but I bet they would not reject a jazz musician or any others. As you can see from my writeup about the Chez Loui open mic at Madame Louis after my first visit
– Abracadabrabar Just once per month, on the third Monday of each month, a traditional open mic with a good sound system, bright lights and good organization. Write in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the list. ABRACADABAR 123 avenue Jean Jaurès 75019 PARIS
– Spoken Word Paris at the Chat Noir bar, is as it sounds, a spoken word open mic. 90 rue Jean Pierre Timbaud 75011 Paris, France, Phone 01 43 38 19 72 But they do allow musicians, with, I think, some sort of emphasis on the text. It’s one spot, one song, two rounds per night. This is one of the main English-language spoken word open mics, in the basement of this cool bar on the corner of the rue Saint-Maur and rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud. Loud as hell upstairs, the atmosphere is quiet listening downstairs in the intimate location of the open mic.
– Paris Songwriters Club at Cave Café: Downstairs at La Cave Cafe, 134 rue Marcadet, 18ème – Metro Lamarck Caulaincourt. 8pm – midnight. – This is the same open mic that started in 2017 running on Sundays at the Tennessee Bar and then moved to at O’Sullivans Rebel Bar, and I attended it several times. It is now at this far superior venue, and I highly recommend it both for the environment and the open mic and organization. It is run by Paddy Sherlock, the longtime Paris expat Irishman musician who has graced the venues of Paris, France and Ireland with his great presence and sounds for decades, and he is solid. This is an open mic with a difference, because the concept is that you only play your own compositions. Here is a blog post I did of the Paris Songwriters Club open mic at on of its previous locations. And this is my first report of the Paris Songwriters Club at the Rebel bar.
– Pigalle Country Club, 59 rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009 Paris, near Metro Pigalle and a few others as well…. They call it the Wapaphalooza Open Mic, and it starts after 8PM and goes on until after midnight, maybe well after. It’s a romping, rocking affair, and usually run by the members of the Burnin’ Jacks band, an up-and-coming French band. The bar, located near the famous Place Pigalle, has this big country club name, but could not be further from a country club in style and atmosphere. It’s a freewheeling, laid back, small but cosy bar, and the open mic takes place behind a mic at the back with no stage. It’s as much a jam as an open mic, and it’s a free-for-all. Don’t expect to sign a list – just go and take the mic or join in with those who are already behind it. The accent is on acoustic rock and rock blues. Even classic rock.
– Nul Bar Ailleurs, 18 rue de cotte, Paris, France, 01 43 43 68 71. This is a sensational jam open mic that calls itself, “Jam Around the Table.” Located not far from the Bastille, in the very cozy cellar of a very cozy bar, the place when I went was not just all jamming, it was jam packed with people. You had to tip toe around the cellar room where the jam takes place as there were so many people present. It is well hosted, convivially, and basically goes by several rounds, asking performers to take to the mic and do their number – with or without another musician – and then they pass to the next performer, going through several rounds, so you get to play early in the evening, in the middle of the evening, then at the end – if time and the number of musicians allows. It starts around 21:00.
– Acoustic Bazar. A fabulous open mic that has been around for 20 years but is only the first Tuesday of each month. And only two songs on your first try there, and you have to be there at 8:30 to get a spot. Le TEMPO, 18 rue Brochant 75017 PARIS Métro Brochant Tel.: 01 47 00 48 87
– The Highlander, rue de Nevers, 75005, 10-year-old open mic hosted by Thomas Brun, a classic, but get there soon after 8 PM for a good spot. Each performer gets three songs. The atmosphere is always lively, the pub always full, the list of musicians invariably long. But this has become one of Paris’s longest running open mics, and the level of the presentation and music is guaranteed to make for and interesting night out.
– The Bootleg Bar: 55 Rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris. The Rush bar open mic moved to the Bootleg bar in early 2018 after a change in management at the Rush bar. This bar continues to run an open mic, now on Wednesdays, but it is not at all like the previous version. There is an emphasis on jamming here, with lots of musicians taking to the small stage area – but everything is welcome.
– Jay Golden’s Jam School, at Les Disquaires // 4-6 rue des Taillandiers // 75011 Paris // M° Bastille, Ledru Rollin ou Bréguet Sabin. The Jam School is held every Wednesday starting at 9:30 PM, but get there earlier to sign up. Great room, great stage, great sound system, great MC in Golden. But beware: This is a jam session with a plan. You must check in advance what the style of music will be for that evening, and you must also check out the set list, which is laid out in advance and goes for four months before it is changed. This means that you must be prepared in advance to join in on the well known standards of the set list, playing your instrument along with the other jammers, to the music of the set list. Check out my first report on this Jay Golden’s Jam School at the Disquaires to see exactly what I mean…. Oh, and here, in short, is the plan for styles of music: The 1st week of the month is Jazz, The 2nd week is Funk, The 3rd week is Blues-Rock, The 4th week is Soul, The 5th is a Tribute
– L’Oasis 244, 244 Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, Paris, Tel. 06 52 65 75 32 is a classic open mic at a very small bar in a part of town where there are no other open mics: Near the Stalingrad metro, near the Jaures metro. The Oasis 244 is owned by a music-loving proprietor-manager, and he has been running various formulas for open mics for two or three years. This is now run by the same people who did the Escargot Underground a couple of years ago, and they are again calling it the Escargot Underground. There are other jams and open mics later in the week, Thursday and Saturday, run by other people – but I have not attended those, so I will not put much up here on this list – except a small note.
– Soirée Buzz, at the Très Honoré restaurant, bar, salon, 35 place du marché St Honoré, 75001 Paris. Run by American expat, Brian Scott Bagley, this is a cabaret style open mic in the posh underground room bar of the restaurant. Anything goes at this open mic: solo guitar singer songwriter stuff, cabaret singing with the backup band, jazz singing with the backup band, pop-rock singing and playing with the backup band, dancing, burlesque, anything you want. The backup band consists of a pianist, keyboard player, bass player, guitar, sax, whatever. Expect a big show feel. The only drawback is the high cost of the drinks in this posh bar – oh, and when I did it, for a place that caters to singers, the vocal mic and speakers were not up to it.
– Belushi’s Gare du Nord, 5 Rue de Dunkerque, 75010 Paris, France, 01 70 08 52 22. This is located in another branch of the Belushi’s bar mentioned above on Sunday nights. But this one has a completely different feel: It is a cavernous beer hall that attracts a young, hip clientele, which is mirrored in the wall decorations of rock stars. The open mic is really special to perform in, as the “stage” is like a crow’s nest way high up above the barroom. You do not have much direct contact with spectators – who are not really there for the open mic, but to drink and talk – but it is a great feeling to play up there and a challenge to grab their attention. There is a jam side to it, if you feel like playing with the musicians that run it – a bass player and lead guitarist – but its open to solo. Starts around 8:30 PM and goes until 11:00 PM, unless things are really kicking, in which case they continue later.
– Osmoz Café, 33 rue de l’Ouest, Paris 14eme, Metro Gaite, exit Vercingetorix, open mic, open jam and a kind of “live karaoke” of the kind that Sheldon Forrest, the American pianist in Paris, has done for years around the city, and continues to do at several different locations. He perfected the format at the Swan Bar on Montparnasse, where he hosted the vocal jam for years. It is a format highly appreciated by singers who do not play an instrument: Just go and ask Sheldon to accompany you on the piano. At the Osmoz Café, however, the atmosphere is completely different to that of the old – now closed – Swan Bar: Here it is a crowded, lively, loud, but appreciative room and atmosphere. The Osmoz serves Kabyle couscous and French bistro food in addition to just being a bar. And, as usual, Sheldon accepts all kind of music, cabaret, spoken word, or whatever you have to offer – as I found out when I went to the Osmoz Café open mic to do a monologue with Ornella Bonventre of TAC Teatro.
– Les Chansonniers, located in the small lobby of a small hotel in Menilmontant, this is a classic open mic, which tends to change its dates, but traditionally runs on Wednesdays. But it is necessary to contact the place to find out if there is an open mic…. Starts at 8 PM. A warm environment, a cool quarter of Paris. 113 boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75011 Paris, Metro Menilmontant.
– Tennessee Jazz Bar, 12 Rue André Mazet, 75006 Paris, 01 43 54 36 10. Don’t be fooled by the word “jazz” in the name of the bar, this has always been an open mic for any kind of music, mostly folk, pop, rock, etc.. One of the most successful and long-standing open mics in Paris, it was for a long while MCd by expat American, James Iansiti in the cozy basement of a cool bar. It has gone through several hosts and transformations since then, however, with little success. But now, starting in September 2017 it was taken over by Etienne Belin, who hosted the very successful Coolin bar open mic for many years – as well as the Rebel Bar open mic – so this place has no doubt rediscovered its glory days. Sign up at 8 PM, music starts at 9 PM.
– Le Carré Jam, 10 Rue des Saints Pères, Paris. Tel. 01 42 60 82 84. This is a unique experience in Paris jams and open mics: Located in the Latin Quarter in a part of the city mostly known for its art galleries and other expensive stores, the Carré bar is in fact a pocket of arts history: It is a room beneath the famous cabaret Don Camille, a room where many stars (and the spectators) of the cabaret came to have a drink after the show. In fact, Serge Gainsbourg himself spent time here, and that is no surprise since just two steps around the corner is his famous Paris home still with its graffiti covered entrance, looking like a memorial to the idiosyncratic musical legend. The jam is run by Olivier Domengie, who also runs the Nul Bar Ailleurs jam on Tuesdays, and who has done several others in the past, including one that was also called Le Carré, but located just off the Place St. Michel, till that ended. In this 1970s-feel of the new Carré, you can jam with other musicians, but also sometimes play by yourself, and it goes on from 8pm to 2am. There’s a drumset, guitars, mics and a bass. Ask for the special prices for jammers. I highly recommend this place.
– Café Jean, 181 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, France ATTENTION: This takes place only on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. It is run by Nicolas Blampain, who used to run the Lou Pascalou open mic. A fairly hip young crowd goes to this restaurant/bar on the edge of Paris, and while it can be fun to play here, a lot of the clientele is not present for the music. It is a classic open mic with a list to sign up for and you can play two or three songs, depending on how many musicians there are.
– Olympe, 62 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris. Starting promptly at 20:15 and ending at 23:45, this is a very tightly organized open mic in a part of town with few others: The top of the 19th Arrondissement by the beautiful Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Watch out, though, part of the tight organization is that there are only 12 spots – three songs each – and so it is wise, and almost necessary, to call up the organizer (his phone at the moment is: 06 63 46 23 67) in advance to book a slot. All styles of music accepted, here is my report of my first visit to this Olympe bar open mic.
– L’Oasis 244, 244 Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, Paris, Tel. 06 52 65 75 32 – this bar also hosts a jam/open mic on Thursdays; see the full entry about the bar in the open mic bit above on Wednesdays.
– “Paris Lit Up” at the Cabaret Culture Rapide, 103 rue Julien Lacroix 75020 Paris, M° Belleville / Pyrénées, 01 46 36 08 04, spoken word and music open mic is an open mic for music, poetry, spoken word. It is connected to a kind of collective called “Paris Lit Up” that also has a small press by the same name. Most people attending are English, a very large expat presence – it is run by an expat – but it is extremely cool, and although it it is mostly spoken word, guitar singer/songwriters really welcome. Only problem is, there is no microphone or amplifier. But in my experience the audience is very quiet and it’s a cool environment.
– Cabaret Culture Rapide Barman’s open mic, 103 rue Julien Lacroix 75020 Paris, M° Belleville / Pyrénées, 01 46 36 08 04, is an open mic for music, poetry, spoken word as well, but it is run by a Frenchwoman, and is more French than the one on Thursday! Guitar singer/songwriters really welcome. Only problem is, there is no microphone or amplifier. But in my experience the audience is often quiet and it’s a cool environment. Starts late, at 10 P.M.
