An open mic day is a live show at which anyone, amateur or professional, can have the opportunity to perform onstage in front of real live human beings. For amateurs, this is often their first performance. For professionals, they may be promoting an upcoming performance or major event. The performer is provided with a microphone which is plugged into a PA system to make the individual’s performance loud enough for the audience to hear. The performers will sign up with the host and are given a time to perform in the show and will normally perform for 10 to 15 minutes. The event is focused on music but may include poetry, comedy etc.
These afternoons provide an opportunity for emerging artists to gain experience performing to a live audience without having to go through the process of getting normal music gigs, which can be very difficult to do. Open mics also provide an outlet for singer-songwriters of all genres to test new songs with an audience.
Open mic day has no cover charge and the performers are not paid. This is not a jam session where many artists get together on stage but rather a more structured afternoon where individuals will get a chance to try their hand at live performance, usually with an acoustic guitar or electronic piano.