Conquer stage fright with Denver's ultimate open mic list


Creative minds have always found a home in the city of Denver.

The Mile High City is known for its large craft beer scene, for its blossoming cannabis industry, for opening hipster coffee shops on every corner, and for providing a promising home to tech startups. All these creative industries give Denverites the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax, and enjoy some home-grown entertainment with a booming open mic culture.

The amount of support behind Denver's late-night open mics is astonishing. These classic crowd-sourced performances are popping up all over the city, every night of the week.

This onslaught of performances isn't just a recent phenomenon, though. Colorado's comedy and music scenes have pumped out some serious A-list talent over the years, including Tim Allen, Roseanne Barr, T.J. Miller, Bill Murray, Kristen Schaal, DeVotchKa, John Denver, Glenn Miller, and OneRepublic just to name a few.

If you're looking for a good laugh or, better yet, if you're ready to own the stage alongside fellow performers, this is definitely the city to visit. If nothing else, come for the surprise celebrity visits. You never know who will join the fun on any given night.

No matter when you come or where you stay, there's a local open mic for you. From the dozens of shows every week, here is the only list you need to check before your Denver adventures begin.

Photo by Richie Lugo

SUNDAY

Comedy
Deep Draft Brewing Company
Second and fourth Sundays
6:30 p.m. Sign-up / 7:00 p.m. Show / 21+
Hosted by Malcontent Comedy

Though the stage is nothing fancy, the show is always fun. Casual and bright, you'll fit right in here as everybody's welcome. And after a few rounds, who knows. You might even feel like scribbling your name on the list. Bottoms up!

Music
Ziggie's Live Music (Blues Jam)
7:00 p.m.

Any blues lovers in the house? Don't miss the only completely blues-themed open mic in the city. There's nothing like connecting with strangers in a new city and becoming musical soulmates in the same night.

The Squire Lounge
10:00 p.m.

Because two open mics are better than one. The dim lighting, the island bar with craft beer taps all around, the high-top tables and the minimalist stage tucked in the back corner make this the ideal hangout for an intimate open mic set. This is the place to go if you like getting up close and personal with performers.

MONDAY

Comedy
Goosetown Tavern
7:30 p.m. Sign-up / 8:00 p.m. Show / 21+
Hosted by Jon Wilkins

A classic night out in Denver, open mic comedy at the Goosetown Tavern has been a staple in the neighborhood for a while. Come join a gaggle of regulars to let out your Monday blues with a good laugh.

Music
Mead St. Station
8:30 p.m.

Pop into this trendy Highlands bar for your 20 minutes of musical bliss. This is the place to whip out your acoustic originals and wow the crowd while owning the small stage with a big sound. Not to mention, the food is to die for.

TUESDAY

Comedy
Comedy Works New Talent Night
Call to sign up: (303) 477-7844
7:30 p.m. / 21+
Coordinated by Deacon Gray

Turn things up a notch and book yourself a cozy spot on the New Talent Night lineup at Denver's downtown Comedy Works. Don't sweat it. All the greats start out somewhere. After you nail your last punchline, wander the off stage into the cityscape of Denver and soak in the after-hours nightlife.

Music
Fiction Beer Company
Second week of the month
7:30 p.m.

Where you're going, you don't need a stage. Surrounded by books, you and your band get to play among the crowd here at Fiction Beer Company. Literally. Your soon-to-be fans can ogle your guitar solos and reach out for a handshake at the same time. Don't worry. The acoustics and free popcorn machine make up for the lack of a stage.

WEDNESDAY

Comedy
Syntax Physic Opera
7:30 p.m. Sign-up / 8:00 p.m. Show / 21+
Comic Limit: 20
Hosted by Mara Wiles

Whew, that name is a mouthful. And so is this open mic. With a bitingly hilarious host to set the tone, this show brings out the truth in every comic. Not ready for that yet? It's a great show to watch amateurs own their work and step out of their comfort zones. Don't miss it if you like watching people squirm.

Sexy Pizza Open Mic
7:00 p.m. / 18+
Hosted by Jacob Hamel

Sexy. Pizza. Two words, one show. For anyone who likes pizza with their fun, you won't be disappointed by Denver's local pies. Oh, and the open mic's pretty great too.

Music
Brik on York
9:30 p.m.

Chill out with some local cool kids who like their pizza the way they like their city, tailored and trendy. Brik is a bit classier than your average pizza joint, so you might want to button up that shirt and swap your flip-flops for actual shoes.

THURSDAY

Comedy
Comedy RoomRoom
9:30 p.m. / 21+
Hosted by Preston Tompkins

Pour a shot of tequila into your comedy and let the magic happen. This alt-comedy side room is where it's at. From hot-button issues to taboo topics to nerd roasts of fictitious characters, this show alone will make your Denver itinerary happy.

Music
Blush & Blu
10:00 p.m.

Whether performing for the hundredth time or sipping cocktails in the background, you'll fall in love with this neighborhood gem when you get the chance to visit. Did I mention it's next door to a 24-hour donut shop?

FRIDAY

Comedy
King Me! Comedy Happy Hour
6:00 p.m. Sign-up / 21+
Hosted by Nathan Lund

This is all you need to make your Saturday jealous. The open mic comedy at 3 Kings Tavern is, as the kids say, lit. Complete with local comedy celebs, craft beer, and reputations of epic hilarity, this is your new favorite Friday night out.

SATURDAY

Comedy
Renegade Comedy Open Mic
6:30 p.m. Sign-up/ 7:00 p.m. Show
Hosted by Zeke Herrera

You haven't tasted freedom until you've cracked open a fresh beer on the patio at Renegade Brewing. The laid-back vibe over here in the Santa Fe Arts District is the perfect place to test out your new one-liners. After you've gotten a few chuckles for the night, there are plenty of hangouts within walking distance to create your own after party.

*Note: Each show is weekly unless otherwise listed. All venues, times, and hosts are subject to change.

Katy Palmer is a writer and film creative living in Denver by way of Los Angeles. She works with creative agencies and entrepreneurs. Take a coffee break with her on Twitter.


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