– Saturday – Quiet Man, is a longstanding mainstay of Irish music in Paris, and on Saturdays, starting at 18:00 there is an open mic for beginners, followed by a jam session for more advanced musicians that starts at 22:00 and goes on until 2 AM, or closing time. A wonderful feeling of really being in Ireland, but watch out: the emphasis is on reels and jigs and not so much on songs and singing. 5, rue des haudriettes, 75003 Paris, Metro Rambuteau or Hotel de Ville.
– L’Oasis 244, 244 Rue du Faubourg Saint Martin, Paris, Tel. 06 52 65 75 32 – this bar also hosts an open mic on Saturdays; see the full entry about the bar in the open mic bit above on Wednesdays.
The main places you would probably want to start looking at for full-fledged bands and other cool stuff are:
– L’International, 5, rue Moret 75011 Paris
Another bar/venue place that has concerts all the time, and mostly young people, new groups, etc.
– OPA, 9 rue Biscornet, 75012 Paris, bastille
Another place with bands, concerts, usually no cover charge (as with the above places)
– Le Truskel, 12 rue Feydeau, 75002 Paris, Metro Bourse.
– Le Motel, 8, passage Josset, Paris, France, 75011 more often a bar with DJ, it does have bands, concerts, usually no cover charge (as with the above places)
– Le Point Ephemere, 200 quai de Valmy 75010, Paris, France
You get off at Metro Jaures and this place is located down on the canal below. You’ll see all the people outside, usually. An art space, concert space, bar, DJ thing, restaurant, (even has some privately run recording studios where I recorded four songs in the summer).
Here are some places where the focus is jazz:
– Petit Journal,one in Montparnasse, 13, rue du Commandant Mouchotte, 75014 PARIS, or the same one in St. Michel, 71, boulevard St- Michel, 75005 PARIS
– New Morning, 7-9, rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris
– Caveau de la Huchette, 5 rue de la Huchette, 75005 PARIS
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November 25, 2010 at 3:28 am
Just a little note on the Cavern. After asking if drummers could play and was told no they let another drummer play a couple of songs. One of the girls I sat with ask if I could play, and was told know because everyone elese would want to play. As a working drummer from new orleans I can understand that. However there was only 3 people in the bar so what was the chances that all 3 of us were going to rush the stage at one time.
On a good note all of the bar tenders tried to make it work for me. A little note for management.
Dump the ass hole.
Good luck to a Grat bunch of bar tenders. You will need it.
November 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm
Thanks for that information, David. It is true that I have seen guest musicians, but I never knew how they were selected. I always thought they were friends of the house musicians. In any case, ANYONE can go up to sing. But I once asked to go up with my guitar to play and sing, and they said no….
November 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm
Your work on the site has been really great to read and be informed on, as a fairly new musican of the age of 16 I’m at the point where I want to push through and meet other musicians, or at least gain experience playing more, where would you suggest is a good place to start? My musical roots tend to stem in blues acoustic, jazz.
December 1, 2012 at 12:33 am
Hi Jack, sorry to take so long… I was traveling and bogged down by work. That’s why I had this sudden hole on the blog too. Your question is easily answered: Start out at open mics and open jam sessions. Find the ones that most suit your kind of music and your kind of personality – ie, you want to feel comfortable with the people there too. I don’t know what city you live in. But if it is Paris, then my list of open mics on the blog is the place to start looking for places. If you are in another city, just do a search on google for open mics in that city. Best of luck, and maybe we will meet some day. Sorry again for the delay. I am just surfacing from the busiest period of work in my life!!!!!
June 28, 2021 at 3:21 pm
Hey Brad–was excited to find this post, wondering how recently you’ve checked any of these spots out?
August 5, 2021 at 3:56 pm
Hi, thanks very much for your comment, which I only saw now, for some reason! In fact, no, I have not visited many of these places lately, because most of them have been closed to live music during the pandemic. A lot are starting up again now, though, and some have even started up and then closed down for August holidays!!! As is the French way…! But I am responding to you so late that you have probably found all of this out already!
October 10, 2014 at 6:18 am
bonjour je vient de decouvrir la page des endroit micros ouverts je suis chanteur sur bande son et j’ai un groupe pour les prestations plus importantes pour passer sur paris c’est pas facille je suis a100km il faudrer 2a3 bar pub le soir mon stylle. elvis. johnny .eddy . dick. pur rock en Français en champagne ardenne il y a rien pour les chanteurs si vous pouver me donner des endroits ou se produir sa serrer simpat …daniel
October 10, 2014 at 11:32 am
Bonjour Daniel, et merci pour la communication. En fait, c’est pas vraiment facile, et en meme temps, très facile. Je veux dire que sur ma liste de scènes ouvertes sur Paris, toutes les scènes acceptes tout type de musique, et normalement il n’y a pas de problème de faire la bande son aussi, du moment où c’est par un moyen facile comme iPhone qu’on peut branché sur le sono. Par contre, il est vrais aussi que quasiment la totalité des scènes ouvertes sur ma liste ne font pas vraiment le meme style que tu fait…mais justement, pourquoi pas y imposé?
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January 13, 2011 at 9:50 am
You should also probably check out Popin (live bands on most days and open mic on a Sunday), and occasionally Truskel have some good stuff on.
January 14, 2011 at 3:23 pm
By the way, the Truskel no longer does an open mic – but there is music all the time…
January 13, 2011 at 9:51 am
Ah, I see you already have Pop ‘in. Apologies.
January 14, 2011 at 3:22 pm
No problem, thanks for the comment. I checked out your web site and mentioned it in a post today. Will put up a permanent link.
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May 12, 2011 at 6:09 am
Thanks for doing this. Will be visiting the last week of May and will report back to you. If I am blues focused and play the keys will there be a spot somewhere?
May 13, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Hi Conrad, thanks for the comment. For blues and keyboards, if you have your own portable keyboard it would be good to do it at Cabaret Culture Rapide on the Thursday. Also, there is a piano at the Tennessee Bar and you can certainly do blues on the piano, so that’s on the Monday night open mic. I have seen someone use a portable keyboard they brought to the Ptit Bonheur la Chance on Tuesday night, but it is not usually a place where this are long blues jam-type things. Again, if you have your own portable keyboard, try also Be There, on Sunday night. And finally there is the Caveau des Oubliettes, 52 rue Galande
75005 PARIS. Check them out on the Internet because they have different days devoted to different open jams. But I think you can do that there, and most of their nights are blues oriented.
July 10, 2011 at 5:14 pm
Hi, I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester, UK. I’m coming to Paris tomorrow, monday 11th July to start a busking tour of France. I’ll be in Paris for a few weeks. Can anyone recommend any decent open mics/gig venues that are still running? Cheers, Hugo.
July 11, 2011 at 12:39 pm
Hi, if you check out my open mic list under my articles page, you will find the best list in the world for open mics in Paris. It is on this very site! I’ll no doubt see you at one of them. Cheers, Brad (in St. Pancras on the way back to Paris from Oxford)
July 30, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Hi Brad, really sorry for the late reply! I’ve just found your page again…Thanks for the info it really helped. Played a few of the open mics and got a gig at Le Motel on tuesday so all good. Thanks again!
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July 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm
Great news Hugo. Amazing you got a gig at the Motel already! Cool stuff….
July 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm
PS, I just listened to a couple of your songs on your myspace and it sounds really interesting. Hooves of the Herd the musical part at the beginning reminds me a lot of Space Oddity….
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September 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm
Hi Brad! Many thanks for your super helpful blog, I cannot believe what you have to offer in a one stop shop! An artist I work with is on travel in Paris for the month and just arrived today. She is a singer and plays piano/keys. I noticed above that the Tennessee Bar has a piano, by chance do you know of any other venues that might be able to accommodate? She very excited about being active in the Paris open mic scene. Thanks again! Thomas email@example.com
September 14, 2011 at 5:33 pm
Hi Thomas, thanks for the wonderful compliments! It keeps me driving onward…. Off the top of my head I can think of the Bus Palladium, the Swan Bar and the Baroc that also have pianos, in addition to the Tennessee bar. That’s a pretty good start!
September 14, 2011 at 10:20 pm
Hi Brad! I cannot thank you enough! I had my friend – Zahra – http://www.zahrauniverse.com/main.php – stop by The Swan Bar tonight to discuss performing – and she now has a gig this Saturday at 730 PM! And may stay for the open mic later on Saturday. I will post the flier once I make one for her. Not sure if you will be in town or available, but would be cool if you two could meet. She will be performing her original songs acoustically – playing piano and signing. Your blog has been a life saver and with the other venues to contact she might have a steady schedule over the next month while in Paris. All the best! Thomas
September 15, 2011 at 12:27 am
Excellent! I am in town this weekend and might be able to drop by the Swan Bar on Saturday. It did occur to me that she might be able to get a gig there, but I didn’t say anything, since I know nothing about her playing….
September 16, 2011 at 6:38 am
Hi Brad, if you can make it to the Swan Bar on this Saturday, Zahra would love to meet you. I will have her look out for you and maybe you can introduce yourself. If all works well and she can land a few more gigs, maybe I will fly over from the US to join her for a few on acoustic guitar. She is forever grateful for your blog/guide and will be in touch with the other venues in the hopes of lining up more gigs while she is over in Paris promoting her music and videos. In fact she has a song (Dancin by the Fire) with the artist Sorprano, who I understand is doing quite well on the charts over there.
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September 18, 2011 at 9:27 pm
Hi Brad! After another look on your blog I found the page I was searching for. Really helpful so thanks. Hope to see you at the Highlander or elsewhere soon again!
September 18, 2011 at 9:46 pm
Hi Izabella, thanks for letting me know you found it. Now I hope you find other places to go that you like!!!! Maybe I will see you at the others…. I’m off for a week on Tuesday, but certainly back in the open mics after that….. cheers, Brad
September 27, 2011 at 2:05 pm
Thank you for the great job: so fortunate to have eyes and years in far off places 🙂 I was wondering whether you can advice on which open mics are indie singer/songwriter friendlier?(as in blues/jazz friendly places). We’ll be in Paris for a week starting this Sunday, and having a clue about it will be priceless 🙂
September 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm
Thanks very much for the comment. I was unable to hear your music, so I’m not really sure what it’s like and that makes it difficult to match up a place with the sound. (Maybe you have a myspace?) I’d try the Tennessee bar on Monday, the Ptit Bonheur la Chance and the Bus Palladium on Tuesday and the Highlander on Wednesday – oh, and not to forget the one that might be the most “Indie” of all, the Pop In on Sunday. Hope to see you!
September 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm
🙂 Thank you so much for the quick reply: wonder why technology works wonders for one and fails for another lol I’m sorry the website doesn’t work form its allocated space. Here’s a Myspace profile, the rest of the outlets are listed into it as well: http://www.myspace.com/gerix.
And absolutely – It would be great to meet you! Let me know – if after you give it a listen -you have a better idea for open mic.
Thanks a million, Brad!
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October 4, 2011 at 3:12 am
Nice job !! But you forgot to mention the Nilaja’s on mondays !!! Yesterday and some of the jams are also drived by the bluesman Boney Fields…… See ya !!
(PS : this thursday I’ll be MCing the Soüp Session Jam at the Centre Barbara Fleury in Barbès ; very big hall, and good artists in show case, with one of the founders of the legendaries Last Poets…..) Bizoux Brad !
October 4, 2011 at 3:38 am
Thanks for the comment, Doréa. No, I did not forget the Nilaja. I just have not yet done it! Updating such a page is easier said than disciplined! I’d love to drop by Thursday, but I leave in a few hours for Japan, then South Korea…. so out of town for a while….
October 13, 2011 at 7:54 pm
Thank God for your site! My 18 year-old daughter is headed to Paris in a little more than a week. I told her she had to find somewhere to play while she is there. She is currently doing a Gap year in Oxford and working on her career. She has fall break starting on the 22nd and decided to go to Paris for the week. She has a friend there to stay with, but I told her she needed to get out and find somewhere to play while she is there. Her french is not very good, so I think she is sweating it a bit. Do you have any recommendations or advice for a young American girl who has 4 years of High School French, but is not very good at speaking the language?
