Hi, this is Tim Weir.
I became an open mic fanatic about 5-6 years ago when Jeremy Huesler ran the Open Mic Night at Applebee's in West Seneca, NY.
Since that time I started attending that open mic, I have been to over 1,200 open mic nights in 3 states and counting.
I have labored mightily to compile the most comprehensive list of open mics for the Buffalo/Niagara Falls to the PA border and Erie, PA.
My website contains all this info: http://www.openmicreviews.com
If you have been to an open mic not on my list, please let me know. I will give you all the glory and credit. I just really
try to hard to keep up with new open mics sprouting up all over the place. The only local paper who seems to care here
in Buffalo is Buffalo Nightlife Magazine. Ed Honeck- Editor has made a great effort to include my listings in his publication
and it is available in many popular watering holes in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area.
Currently as of 2/3/18 there are over 60 open mics in this area, which is astounding. There is one hop hop open mic, one jazz open mic,
one bluegrass open mic, and perhaps close to a dozen blues open mics. The remainder are general open mics. Some lean towards musicians (drummers sign up and find people to play with them, or lead guitar or bass players) and some are performance oriented, where the singer calls the shots. Some open mics have large stages and are built for bands to play but allow any type of performers. Some are jams where performers look forward to other players joining in either playing or singing with the performer. Some are more electric, many are acoustic or leaning towards more acoustic performers.
Some people sing and bring their taped accompaniment like you would see at karaoke.
Some open mics cater to performers who may prefer not to be surprised by someone who is in the audience who, spurred on by alcohol, decides that the performer needs help. This sometimes goes well but most times not so well. To avoid any awkward moments, it is better to work out ahead of time if you are going to sing or play with another performer. If you walk up to the stage and don't know if the performer is likely going to want your help, that can get really awkward for the performer to try to discourage you from coming on stage.
I have some knowledge of the Central NY area since I have traveled there for years on business. I would love to have a contact in Rochester who could fill me in on where the open mics are in Rochester. But if you are looking for open mics in Buffalo/Niagara Falls, there are many places to play.
It has happened over and over that if the owner or bar manager happens to hear someone they like on an open mic night, you might be returning there
sometime later to play there as a gig. So striving to be heard by people sometimes leads to gigs, which is exciting and can sometimes make you some bucks.
An open mic is an exciting way to get yourself out in front of people, have a "live-fire exercise" to see how well you can perform a song with people watching you. Because of the exploding number of open mics that are occurring in the Buffalo/Niagara Region, it is clear that bars and coffee shops and other venues see the value that performers like us bring to the table, and help increase traffic and sales on perhaps a slower night of the week.
Although many open mics are during the week, this region has several good weekend open mics, even on Sunday!
Please contact me if you have any comments, especially if you have any information about new open mics I may not be aware of or do not appear on my list. Once again, my listings can be found in Buffalo Nightlife Magazine (when space allows- the listings take up an entire page!- so usually once per month or so), on http://www.openmicreviews.com , or you can do what many people do and call me when you are looking for an open mic on a particular night. You can always reach me on my cell at 716-602-4588. Thanks and God Bless!