October 14, 2011 at 3:07 am
Well, thank God for your comment, since this kind of thing keeps me feeling like the site is worthwhile! I think you already found the best idea for your daughter, which is to go to the open mics, even if she doesn’t want to play – but obviously if she does, then all the better. But the thing is that at most of these open mics there is a good mix of international students and young people and French and English. So she will meet people there and have no problem wading into the French world, without being stuck in the English-only expat world. The best for her would be the Ptit Bonheur la Chance one on Tuesdays, and the Tennessee and Galway ones on the Monday, starting with the earlier Tennessee; and also the Highlander one on Wednesdays. She might like the Pop In on Sundays, too. Other than that, there’s no sweat, no big deal about her level of French in Paris – there are so many foreigners that the French are used to it….
October 26, 2011 at 7:42 am
Hi,Im in Paris now so looking forward to seeing how they like my act,kind of bluesy funky solo bass with a bit of loops and a bit of singing….Maybe i’ll meet some of yers…I was wondering,what is the law regarding busking in paris?ive read and heard so many contradictory things,you seem like the kind of chap who’d know for sure..ps thanks for this guide,its great.Peace x
October 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm
HI, I actually just arrived in India until next week. And I don;t know the law on busking in Paris. I do know that in the metro stations you are supposed to have a licence that you audition for. You get moved on if you don’t have it, and maybe worse can happen. I have friends who have busked in the streets and I have not heard of anything bad happening. But I imagine it is like anything to do with the law…it can range from nothing to very bad.
October 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm
You are going to love this! My daughter Tina, who never bothers to fully read what I send her, showed up at Petit Bonheur la Chance on Thursday night, with her guitar and 2 friends in tow. They informed her of course that the open mic was on Tuesday instead of Thursday. However, a clever manager quickly invited her to stay and play for them. They quickly set up the performance area and quieted the crowd. She played her original music for an hour! The patrons LOVED her! She made a lot of new friends. Thanks for your guidance. Even though she screwed up, it all worked out in the end.
October 29, 2011 at 6:15 am
That is great news. You’re right, just the kind of thing I love – and to think that this blog had a part in it is even better. I hope she returns for the open mic when I’m there. Yes, the owner/manager is a fine, open guy and that doesn’t surprise me he said to just go ahead and play! I had a similar thing here in India the other day as I arrived in the country on the Wednesday and wanted to attend an open mic here, but as it was a national holiday the bar was closed. I had contacted them in advance, and they decided to set up a gig for me for the following night. So I played two one-hour sets. Nothing better for a budding musician, of any age….
November 10, 2011 at 5:22 am
I’m not sure which place you’d most recommend for for singer/songwriters with acoustic guitars — is it Petit Bonheur la Chance?
November 10, 2011 at 11:47 am
They are all good for singer songwriters with acoustic guitars… except the obvious ones that are not, such as the Cavern, as the details mention…
November 10, 2011 at 5:25 am
also- do any of the places provide amps?
November 10, 2011 at 11:47 am
Basically they all provide amps. They’re like open mics just about anywhere in that way.
November 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm
Un nouveau lieu pour les Open Mic à Paris : Le French Flair (75 bis bd de clichy – Paris 9e) :
C’est un mercredi sur deux à partir de 21h00
November 12, 2011 at 8:56 am
Merci pour ca. J’irai voir!
November 12, 2011 at 8:57 am
…par contre je ne suis pas a Paris le 30 Novembre, donc il va falloir que j’attends le 14 Decembre.
November 25, 2011 at 6:39 pm
I am a professional blues guitarist from Chicago currently living in Miami. I will be in Paris from December 16 until Dec. 22
November 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm
Great. Hope to see you! Minimum, you should try the Caveau des Oubliettes several nights a week, and the Cabaret Culture Rapide on Thursdays.
December 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm
Hi Brad, thanks for your fantastic detailed blog of open mic spots in Paris! it is such a great resource and I just wanted to thank you for compiling it! I’ll be in Paris tomorrow for a week – I’m a singer songwriter, I use a loop pedal and my style is ‘hip-soul-folk’ I am looking forward to checking out a few venues! great! x prita
December 14, 2011 at 12:26 am
Hi Prita, well, I hope to see you then!!!! Keep in touch and hopefully we will meet up…
January 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm
Brad! Thank you for this detailed information. I’m a singer/songwriter from Ukraine, going to Paris in February. Definitely will attend some of them.
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February 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm
Brad, your blog is just what I was looking for (#1 result in Google.)
My family and I will be traveling from Boston to Paris this summer from June 28th to July 7th. My son, who is 9, regularly performs at local open mics. He usually plays his electric guitar (e.g. Creedence, The Kinks, Chuck Berry, and lately Nada Surf) but will be bringing only his acoustic guitar along on our trip. He’s very good for his age, so he’s not picking out 3 Blind Mice or anything childish.
Just wondering if you have any suggestions on a venue that would be best. Obviously we need an all-ages place (at least for the performers) and a starting time that’s not much later than 8-9pm.
Thanks again for your very helpful site!
February 28, 2012 at 6:57 pm
Hi, I am so glad the blog is a help and so prominent in the search! Love hearing these things. And I would love to hear your son! Must be cool. I will give some thought to this, but it could be tough, given the fact that kids under 18 are not allowed in bars… but there must be a way….
March 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm
My wife and I will be in Paris for 10 days in October and I hope to find a couple of blues (or country or jazz) jams in clubs that have a piano or keyboard. Also, are there any cafes/bars with a piano that folks may play? I play piano in a band and a duo in Pittsburgh — a real mix of stuff — and would love play a few songs while in the City of Light.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
March 3, 2012 at 8:06 pm
Thanks very much Tim. Yes, the Tennessee Bar with its open mic on Mondays has a piano. So does the Baroc on Tuesdays. I’ll try to think of others, but that’s a start. They are both on my list of open mics…. Hope to see you….
March 4, 2012 at 10:42 pm
Many thanks for the reply. I did notice on your blog that the Tennessee Bar has a piano, and mercy as well for letting me know about Baroc.
Along with piano, I also play a bit of accordion in our band here — we do mainly Louisiana music, including some Cajun, zydeco and New Orleans blues (along with a few originals) but doubt I’ll haul that along in October. Lately a guitar player and I have been playing old blues and jazz with a little Gospel and folk tossed in, and doing some gigs in Pittsburgh. I’ve done a couple solo gigs.
PS: I see you have also been in journalism. I figure Paris must still be a great place to write. I drew cartoons for the morning paper in Pittsburgh for 30 years, and wrote (and illustrated) several Sunday magazine pieces.
I do appreciate your blog and any other info you may pass along to me.
March 5, 2012 at 2:31 pm
France loves accordions, of course, so you wouldn’t be out of place – but it would be heavy to carry, wouldn’t it…. I just remembered that there is also a piano at the Swan Bar, so you should check that one out as well.
I am still working in journalism, in fact, which is the job that pays for my living – and my travel! This blog is just for fun….
March 14, 2012 at 4:46 am
Wondering – Is Swan Bar the only place the provides an accompanist? Or do any of the others? Are there open mic nights that are most specifically for Singers?
Cool list – thank for the info!
Best – Heather
March 15, 2012 at 1:52 am
The Swan Bar is the only one I know of where you can go and bring your music and give it to the pianist and have him accompany you like that. But at many other open mics you can ask the MC to play guitar with you and he will do it – Tennessee bar I have seen this, probably at the Highlander too, and at the Mazet. Specifically for singers, there is the Cavern on Wednesday nights where you have a band playing pop standards, and you go to the mic and sing. Same at the Caveau des Oubliettes, where there is a vocal and music “jam” several nights a week.
March 31, 2012 at 8:34 pm
What a fantastic resource you have here! I’m planning a trip to France in May but not planning to go through Paris this time. I’ll be visiting friends around Grenoble, Nice and Bordeaux. Any idea how I could find out about open mics in those areas? I’m especially interested in places that can provide accompaniment (guitar or piano)
April 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm
Hi Susan, the only place I can help you with is Nice. THere is a new open mic every second Monday in the cosy basement bar of an Irish Pub called the Snug. Don’t have the address, though. There are a few other places that sometimes have open stages. Some may not still exist, but you can ask at Shapko if they have any possibility of accommodating you. There is a pub on the old port that has one on Sunday nights – or did – called Ma Nolan’s. There is another pub that has an open mic sometimes as well, called, Paddy’s Pub. Also try King’s Pub. It’s all pretty changeable though, so I leave you to your own devices mostly! I will be there myself in late May….
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June 14, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Hey Brad, What a great resource. Thanks so much. I played open mic at the Highlander four years ago and had so much fun. I’m going to be in Paris next Thursday and Friday nights. I can’t find a schedule for The Mazet and wondered if it still has an open mic on Thursday nights.
June 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm
Hi, and thanks very much for the compliment. I first saw this comment while sitting in a taxi in the early hours of the morning last night/today, on my way back home from the Mazet bar open mic! Unfortunately, though, it was the last one before it takes a summer break. So you missed it by one week. It will start again in September. Also, I will not be in town when you are here, so we will miss each other. Good luck, have fun!
June 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Sorry to hear that the Mazet open mic is closing for the summer and that I won’t get a chance to see you perform. I see in your blog post on the last night at the the Mazet, that you say there are others on Friday night. It looks like from your list above that Culture Rapide Barman’s and the Swan Bar are the other choices. Are there others? Also, do you think I would feel comfortable going to these places alone?
June 16, 2012 at 11:46 pm
You would have no problem in them alone, I assure you. They are not the busiest of open mics, or the most traditional. But if you have to do something on a Friday, that’s all that exists that I know of.
August 11, 2012 at 9:30 am
Hey Brad, great blog! super useful thank you.
I’ll be in Paris for work for a short few days from Wed Oct 3 till Monday Oct 8th and looking for open mic opportunities. I’m also a pop singer/songwriter with a few albums under my belt so keen to find opportunities to play in Paris whilst i’m there! I may be returning in April 2013 also, so i’m keen to investigate music venues for gig opportunities whilst i’m there in October. Are Ptit Bonheur la Chance and Pop-in still the best places to go for a solo acoustic act as far as open mic is concerned?
sophie (from Australia)
August 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm
Hi Sophie, sounds like a great plan. Yes, those two open mics are still good. Depends what you’re looking for out of them. The Coolin open mic on Mondays is a fun new one, and the others, Tennessee, Highlander, etc., remain excellent. You might want to try out the Cavern as a venue to play at, although the open mic is just a live karaoke with a band. I’m sure you will meet lots of people and make connections for venues while you’re here. Your time here coincides exactly with when I will be in Japan, so unfortunately we won’t meet….
November 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm
Hey Brad, I wondered if you’re coming to Austin to cover the F1 races. I’d love to catch you at an open mic here in the live music capitol (I believe we claim “of the world,” which may sound arrogant to the international visitor, but still might well be true). Actually, I have a niggling aspiration to follow in your footsteps and compile a list of open mics in Austin and/or blog about my experiences at open mics here. Let me know if you’re coming in for the big event, and I’ll give you a run-down on the open mics I know about. Yours, Christy
My current blog which has nothing at all to do with open mics http://signsofsomething.blogspot.com/
November 11, 2012 at 10:27 pm
Hi Christy! I will be in Austin starting on Wednesday night and lasting until the following Wednesday. I am indeed looking for open mics to play in – if you can help, that would be great. I have some names of places from people I have met from Austin (in Paris) but the choice is still pretty limited, and I understand there are a massive number of places. Would be great to meet you.
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September 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm
Really great Blog. Helped me Find some Open mics When I moved to Paris. It really is a one stop shop for everything, you wont find it anywhere else. So far I have been able to try Tennessee and Coolin. Tennessee I found to be really really good. Its was packed downstairs and i got to do 4 songs and during the more quiet songs the crowd was quiet and listened and during the faster ones they joined in. a really good experience. James who ran it was really nice and helpfull. I also tried Coolin 2 times and its very well Organised and Run, I would say stay away from quiet songs there though as its hard to hear yourself with the busy crowd. 10 out of 10 to Brad for the blog and work putting it together
September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm
Thanks a million Ian, nice comments! Makes me want to continue!
September 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm
Hi Brad, Thanks for the really helpful information. I live in London and visit Paris from time to time. Do any of these venue allow a cappella singing? Would you know whether some of the house bands play for ‘instrumentless’ singers?
September 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm
In my experience they all allow acappella, and at most you can ask someone to play along with you. If you want to sing with a full-fledged band, the Cavern is a place to go. Thanks for the compliments.
September 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm
A friend of mine saw you playing a couple of weeks ago in Paris. Then he was like: you have to invite this guy to your open mic, he is amazing and likes your kind of music.
So here I am ! I do organise an open mic every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. So next one is October 4th. The place is called “la kolok” it’s in the center of Paris (20 rue du croissant métro bourse or grands boulevards). and the music begins at 8pm, till midnight.
Like every other open mic i guess, we have mics…sono, guitars etc….most of the time we do have a drummer playing cajon, shaker, very little cymbals, to play along with any artist without a rhythm section. Indeed it’s free to play and there’s an happy hour from 5 to 8 in the bar.
You can find us on facebook:
We really try to promote jams ! Mainly with rock covers (N.Young, Radiohead, coldplay, pink floyd…)
feel free to contact me if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
See you soon,
September 26, 2012 at 12:36 am
Thanks very much for that, and thanks for the compliments. I really want to go to this open mic, and I will as soon as I can. Too bad it is not EVERY Thursday. I am travelling so much at the moment that I miss a lot of Thursdays in Paris. I will be in Japan next week, so I will miss it then. But I will go as soon as it is on when I’m in Paris. Thanks again.
October 1, 2012 at 7:07 pm
Brad, I’m a Montana Cowboy singer songwriter and have been playing for a living for 40 years. I’ve performed around the world some and have a short notice trip coming up to Paris. Would you give me any direction of places to check out to perform as a gig or open mic that I might get some good exposure and response? I leave Montana Oct 9th and return the 19th. I own a ranch here and have wagonride dinners shows during the summer. The music web site is http://www.CharlieRussell.com ( then select about the artists) and the ranch site is http://www.LastChanceRanch.biz. thanks in advance for any information you might be able to give me.
October 1, 2012 at 8:38 pm
Thanks very much for the comment, and interest. I am travelling through the first part of October, but I might be around in your final days in Paris. So I hope we can meet. The best place for you to find all answers to your question is in fact precisely on the page you have written this comment. I really can’t do any better than refer you to all the places listed on this page: http://bradspurgeon.com/articles-as-opposed-to-posts/thumbnail-guide-to-paris-open-mics-jam-sessions-and-other-live-music/
October 14, 2012 at 5:41 am
Brad: Will probably play a couple songs on the piano at Le Tennessee Bar this Monday night (tomorrow). Played a couple last Monday. What talent they have at Open Mic — very impressive! If you’re in town and can stop by, would be great to meet you. Keep up the good work. Tim
October 14, 2012 at 6:27 am
Good luck, and thanks for letting me know. I will be playing at an open mic in Seoul, South Korea on Monday night, and flying back to Paris the following day for arrival on Wednesday – So I’ll miss you.
November 13, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Brad: Sorry I missed you this time around. I got to the Le Tennessee Bar twice and played the piano a bit. It’s a fun spot and the open mic is very well run. As I said earlier, it gets a lot of talented musicians. Next time I hope to stop by a couple other spots you’ve listed. Again, many thanks for your blog and all the help you pass along. It adds a special note to a special city.
November 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm
Sorry we missed each other, but thanks for the compliments – I’m glad the blog has been helpful….
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November 13, 2012 at 4:42 am
I started writing you back last night, but I don’t think I ever sent it. Did you get long-winded description of Poodie’s Hilltop Bar from me? Anyway, I’m thinking of going to the open mic at Flipnotics on Thursday night with a friend. I’ve never actually been there, but it’s kind of a funky little coffee house/bar on Barton Springs Road. Love to meet you there or somewhere in the next week. Or let me know if you need a ride.
November 13, 2012 at 5:26 pm
I didn’t receive your long-winded description, unfortunately – you can tell by my blog that I am a fan of “long-winded.” But I check out these names and compare on my list, and let you know what I can do. Thanks.
November 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm
Christy, really sorry to take so long to respond. I will explain later if I see you. I am definitely going to Flipnotics tonight. It turns out that it is within a fairly short walking distance from my hotel!!!!
November 13, 2012 at 9:13 pm
What I was trying to say in the long-winded comment I started and never sent was this: there are two main categories of open mics in Austin. Most of them are hip coffee houses, restaurants and bars in central Austin. But there’s another category of divey honky-tonk sorts of bars outside the city limits. The patrons lean more toward Nascar than F1. My favorite is Poodie’s Hilltop Bar which is about 10 or 15 miles outside of town. It’s a humble, low-ceilinged place with a bar on one side of the room, a ground level stage on the other side, and several 4X4 pillars between the two that you have to crane to look around if you want to see the stage. Poodie was Willie Nelson’s roadie, and sometimes Willie would show up unannounced at midnight after a local performance (Willie lives out in the that neck of the woods). Poodie died a few years ago and I think Willie’s surprise appearances have come to a halt. One night I was at Poodie’s and on my way to the ladies room I passed by a table that had been vacated temporarily by the patrons who had been sitting there. It appeared they were on their way back – probably just stepped out to the parking lot to get high. There were bags and sweaters thrown over the backs of the chairs crowded around the table. The ashtrays on the table were full. There was a half-eaten bowl of nuts. And a jug of some brownish liquid that looked homemade. The kicker is that one of the empty chairs around the table was a wheelchair. Poodie’s open mic is on Wednesday so I think it doesn’t fall into your schedule, and I’m not sure it’s what you’re looking for anyway. But it’s certainly an interesting patch of local color and they let you play more than two songs.
November 13, 2012 at 10:36 pm
Wow, thank you so much! This is invaluable! Just in time before I go to bed, then get up and travel, travel, travel to Austin. Thanks again!
November 14, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Welcome to Austin.
November 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm
December 1, 2012 at 8:48 am
Haha not a problem man!
I’m currently in Paris as an expat. So I’ve been eager to break through the language barrier and play with other musicians in the area,
Would you recommend any open mics in particular for a decent experience? I was looking at the highlander the other day and it seemed pretty ok!
All the best!
December 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm
Highlander or Vieux Léon for Wednesday. Tuesday Ptit Bonheur la Chance. Monday Coolin.
December 10, 2012 at 8:31 am
hey, very nice article, thank you!! do you maybe know open mics where there are drums ??
December 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm
Hi Martina, I should start incorporating that information my descriptions, since I have people asking often about pianos, now drums…. Off the top of my head… last night the open mic at the Lizard Lounge, which unfortunately is just once a month – next one on 6 January – always seems to have a drum set. Otherwise, the vocal jam at the Cavern has one, but it is not for use by the people who sing – there is a house band. So not much good…. I think all of the jams at the Caveau des Oubliettes have a drum set for use by whoever wants to play them. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head… oh, they seem to have a single drum machine box thing that the organizer of the open mic at the Baroc on Tuesday nights plays with and he would perhaps let anyone use it.
January 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm
My name is Anthony Bernhauser and I am a professional singer/songwriter from Nashville, Tennessee. I will be traveling to Paris the last week of March in 2013 and I am looking forward to playing at some of the Open Mics listed on your amazing Blog! I am looking to play as many Open Mics as I can in one, two, or three nights. I have even considered trying to book a show at a venue like the Galway club but I don’t know if that would be possible. Any advice? My music is acoustically driven and is reminiscent of a Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Ben Harper esq vibe, but I’m told my originality still shines through. With that being said I play Rock/Pop and everything in between. You can check out my music at http://www.abernmusic.com if you would like to have a listen. I read your blog about playing 3 open mics in one night (at the Tennessee, Coolin, and Galway Pub) and I wonder if that is something I also may be able to do? Any recommendations that you can make to me would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks so much,
January 19, 2013 at 12:26 am
Hi Anthony, thanks for the nice comment. I listened to your music, and it sounds great. I hope I’m not traveling when you are in Paris so I can see you perform.
For doing as many open mics as possible in Paris I suggest if you are only here one to three days then it is best to choose Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Doing three open mics in one night is possible, but often a difficult balance and a bit of luck is required. On Mondays, if you get to the Coolin by 8:30 you can sign up there, but the music starts at 9:30, so you can run over to the Tennessee, which is not far off, and play there if you get lucky – the MC does not make a list – then run back to the Coolin, and then walk to the Galway if it is still only around 11 PM or so. The Galway only goes until 12:30 usually.
On Tuesdays if you want to try more than one open mic it is more complicated, as the two main options are the Baroc – near Col. Fabien metro – and the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, near the Pantheon. These are far away, and both tend to be crowded, so it is rare to be able to do both. I usually just do the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, which is one of the very best.
Then on Wednesday it is another difficult thing, but if you get to the Highlander very early – 8:00 – and get early on the list, then chances are you can walk over the 15 minute walk to the Vieux Leon and play there to finish the night – although it often ends around midnight.
All those are on my open mic list that you saw.
As far as a gig somewhere, well, that is something that tends to grow out of playing at a place and being heard and meeting people – as with anywhere. But I see no reason why you should not try to contact people at the bars on my list and see if they want to hire you for a gig (although little money, if any, ever gets paid in most of those places). Same as everywhere on earth!
January 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm
thanks for this list. I’m a standup comedian from Denver, Colorado and will be doing some shows in London next week. How are the shows for standup comedy? and would you recommend any show to drop in and do a 5 min set in English? thanks!
January 29, 2013 at 2:32 am
THanks for the comment, Matt. I’m not very knowledgable about the comedy open mics in Paris, and it is not common to mix comedy with music open mics here. I can say that I do know that you can do comedy at the open mic on Friday night at the Cabaret Culture Rapide, which is on my list here. And English will pass OK, even though it is primarily a French open mic. But there are often English language people in the audience, and lots of the French will understand. I have seen a magician at the Baroc open mic on Tuesdays, so it might be possible there, but it could be more difficult there. I have seen some theatrical comedy and spoken word at the Ptit Bonheur la Chance open mic on Tuesdays, and it is a very cool and hip audience in general. You might want to check it out and see how it feels, then ask the MC if you can do a comedy routine. It’s pretty open, even if predominantly just music.
January 30, 2013 at 12:15 am
Hi Brad! Thanks so much the information. I’ll confer with my comedy buddy, and we’ll go from there. Hope to see you soon in the City of Light!
February 13, 2013 at 8:01 am
Hi, My boyfriend and I are in Paris 25th – 28th Feb, he plays jazz drums and I would love to find an open mic where he could play do you have any suggestions? Thanks x
February 15, 2013 at 8:09 pm
Hi Ceri, yes, definitely. Go to the Caveau des Oubliettes on the rue Galande. They have a drum set and it’s an open jam session. Do a google search to find their hours and exactly what kind of jam it is on which day… I know they do several per week in the early part of the week. The styles vary by theme each day. That’s the only one that really jumps out in my mind. You won’t want to do it every night, I am pretty sure, anyway, so that should do it!
Oh, also, there is a jazz jam at the Duc des Lombards, but I think it is on the weekend. You could find their site too on the web.
February 15, 2013 at 9:27 pm
Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. Thank you so much for all your help. I plan on Trying to perform at the Tennessee and the Galway Open Mic on Monday, and then Highlander on Wednesday. Are these venues close to a subway or tain stop?
February 16, 2013 at 11:26 am
This is great thanks for this highly usefull list. I tried to compile one (and keep it updated) and i know it takes a bit of work.
I would add that the biz’art jam has unfortunately stopped,
And I would add the “Piston Pelican” as a nice little bar regularly featuring live music .
Thanks for all this
Eric (harmonica player – we met a couple times in the biz’art)
February 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm
Thanks very much Eric. I’m going to cut out the Biz’art…. too bad! I remember you and your harmonica….
February 27, 2013 at 2:16 pm
Firstly, thank you so much for your blog! I found it ages ago but am heading back to Paris in April so went straight to google to find it again. I’m a soul/R&B singer and am really interested in hitting up one or two of the open mic nights but unfortunately I don’t play an instrument (yet). I’m really into the neo-soul/r&B/hip hop scene but also am a lover of jazz. Is there any open mic nights that you’d suggest I definitely check out? I will be in Paris from a Friday to Monday. I was quite keen on going to Anthracite but won’t be able to go to that. Are there ones that have house musicians that could possibly accompany me?
Thanks so much and keep it up with the blog, really enjoyable read!
February 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm
Hi, thanks for the comment. Friday and Saturday are the worst nights for open mics in Paris – almost nothing to speak of. Sunday night, it depends which Sunday of the month, often. Monday, if you are here in the night, you have the Tennessee where there is a piano and often musicians who can accompany you. But not certain. Unfortunately the one that is completely and entirely custom made for you is the one at the Cavern, which is on Wednesday nights and has a house band with which you sing. Even so, check out the web site for the Caveau des Oubliettes, which has musicians who jam together as a group and a vocalist who also joins them – but I cannot remember which nights are which for the kind of music they do. If you google the name you should find the site that lists when they have jams – it would work too. Oh, a final thought is the Swan Bar, which has its open mic on Wednesdays, but also does a kind of open stage late on Fridays and Saturdays, usually from midnight to 2 AM – but you should check first with them. There is a pianist who can accompany your singing, and the style will work. The Swan Bar is on my list.
March 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm
Hi Brad, Thanks so much for your swift response! Well I get in at 3pm on the Wednesday so I might actually check out the Cavern. Would you suggest I get there really early? Or maybe check out their website and contact them directly? If I have time the other nights, I might check out the other venues you mentioned. Thank you again, I really appreciate it! 🙂
March 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm
No need to arrive early, and I suspect that writing to their web site might be a waste of time. I suggest you arrive around 10:45 PM, as the jam starts at 10:30…but never does. Then you just raise your hand and say you would like to sing. They take you. You could even arrive at midnight and do the same thing, in my experience.
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May 22, 2013 at 3:38 pm
Hi, I was wondering where there would be a jam with a drum set there that I could “sit in” I am in paris at the moment for the next 8 days.
May 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm
Go to any of the jams at the Caveau des Oubliettes.
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May 31, 2013 at 5:04 pm
Hello. I am in Paris for tonight only – Friday, May 31. Hoping to get lucky and find an open mic night to jam. Suggestions / contacts would be appreciated. Thanks, George
May 31, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Sorry, I only saw this now…too late…. I’d have tried the open mic I listed for fridays….
May 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm
PS – I have my pedal steel guitar with me!
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June 18, 2013 at 3:08 am
Arriving in Paris June 19th, jazz fan and singer. looking for a jazz pal to cruise the scene with on Sat. Night when my guitar playing husband will abandon me for th 24 hr. car race in Le Manz. You can see/hear me on my web page http://www.BonnieGibson.com (capitals not necessary). I’m staying in Latin quarter. Trusting to the jazz karma angels to be contacted by only cool people, i’m going to risk posting my email address here. Bon@bonniegibson.com. Ps. I speak English & spanish. My French is fairly hideous. I like prerty straight ahead melodic jazz. Love traditional trio style stuff– stand up bass/piano/drums. Always interested in and supportive of other singers.
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August 18, 2013 at 3:45 pm
I coud add,
Caveau des Oubliettes jam on sunday nights (blues rock) kinda loud, have to be there early to get a seat, and more importantly
the excellent new jazzyblues jam at ‘le chair de poule’ , rue de meaux, hosted by Rob Armus :
August 18, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Thanks very much. Yes, I’ve done the Caveau des Oubliettes a couple of times, and I’m not sure why I have never got around to putting it on the list!!! I will do. I’ve heard about the Chair de poule, but not done it – thanks for that link, so now I know….
September 17, 2013 at 1:27 pm
the chair de poule jam is now both on mondays AND thursdays ! 🙂
September 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm
Thanks very much!
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August 19, 2013 at 11:50 pm
Thanks for the great resource! We’ll be in Paris from 22/8 through 26/8 (heading to London after that for some gigs) and I wanted to find some good jams to sit in at. I contacted Big Dez about the Caveau des Oubliettes, but this particular weekend he’ll be in Amsterdam so Jumpin’ Jeff will be hosting. I’ll definitely make that, but now (thanks to your blog) I have a few places to check out on Thursday, Friday, and Monday!
Very, very helpful blog. Please keep it up!
– Russell “Hitman” Alexander
August 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm
Thanks very much for the nice comment. It turns out that I’m off to Belgium from the 22 to the 26 exactly! But I will be back for the evening of the 26th, and I’m keen to try out the Chair de Poule jam, which it seems to me from what I can see on their facebook, could be a good place for you too. I’ve not put it on my own page yet since I only put up places I have attended. here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/events/117205091797688/
I also thought I should tell you that I learned last night that the Tennessee Bar open mic will still be closed on Thursday AND Monday, and is not scheduled to start again until September.
In any case, have a great trip.
August 26, 2013 at 9:48 am
Did the jam at Oubliettes last night, Jumpin’ Jeff was hosting (Big Dez was in Amsterdam). Not only is he an exceptional guitarist and performer, but he was a real gentleman and kept the jam moving. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the whole night as my wife was feeling ill. Be warned: it’s VERY hot in there, and the drinks are pretty expensive (11 Euros for a draft Guiness!) When we left, there was a fantastic guitarist from Italy playing, and a Japanese guy on harp blowing up a storm. The house band was extremely professional and provided a great rhythm section when I was playing, but there were many jammers there for drums and bass so they weren’t on for long once the jam started.
Brad, see you at Chair de Poul tonight – it starts at 7:30pm. I’m the tall guy in the hat.
August 28, 2013 at 5:46 pm
Hi Russell, thanks for the comment and the news. I traveled back from Belgium on Monday, and something came up that meant I couldn’t get to the Chair de Poule jam. I hope you return to Paris another time and I have the pleasure of hearing and meeting you. Thanks again. Brad
August 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm
After a few years of playing and singing for myself, I decided I would jump in front of some audience and try out some songs in public, playing my flashy steel dobro. I started last wednesday at the Highlander, oh well. A bit disappointed by the lack of attention from the audience. This must be a common complaint from beginner openmic performers like me… Anyway your blog is great. I will certainly keep on trying. Hope we’ll cross paths at some point.
August 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Thanks for that comment, and whatever you do, don’t be discouraged by the Highlander situation. I was not there that night, but I can assure you with all my experience with open mics and audiences around the world, that the Highlander audience is one of the world’s most challenging! The place, which I love, has a kind of tradition of incessant and raucous talk, talk, talk even during the best performances. Sometimes you CAN grab an audience and have them quieten down or sing along – but usually that is only with crowd pleaser songs. It is not representative at all of all open mics; although there are many with a similar situation. Just try a few more to see the difference…. And accept the Highlander as a big challenge!
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November 24, 2013 at 1:38 am
Thanks Brad! Super useful list. Hopefully I’ll bump into you at one of these open mics so I can buy you a pint to thank you in person.
November 24, 2013 at 2:25 pm
Thanks very much to you, Blake! Yes, maybe we will meet. It’s always great to hear when the list helps!!!
November 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm
I am looking to come to Paris on the 15th of Dec, I am a blues singer There for a couple of days thanks for your list
December 1, 2013 at 12:55 am
Cool, thanks very much for the feedback, Tom. Hope you found something here and maybe we’ll meet at one of the open mics…..
December 1, 2013 at 1:27 am
I just booked the flight so yea that would be great. Whats a good area to stay in for good access to these jams?
December 1, 2013 at 12:31 pm
the 5th or 6th arrondissement. Which also happen to be expensive.
December 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm
Look in airbnb.com, look for latin quarter, we stayed this spring for very reasonable prices good luck.
December 1, 2013 at 8:55 pm
Thanks Bonnie I will look at it
December 1, 2013 at 9:49 pm
Im looking at the Latin Quarter found erasable rates looking forward to the music and the city
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February 28, 2014 at 7:25 pm
I manage an 18 yr old British singer songwriter Joe Miles, he has a Paris fan base who are keen to see him perform his new EP ‘All Good Things’ that he wrote with Amy Wadge.
The french fans suggest between 50 and 100 will show up, but my problem is, where does he perform?
Can you suggest a suitable venue for a small electro/acoustic band to perform?
February 28, 2014 at 9:45 pm
Thanks for the message. The place that comes immediately to mind is Le Truskel, http://www.truskel.com which is a favorite place for young bands, and a real meeting place for young people around music and fun. At the same time, it has actually served as a place to play for people like Peter Doherty, members of the Cribs and Johnny Borrell. So, it’s cool and open to new music, obviously, although it is just a regular bar with a small stage. I am not entirely sure who does the bookings at the moment, although I know lots of people who play there or do DJ stuff. I could intervene, although I’m pretty busy in the next week – or you could just try yourself via the web site. There are other possible places, of course, as well, but that’s the place I’d start. Let me know if you want more.
March 1, 2014 at 7:01 am
Many thanks Brad, I’ll contact them via their website and see how I get on. I’ll update you on progress or problems either way!
March 1, 2014 at 10:33 am
Overnight I also thought of Le Cavern on rue Dauphine, with its cool cellar. They are at lecavernclub.com
March 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm
Hi Brad, unfortunately neither of the venues are replying to my emails, do you have an idea as to who their booking agents are?
Many thanks for your help.
March 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm
For the Truskel, send a message on Facebook to the owner, Laurent, perhaps he will answer:
Here’s an email address and phone number for the Cavern, you might try calling:
+33 1 43 54 53 82
I am leaving Paris for a week tomorrow, otherwise I’d try to help locally. But I can’t.
Let me know if these two methods fail, and when I return I can maybe try something else.
March 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm
Many thanks Brad, will keep you posted
March 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm
Great result, Joe and the Band are booked to Play Le Truskel on Friday 4th April.
I owe you a Pint!
Hope to meet you there, if you can make it.
March 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm
Fabulous! I’m really pleased with that! The only thing I don’t like is that I will be in Bahrain for the F1 race for my job. Too bad it hadn’t been booked when I was in town and could go – but I’m doing so much travel at the moment that it would have been tough any way you look at it! Hope it goes well….
March 18, 2014 at 7:44 pm
Many thanks Brad, shame you will be travelling.
We will be back in Paris again, now we have a connection with the venue.
Have a safe trip.
March 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm
Thanks very much. Maybe you’ll make further contacts while there, too.
March 20, 2014 at 8:11 pm
Hi Brad. Great Blog and such extensive and helpful open mic situation. My duo, Outlier, will be in Paris at the beginning of June this summer, and this list has really helped us get started figuring out where to play in Paris. We plan on hitting as many of these open mics as possible and hopefully get a gig or two. Thanks again and will be using your list as a guide while we’re in town. Take Care!!
March 21, 2014 at 11:23 am
Thanks a million, I’m going to check out your music. Thanks so much for letting me know the page helps. That’s what I love about doing this.
April 9, 2014 at 2:03 pm
Hi Brad, Many thanks for recommending Le Truskel, we had a great gig and an email from them asking why fans were queuing outside the venue before it opened!……….thats young women for you I guess! We are planning a return in September when Joe releases his next EP. Thanks again Mark
April 9, 2014 at 2:27 pm
Hi Mark, I’m so pleased that worked out to such a degree that even the Truskel people were wondering what was going on! I only wish I could have been there. I hope I will be around in September, as I’ll be traveling a lot at that time too.
I’m just in the middle of putting out a number of tracks I recorded in February, by the way, and don’t know if you saw the first of my videos with my song “When You’re Gone Away.” Check it out if you didn’t see it!:
Maybe I can open for Joe next time ’round! 😉
April 22, 2014 at 8:35 pm
First of all let me thank you for your article, it really helps open mic amateurs like me. Also I went to La Tireuse today and the barman told me they are stopping it (its been three weeks now) again.
Finally I would like to ask you 3 questions ( I hope you’ll have the time to anwer all of’em):
1. Which one is the best for you?
2. Do you know any good one in London?
3. Do you know any good one, in Paris or in London, that hosts alternative rock (specially shoegaze) open mic evenings?
I would also like to thank you in advance for taking the time to respond to my questions. I hope i’ll see some time to have a chat.
May 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm
Hi, so sorry to take so long to respond, but I’ve been travelling and doing other pressing things. I just had a chance to update my guide for Paris, and I thank you for alerting me to the Tireuse, which I had not visited since it closed, and I hadn’t been told by anyone else that it closed. I’ve now confirmed that with the guy who ran it…. Well, honestly, my list is the best place to look for which of those I find the most fun an interesting – it also basically tells which ones will host a band; i.e., Lizard Lounge, Tennessee, Belushis. There are none that I know that host specifically alternative rock. As for London, that is one of the world’s biggest open mic centres, possibly THE biggest. The best way to approach open mics there, if you haven’t already done it is to use the guide on the web for all of England. Check virtually acoustic open mic on google and you’ll find it. It’s a great guide. I’ve not done any in London for around 5 years, I think, so my own experience there is a little outdated…. I do great ones in Oxford each year, though, and I have a guide to those on my site….
May 2, 2014 at 1:12 am
I did a Brad Spurgeon open mic tour of Paris in 2012. Seven open mics in as many days. It was a slow walk down memory lane, as I was a professional folk musician in Europe for ten years back in 1975-85. I’ll be returning to Paris at the end of August and would love to play again. Thanks to Brad. I won’t have to look too far.
May 2, 2014 at 12:38 pm
Thanks a million! I’m very pleased and honored to receive a message like that. Also, it keeps me working to make sure I keep the open mic list up to date! Hope we can meet in August.
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May 13, 2014 at 9:20 pm
Will be traveling to Paris early next week and this Open Mic guide is spectacularly helpful!
Do you know if any of them have feature slots of some sort? Or know of any venues that might be willing to add me to a show this late in the game?
Here’s what I do :: http://www.margotmacdonald.com :: http://www.facebook.com/margotmacdonaldmusic
May 16, 2014 at 4:21 pm
Hi Margot, I’m so sorry it took so long to respond to you! I’ve been travelling and then catching up with various things. I’m leaving to travel again in a couple of days, so unfortunately I will miss you when you’re in Paris. Your music sounds fabulous! To answer your question, I don’t think many – if any – of these open mics have feature slots. The Lizard Lounge one does, but it’s just the first Sunday of the month, so I think you’re not here. On the other hand, lots of these places are probably open to a late gig idea – Tennessee Bar, Truskel are a couple of ideas that jump out at me. Or maybe the Cavern… (I’m not sure it’s still on my list because the open mic no longer runs – check out Cavern Paris in google. The others I have contact information for all of them.) If I have any other ideas, I’ll let you know.
May 21, 2014 at 9:56 am
I’d been told the Tenesse open mike stopped (but haven’t checked)
And I’d like to recommand the “pigalle country club” open mike on tuesdays around 21h30
59 rue pigalle
It’s a young atmosphere , no registering of any sort, just a relaxed “get there and start playing” style
May 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Thanks for your comment. On the other hand, the Tennessee bar open mic is indeed still functioning. It never stopped; but it did change MC last year. And I’m glad you can recommend the Pigalle Country Club open mic – it has been on my list of open mics in Paris for a year or so!!! I recommend it too! You must have missed reading the entry!
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August 19, 2014 at 8:44 pm
Hi I’m travelling to Paris 27-31st Aug. I’m a singer but don’t intend to perform, mostly want to check out the music scene and soak up atmosphere as an audience member. What night is the openmic at Le Cavern? Any other recommendations for vibe/atmosphere?
August 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm
Thanks for your message, Mel. The best place to find times and locations for open mics in Paris is the guide you have written this message in. But I’m wondering how you found out about the Cavern open mic, which is no longer on my list because it no longer exists! Not for about a year or so…. Check out some of the other places, though.
August 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm
Or did you not see the list? Check out this link – which is at the top of this page: http://bradspurgeon.com/worldwide-open-mic-thumbnail-guide/thumbnail-guide-to-paris-open-mics-jam-sessions-and-other-live-music/
August 19, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Hey Mel. I did a Brad Spurgeon tour about two years ago; it was fantastic. As it turns out, I’ll be in Paris the same time you are. I suggest we meet at the Highlander on Wednesday Aug 27th. It’s a great little place. Thomas Brun, the local singer-songwriter, runs the place. Hey Brad, what about you? If you show up, bring a guitar. I didn’t bring mine this trip.
August 19, 2014 at 11:05 pm
Great idea Paul! And thanks for the enthusiasm! Don’t forget that we don’t even need a guitar at the Highlander since Thomas provides one…. still, I bring mine anyway….
August 20, 2014 at 2:25 am
Yeah, we’ll do a couple of numbers together! I’m fairly decent on acoustic backup. I’ll be the white-haired guy with a college t-shirt. Also, if you know any French songwriters, invite them along. I’m looking for a French lyricist.
August 20, 2014 at 4:39 pm
OK, cool. I’m sure there will be several French songwriters, although most have a tendency to want to write in English!
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October 1, 2014 at 3:00 am
I’m headed for Paris in a few days without my guitar. Any open mics where a friendly local musician would loan me one?
October 1, 2014 at 11:21 am
In my experience you would have that situation at every one of the open mics on my list! So don’t hesitate to choose any of them.
October 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm
I had good luck at the HIGHLANDER a few weeks back. Thomas Brun is the host.
From somewhere a guitar appeared and I played a three song set and had the honor of backing up Brad himself afterward.
Three cheers to Brad for providing this service for us wandering troubadours.
October 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm
Thank you Paul! And here is the report I put up on the blog two days later: http://bradspurgeon.com/2014/08/29/3-paris-open-mics-over-two-nights-paris-wakes-up-or-maybe-it-was-just-me/
A google search for highlander paul penfield also brings up the video on this report…!
December 15, 2014 at 12:57 pm
This is great information. I’m in Paris 31 Dec to 2 January. Do you think any of these venues will still be offering their events. I’d love to bring my travel guitar from the USA and play while I’m there.
December 15, 2014 at 1:00 pm
Thanks. Yes most keep going through the holiday period. Beung your guitar or use the ones that are so often part of the open mic.
December 16, 2014 at 12:58 am
That’s brilliant. Thanks for your site and this wealth of information that makes it all come together :-).
December 16, 2014 at 1:19 pm
Try the Highlander if its open on those nights. Brad and I played there this summer.
I’ve done two Brad Spurgeom open mic tours of Paris and loved both of them. I’ll be back for another next year.
December 16, 2014 at 5:40 pm
Thanks Paul, I’ll be calling them both today! Will let you know.
December 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm
Brad, I called Le Bombardier. Joseph had me email him and he’d write back nearer the time if they DID NOT have open mic on New Year’s eve. I also spoke to the Highlander who said their open mic is definitely on, on 1 January. Looks like I have two venues to play some songs. Not sure if you or any other Spurgeon fans are in Paris but it would be nice to say hello. BTW, I like your video ‘When You’re Gone Away’. Paul, sorry I’ll miss you this time around.
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February 27, 2015 at 8:31 pm
Would you have any tips on how a solo acoustic act might pursue getting first time gigs in Paris? I am thinking of traveling through Europe for a few months and thought it would stellar to actually play a few shows in addition to open mics on the way. Is it as simple as sending the venue links to one’s tracks or might I have more success seeking an audition at the venue? Thanks for the informative post.
March 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm
Hi Jessel, thanks for the message. It’s no different in Paris than anywhere else: Every method is worth trying! Of course, write the venues and send links to your music. But coming and playing in open mics in Paris and meeting other musicians, meeting the people who run the bars, and networking with people just to find the right places – having people hear your music so they can suggest places, etc…. it’s really the same here as everywhere! But nothing beats being proactive. Some bars don’t book without emails being sent, some bars book on seeing and hearing live.
March 17, 2015 at 4:32 pm
Hi ! Nice work with this page.
I love to perform but unfortunatly, I don’t write my own songs. Are covers allowded in the open mics on this list ?
March 17, 2015 at 4:36 pm
Covers are allowed at all open mics in Paris, yes, certainly. In fact, in my experience, there are very few open mics anywhere in the world that require only original songs; although I do know that some MCs do sometimes prefer musicians who showcase their originals. I wonder if they’d have let Nina Simone or Frank Sinatra or a few other people interpret do stuff!!??? 😉
March 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm
Great news ! Thank you for your quick response. I’m a bit far from Nina Simone’s level though I guess…. 😉
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June 12, 2015 at 7:54 pm
Hi Brad –
just found your blog tonight. I’m from California, been in Paris now for 3 weeks, I’ve got 6 more weeks to go. I’m interested in going to some open mics. I’m not a singer, but I sing w/ friends (acoustic, full band, etc), or family events. I do mostly cover. I’ve missed singing so much since i got here (I usually sing w/ friends or in my car… and since I don’t have a car here, I thought it’d be weird if I sing out loud while I am on the street). Anyway – in California, I have been told to try out on open mic, but I never have…. since I’ll be in Paris for a few weeks, and since perhaps I’d feel a little “safer” since I technically don’t know anyone, thought I’d give it a try.
I have one problem…. I don’t play any musical instrument – no guitar, no keyboard. I always have someone accompanying me. Any suggestions on how I could find someone who might be interested in accompanying me? I have a few go-to songs that I could start with.
Thanks much in advance!
June 12, 2015 at 8:20 pm
Hi Isa, thanks for the letter. You know, if you turn up at any of the open mics on this list of mine, I’m pretty sure you can find someone who will play guitar for you while you sing. That happens to be one of my worst abilities – like it’s not even really an ability chez me – but if we should cross paths at the open mics, I might be able to suggest someone who I think is nice. Come to think of it, Brislee Adams, at his open mic at the Café Oz, has a wide cross section of pop songs in his head that he can play on guitar, and I see him accompanying people occasionally. That might be a good start! I’m here until next Thursday, then off again, then back again, then off again…. and not sure which places I’ll be showing up at. OH, yes, 1 place I will definitely do is on Sunday, place de Clichy, the first one on the Sunday list! I will be there, helping Raphaelle to organize – so if you want to show up there… who knows!!!
June 12, 2015 at 8:24 pm
Hi Brad – thanks so much for the quick reply!! AARGH! Would have loved to show up there this Sunday, but I’m going to Mont St-Michel and Loire Valley until Monday 🙁
I’ll check out Café Oz next week. And maybe when you’re back (before you’re off again :)) our paths would cross!
Thanks again for the quick reply. Really appreciate it.
June 12, 2015 at 8:27 pm
OK, cool. Most places are very friendly, and virtually all have MCs who speak English – so you should not have a problem.
June 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm
Hi…this is a great resource. I want to visit the open mic jam session at the Swan Bar and Caveau des Oubliettes, do you know if there is a cover share or a drink minimum? Also, I am looking for some guys or gals who would like to start a Jazz/Soul band. Three pieces would be cool for start, plus myself, the vocalist/percussionist. I’m new in Paris, less then 2 months, but I know that I want to do live music. Your reply would be most appreciated. Thanks.
June 17, 2015 at 12:27 pm
At the Swan bar the drinks are costly and there is sometimes a cover charge as well. At the Caveau des Oubliettes, no problems! You have your best chance of finding people to play with for a Jazz/Soul band at the Caveau des Oubliettes, definitely….
June 17, 2015 at 12:45 pm
Thank you for your immediate reply. I will most definitely check out Caveau des Oubliettes first! I am heading there tonight! … Enough of singing out loud in my apartment. 🙂
June 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm
I suggest you also try Sheldon Forrest’s Thursday night open mic, where he plays piano and you sing (or play and sing). I’ve not done it, but I know his style from his doing the same at the Swan Bar. Find the info on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jazzpianist1968
June 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm
YES!!! Thank you Brad.
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September 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm
Paul, this list is great. How up to date is it? Are there any other venues, apart from the highlander, that could lend me an acoustic guitar for a performance? If possible, please send me an email as I have a bunch of questions.
September 1, 2015 at 12:35 pm
Apologies, I meant Brad**
September 4, 2015 at 11:14 am
Actually, although there are no set rules about that, in my experience you can basically be pretty sure to get to borrow an acoustic guitar at almost any venue. In general the MC of an open mic provides the guitar they use for the use of other musicians, or generally brings one for that use even if they themselves don’t play. I can’t really think of any open mics that don’t do this – except some of the pretty non-traditional once where there’s just a piano in a kind of live karaoke evening, like at the Swan bar.
September 7, 2015 at 6:25 pm
Thanks. Any recommendations for Saturday night apart from Swan and Quiet man? Or did I not read the list correctly?
September 11, 2015 at 6:39 am
Thursday update: escargot underground is gone. Carre st michel is closed & dark at 10 pm. Caveau/oubliettes has fusion, not funk. HTH
September 11, 2015 at 10:58 am
Escargot Underground is not gone – just closed for the summer. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates as to when they will open again; I think it’s next Thursday. Carré St. Michel, I dropped by two weeks ago, to find a sign on their door saying they were now located across the street. Not sure yet if the open mic continues in the bar facing them, or even if it is just temporary and just closed for the summer. Preferred not to change my page yet until it is clear. Caveau/oubliettes does what it wants when it wants, and even when they say it is a rock jam it is a blues jam. Can’t be responsible for their vagaries. Sorry this free information was clearly not up to you expectations; but you’ll have a hard time finding a better, more personal, up-to-date list for Paris. Others take my information but don’t try the places themselves.
September 11, 2015 at 12:23 pm
Any chance you’d like to come and check out our monthly American musical theatre open mic series in Paris? After two seasons at the Carré Parisien in the 15th, we just transferred into the beautiful Comédie Nation theatre (77, rue de Montreuil – 75011 Paris). Our Broadway au Carré evenings take place every second Thursday of the month, with a cabaret concert at 7:30 pm and an Open Mic at 9pm. Tickets are 13€ (10€ for students) and include a drink. Online reservations and specific program each month at http://www.comedienation.fr
Our open mic is accompanied by one of Broadway au Carré’s featured musical theatre pianists, all wonderful specialists of the musical theatre repertoire. We don’t do backing tracks at the open mic though, so the singers should bring their scores for the pianist. We’ll also have a drum set at the venue starting in October, so if any drummers are interested in jamming to musical theatre, they are also welcome to join!
For more info on the series, check out our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/broadwayaucarre or our member page at the ETAP (English-speaking Theatre Arts in Paris) website: http://www.etap.paris/companies/broadway-au-carre/
Hope to see you there soon!
September 11, 2015 at 4:48 pm
I definitely want to try this when I can – when I’m not on a trip somewhere else in the world. I will try to do that within the next month.
September 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm
Great! Let us know when you come! (email@example.com) Next dates are Thursday Oct 8th and Thursday Nov 12th. Hope to see you soon!
October 6, 2015 at 9:00 pm
Hi Brad, I’m a harp player over in Paris this weekend til Monday, Staying in the Latin Quarter- where would the nearest blues jam be where I could wander in with my girlfriend and act surprised? Great blog by the way, hope you can help..
October 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm
Maybe the Sunday night at the Caveau des Oubliettes? And try out your pot luck at the Noctambules open mic on Friday, run by Raphaëlle, that depends on who else is there. Maybe you can ask if there’s anyone who wants to jam a long with you. Just depends who is there, and while it is mostly an open mic, if there are people who want to play together, that’s done too….
October 8, 2015 at 12:28 pm
Hi Brad – great info on your blog. I live in Stuttgart and will be traveling to Paris 23-26 Oct and hope to play in the open mic at O’Sullivan’s Rebel Bar on Sunday. I was also wondering if you have any tips on busking locations and rules in Paris. If the weather is good, I’d like to give it a go.
October 8, 2015 at 12:31 pm
Thanks for the compliment. Unfortunately, I don’t have any idea about busking locations in Paris. I do know that in the metro you need to have a busking license, which you have to audition for. That takes time, I think, so the metro could be risky. Other than that, I’ve seen buskers on one or two of the Seine bridges, but I have no idea how long that works before the cops arrive….
October 8, 2015 at 6:01 pm
Thanks, that’s good to know about the metro, I’ll stay away from there. Maybe I’ll just hit the Centre Pompidou, see what’s what and give you a report when I return – if you’re interested. Does the Rebel Bar still have their open mic on Sundays? I looked at the website and it isn’t quite clear – it actually states resident dj on the weekends.
October 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm
I’m not really interested in the busking side of Paris, don’t worry about that. Yes, the Rebel bar is still operating on Sundays. They close the open mic for about half the year, saying it’s a summer break. But they’re back open now….
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December 8, 2015 at 7:39 pm
Hi Brad! you sent me to Club Raye to an open mic and it led into a regular booking as guest artist. Thank you. Now I am looking for “House of Blues” in Europe. Are there any? Also, I really need a booking agent. Any suggestions? Thanks
December 8, 2015 at 11:45 pm
I’m so delighted to hear that!!!! But sorry to have to say I have no ideas about any booking agents. Sorry. I really don’t know anyone, or where to look….
January 30, 2016 at 5:28 pm
Hello Brad, would you like to come to our open mic ? let’s have a look on the event on facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/events/178079832548207/
See ya there 😀
March 15, 2016 at 9:51 pm
First of all thanks for this post, it has been fun to read. I was wondering though if you could recommend a specific open mic night for a not so experienced songwriter with stage fright, like myself. I want to challenge myself by playing here in Paris, but I do need to feel comfortable enough to do so. Do you know about a place where all levels of songwriting are appreciated? Also I play the piano, so there should be one available. I hope you can help!
Thanks in advance 🙂
March 16, 2016 at 4:03 am
Try the Tennessee bar on Mondays.
March 19, 2016 at 1:02 pm
Will do, thanks!
March 16, 2016 at 3:26 am
Thanks for the listings.
I’m about to visit Paris & am a singer songwriter who would like to play while there.I didn’t see any listings for country flavored music but found your info very interesting & useful.
Gene D Plumber
March 16, 2016 at 4:04 am
Yes, there is no breakdown of open mics by genre aside from in general, blues or all the rest….
April 18, 2016 at 4:20 pm
I met few weeks ago Wayne Standley who advised me to search for your blog in order to have more informations about Open Mics in Paris. Indeed, your website is very useful ! Wenesday 20th will be the first time I’ll go to an Open Mic so I’m a bit freaking out… I’m playing guitar and singing alone but two of my friends will be there to support me. Do you think The Highlander is a good bar for a first show ? Do I need to bring my guitar, a mic or something ?
April 18, 2016 at 10:55 pm
I don’t know if there is any bar that is good for a first time. But you will, or should, find support at the Highlander. But don’t be discouraged if there is a lot of talking, as that’s a trademark of the place. You don’t need to bring your own guitar or anything else. There is a house guitar. Of course, I always feel more comfortable with my own, so I bring it and use it. Whatever.
April 19, 2016 at 3:12 pm
Alright thanks for the advices !
May 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm
I am getting my back to my first love, which is singing, but I am very nervous. Please tell me which one to cut my teeth on. Classically trained, but love jazz and R&B.
May 25, 2016 at 10:14 pm
Jazz and R&B, maybe the Soirée Buzz on Wednesday. Or the Caveau des Oubliettes. Or the jam at the Duc des Lombards.
May 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm
I’ve got to add your places to my list of open mics in Barcelona, which I will do soon….
May 25, 2016 at 10:16 pm
Wrote that to the wrong person, sorry.
June 4, 2016 at 8:27 am
Thanks for the great list! I’m a San Francisco guitarist who just got off a tour with a Mississippi soul artist and decided to come to Paris and hang out and meet new musicians so your list is perfect!
June 4, 2016 at 10:38 pm
And thank you for that feedback! I am about to go off on a two week trip to Canada and Azerbaijan, so I won’t likely meet you here, unfortunately. But hope we can meet another time if you come back….
July 30, 2016 at 11:21 am
Glad to see you’re keeping everything updated.
my contribution: there is now also an excellent Blues Jam session at the Oasis 244 on thursdays, which is actually pretty good with a friendly atmosphere (reminds me of the best days of the jams in the Biz-art ;)) it strikes a good balance between openness and quality. The jam is hosted by Paul who does a great job of getting people who havent’ met before to play together
The open mic at the oasis on wenesdays is also still on and it is now hosted by Thierry.
July 30, 2016 at 2:27 pm
Thanks very much. I’ll put that Thursday jam on the page. The Wednesday open mic is there already. I only put up places I have attended, but I know the 244 well and have done two or three different kinds of nights there in the past.
September 22, 2016 at 3:23 pm
Swan Bar closed a few months ago. Very sad. There are very few open mics in the 6th or 14th.
September 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm
Thanks for pointing out that I forgot to remove the Swan Bar from the venues list, although I had indeed removed it from the three other places I had previously had it under open mics. It used to have an open mic on Wednesday, and a jam thing on Friday and on Saturday. As soon as I learned it closed down, I got rid of those, as I try to keep this as up-to-date as possible. Yes, sad indeed. It became a real institution in Paris since it was founded.
October 11, 2016 at 9:18 am
Thanks for the update. I played a jazz CD release there in 2013. Nice vibe.
October 13, 2016 at 9:32 am
Do you know of any weekend jazz jam sessions in Limoges, Fr.? Thanks.
October 13, 2016 at 9:34 am
Sorry, no ! I’ve never been to Limoges. (They might fear the high notes will break the China ware!)
October 21, 2016 at 8:03 pm
Hey you need to update your list. My name is Jay Golden and I’m from Baltimore Md, and for the last 2 years I’ve been doing a jam also. If you have the time pass by Les Cariatides bar 3 rue Plaestro Paris 75002 in Les Halle. My jam is called Jay Golden’s Jam School. It’s a jam workshop where each week it’s a different style of music. It’s every Wednesday night from 9:30 to midnight. The 1st week is Jazz, 2nd week is Funk / Groove, 3rd week is Blues / Rock & Roll / Rock, and the 4th week is Soul / Old R&B, and I give the jammers 10 songs in each style to learn for the jam. You really should come and check it out.
October 22, 2016 at 6:29 pm
Hey, I think you need to change your approach! Don’t give the impression that my open mic list is not updated regularly. It is! No, what you need to do is just suggest I come to your jam! I have, in fact, heard of your jam session, of course. But my blog consists only of open mics and jams that I have actually attended. I’m definitely interested in checking yours out! So see you soon, no doubt. Thanks again for your interest.
March 5, 2017 at 12:14 am
Hi Brad- thanks for the great list! I will be in Paris March 18-20 and hope to check out one of the jams- but will be travelling sans guitar! Would you have a recommendation if I’m looking for an electric jam and need to borrow a guitar…? with a house band to back me on sat, sun, or monday? rock on! JP
March 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm
Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a great trip here. The place you want for this will be the Blues jam at the Caveau des Oubliettes on Sunday night. The place is on my list of open mics under Sunday and other days. http://www.caveau-des-oubliettes.com
March 9, 2017 at 6:41 pm
Hello Brad ! As usual, I love the blog. Just a quick update: the Tennesse jam/open mic is only os Tuesdays now! Would be very greatful if that’s updated since I keep checking the list regularly 😉
March 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm
Thanks for the message. Yes, the Tennessee is a tough one to keep track of. Ever since James Iansiti stopped running the open mic a few years ago, they have periods with an open mic, then periods without, then periods with…. A friend of mine was running an open mic there on the Thursday within the last two months. I’ll check to see if it is definitively not happening, or if it is just occasional….
March 23, 2017 at 11:28 am
Thanks Brad for this blog. I am an English singer-songwriter/ musician who is quite active these days on the Paris Open Mike scene.
Just wanted to share my impressions of some of the events I have taken part in.
Clin’s 20 (Tuesday nights) is a real pleasure. Warm friendly atmosphere, talented host musician, nice bar staff. There are two drawbacks: the material, which is in a pretty poor state, and the fact that there is no sign-in cut off, which means that as people arrive – however late – they get to perform. It’s all on a strict one track at a time basis so if you want to play 2 or 3 songs you’ll need to arrive early and stay until the end.
I enjoyed the Friday night event at Ton Air de Brest. Again a friendly and capable host musician and a nice crowd.
The Oasis 244 (Thursday) is a bit of a mixed bag and, if you are there early, you have to endure the host musician ‘warming up the room’ by crucifying some rock covers. In fact, it’s quite a job to get him and his misguided solid electric guitar off the stage throughout the evening.
The Oasis 244 (Saturday), together with the more recently instigated ‘Note Bleue’ café (Friday) – I combine them as they currently have the same host -, are generally well attended and lively. They do, however, veer far too much towards the ‘jam’ model for my taste (by which you can understand playing the same chord pattern for 10 or 15 minutes without too much happening) rather than the open mike model. It may be ok, possibly, for those on stage but its all rather unedifying for those who are not. The host musician is another who massacres ‘warm-up’ covers with no regard for the melody, lyrics, chord structures or feel of the original tunes – all of which come out pretty much the same. Musicians you have been warned.
March 23, 2017 at 11:39 am
Thanks for that! I look forward to reading further such observations!!
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May 16, 2017 at 7:25 am
Just wanted to mention the monday open mic at the Rush Bar (rue saint sebastien) hosted by Charlie Seymour, which turns out to be a super nice session with a respectful audience that actually listens to the music , in a cool and friendly atmosphere
details here : https://www.facebook.com/rushbaropenmic/
May 16, 2017 at 11:29 am
Thanks very much. I’ve heard lots of good things about this open Mic, and I’m looking forwarded go attending it as soon as I can so I can put it on my list!
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June 23, 2017 at 8:57 am
Hi Brad !
Thank you so much for this amazing list, I thought that it would take me long hours of internet search to find places for me but you made it so much easier !
I just had a question if that’s ok.
I’m a song writer (vocals and piano), with i guess a pop feel, and i wanted to ask you if you could recommend the best places for that, that would have a keyboard / piano on stage?
Thank you for your answer and the work you put into this list !
June 23, 2017 at 9:01 am
I just wrote a comment but not sure if it worked so i’ll write it again!
I know this is an old post but hopefully u’ll see this !
I’m a singer songwriter on piano, i do pop stuff, and i was wondering if u could recommend some open mics that could fit for this, with a piano / keyboard ?
Thank you SO MUCH for this list
it’s so good and you’re a time saver
August 3, 2017 at 5:12 pm
Have you checked out the Jay Golden’s Jam School? It started at Les Petit Balcon 3yrs ago, then moved to Les Cariatides, and now at the Disquaiers. My name is Jay Golden, and my jam is unique in that each week there’s a different style of music. The 1st week is Jazz, 2nd week is Funk-Groove, 3rd week is Blues, Rock and Roll, and the 4th week is Soul old school. Open to all, professional and amateur. There is a list for each week that last for 4 months then we change the list. For musicians to find the list they have to go to my Facebook page Jay Golden’s Jam School. And everyone gets to play.
September 12, 2017 at 4:57 am
Thank so very much for the marvelous and comprehensive list! It’s a lot of work to compile, and it’s much appreciated. I’ll be over in Oct and looking forward to checking out as many of these as I can. Again, many thanks!
September 17, 2017 at 7:40 pm
Sorry to take so long to respond! Thank you a million times over for your comment, which makes doing the blog a necessity! Hope you find a lot of fun playing in Paris….
October 4, 2017 at 10:16 pm
Thanks for the blog. I am visiting Paris this October and I hope to jam somewhere in the city. How up to date is your list? I’m definitely seeing Les Rolling Stones.
October 5, 2017 at 5:09 pm
Very up-to-date! Good luck!
October 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm
Thank you so much!
I’m playing the Sawmill Sessions tonight.
Many thanks for all your hard work on the jam info!!! I’ll be going to as many as possible!
Envoyé de mon iPhone
October 12, 2017 at 11:10 am
Hi Brad and fellow readers. Just to let you know that the previously moderately useful openmics.com/fr/ no longer seems to be maintained at all. Other than that, I can report that:
– the Thursday night Café Jean event has restarted and takes place the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month
– the Clin’s 20 Tuesday night event has migrated to La Pelouse (metro Botzaris) where it may or may not be permanently hosted. (I was at the ‘trial’ session held on 10/10)
and that’s about all.
October 23, 2017 at 5:14 pm
I went along to the first ever Sunday night Open Mic organised by the Paris Songwriters Club at the Tennessee bar (12, rue André Mazet, 75006, Paris).
This first session gave me a positive impression, highlights being an intimate quiet setting, respectful and supportive attendees, a charming and welcoming host, an adequate sound system, although no keys (the upright piano on stage being purely for decoration) and a generous 3-song-per-performer slot.
The name of the game is to play originals, a rule which the host Paddy enforced with much good humour but also some firmness.
Kick off was around 8 and I would expect this event to be well attended in the future. Even at this very first session all the seats were taken by the end.
October 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm
Le Baryton is permanently closed.
October 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm
Too bad! Thanks, I’ve removed it from the list.
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May 22, 2018 at 10:06 pm
Hi, thanks a lot for all this. I wanted to see open mic music last monday and there was at ALL these places :
Yellow mad monkey
That was very helpful to run through your post and not spending hours on the net to find all these places.
Thanks a lot again!
June 9, 2018 at 5:03 pm
Thanks – yes, they are all on the list. Watch out, though, the open mic at the Pop In is on Sundays!
October 29, 2018 at 12:02 am
Hello Brad, I’d like to know if they accept bands at the Pop In on Sundays, and if they put the equipment (amps and drums) or you have to take your own ones. Thank you!
October 29, 2018 at 11:43 am
You have to bring your own equipment. I haven’t done the Pop In for a long time, but in the past it was pretty basic – no time to set up a band. Also, by the way, I have not checked with them recently, but I know the Pop In was closed by the French authorities for something, and I am not sure it is reopened. You better check that before you go! I should make note of this on the blog, too.
October 29, 2018 at 12:04 am
Hello Brad, I’d like to know if they accept bands at Pop In on Sundays and if they put the equipment (amps and drums) or if you have to bring your own one. Thank you!
October 29, 2018 at 11:43 am
You have to bring your own equipment. I haven’t done the Pop In for a long time, but in the past it was pretty basic – no time to set up a band. Also, by the way, I have not checked with them recently, but I know the Pop In was closed by the French authorities for something, and I am not sure it is reopened. You better check that before you go! I should make note of this on the blog, too.
October 29, 2018 at 11:43 am
You have You have to bring your own equipment. I haven’t done the Pop In for a long time, but in the past it was pretty basic – no time to set up a band. Also, by the way, I have not checked with them recently, but I know the Pop In was closed by the French authorities for something, and I am not sure it is reopened. You better check that before you go! I should make note of this on the blog, too.to bring your own equipment. I haven’t done the Pop In for a long time, but in the past it was pretty basic – no time to set up a band. Also, by the way, I have not checked with them recently, but I know the Pop In was closed by the French authorities for something, and I am not sure it is reopened. You better check that before you go! I should make note of this on the blog, too.
October 31, 2018 at 10:03 am
Okay, thank you! Yeah I saw they closed the basement part, so sad 🙁 Do you know any open mics where you can play electric and not acoustic mode? Thank you again
January 2, 2019 at 12:17 am
I am from the US (sorry), and am going to be in Paris on Feb 1st and 2nd. I was hoping to play some shows if possible and this list is very helpful. Thank you for sharing. Also if there is anything else you suggest or any other tips I am all ears. This is my first time in Paris, and sadly I do not speak French, so it will be an adventure. Thank you.
January 5, 2019 at 7:54 pm
Thank you for the comment, and glad to be of service. I can only calm all of your fears about French. Practically none of the open mics in Paris have problems with English speakers, or speaking English, and you will find that even at a majority of them the French people are singing English songs!!
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March 22, 2019 at 9:49 am
I’m coming to Paris with my 15 yer-old daughter between the 8th and 12th of April, and I’m looking for a place for her to do a set. Your blog is brilliant, but a bit overwhelming. Could you suggest the best places to contact to be reasonably sure of a place? An added problem is that she won’t have her guitar with her, and would have to be able to borrow one at the venue! If it helps for a reply, you can see her on https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC41h3Edk_IeZ3TDbYYofl2A
March 25, 2019 at 7:03 pm
Thanks for the compliment. In fact, none of the places will give her a place on the list in advance. They don’t work like that in Paris. You have to go on the night she wants to play, and sign up on the list, or make your presence known. I don’t know of any of these places that does NOT have a guitar on hand to lend to the musicians to play when they come. All I can suggest is that you get to any of the places early to guarantee a spot on the list – places like the Highlander fill up very quickly. But I think I mention all that in the list itself. Paris is small enough that you can also move from one place to another if you don’t like what you find. Best of luck! There should be no problem whatever place you choose. (Although I don’t know if any of the bars will question her age….)
May 27, 2019 at 7:12 pm
This is an amazing resource – thank you so much! We’re a new band (duo) touring Europe for the first time and landing in Paris August 11th. We’re told this time of year a lot of places are closed. Do you know which would likely still be open? We need to practice our set together as we live in different countries 🙂
May 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm
Hi, thanks for the compliment, and good luck on your upcoming trip. I’m sorry, but I really can’t say which will be closed in August. That’s a pretty big job for me to inquire at each of them. It can change year to year. But there are so many venues in Paris that I think you’ll have no problem finding lots of places to play at! And Paris is not so big that you lose a whole night or day travelling around to a place. You can just call up the one that interests you on any given day, to see if they are still open in August for the open mic.
June 28, 2019 at 1:25 pm
Great blog post thanks. What in your opinion are the top 2 or 3 open mic nights for a classic rock group in terms of atmosphere, sound and stage space to fit 4?
October 8, 2019 at 3:29 am
Thanks for the great blog. I am a professional jazz pianist in the States.
I will be in Paris October 11-23. I have one performance scheduled, with another possible performance or master class. I also am interested in jazz jams, and coffeehouses with a piano. I currently am performing a 90th Bill Evans birthday celebration.
Let me know what you think. Thanks.
December 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm
hi larry. I have no idea how I missed this, and so obviously I am too late for you. But I hope you had a good time in Paris and found lots of places to play from my list! Sorry again. I just hope this list helped you.
January 15, 2020 at 9:25 pm
Well it’s curious how I came to your blog, I taped the name in YouTube of a guy who plays in the group Pépite and I saw him recorded by you in I don’t know what bar. The band is amazing and they started playing when I was living in Paris. I hope I just visited your blog in 2018 and 2019 while I was there, it’s true that I was very busy but my life could have been easier in this city if I discovered this amazing list before, if you ever come to Salamanca Spain I’ll show you the nice open mics we have here. Amazing job! this year when I come to Paris I would like to visit some, if you could suggest me the most authentic ones I’d be grateful. Amazing job my friend and I like very much your voice, keep doing so
January 18, 2020 at 12:45 am
A million thanks for your words! Yes, by all means, I will contact you if I pass by Salamanca!!!
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