It’s time to step out from the shadows and let your hard work shine! Open mic performances may seem daunting, but you’re in the same boat as everyone else on stage. Break out of your comfort zone and be a star for the night at these cool Hudson Valley open mics and gigging grounds.
Town Crier Café, Beacon
This venue is considered one of the most popular open mic venues in the Hudson Valley, with its brick faces structure stretching along the sidewalk, taking up a fair deal of estate on Main Street. The café describes itself as a respectful “listening room” and has fostered this reputation for the past 25 years. With a wide stage and ample seating, it looks more like a small theatre in the city than a coffee shop.
Where: 379 Main Street Beacon, NY 12508
When: Every Wednesday at 7pmAdmission: Free (in-person sign-up from 5-7pm)
The Vinyl Room, Wappingers Falls
The mission of this weekly open mic is simple: plug in and rock out. The crisp, modern-looking vinyl store spins records and is the only of it’s kind with a full taproom (full od beer, ciders and wine) in the Hudson Valley. Stick around the rest of the week for a number of live gigs and DJ sets.
Where: 2656 East Main St, Wappingers Falls, New York 12590
When: Every Thursday, 8-10pm
Club Helsinki, Hudson
This club is a branch of the award-winning Helsinki Hudson restaurant: both adjacent to each other. The venue gives newcomers and veterans alike the opportunity to settle their musical roots into the Hudson Valley, network, and enjoy a night of live tunes. Stop by for dinner and a show every week, all year long.
Where: 405 Columbia St, Hudson, NY 12534
When: Every Tuesday at 7pm
Admission: Free (in-person sign-up at 6pm sharp)
Palaces of Prose and Poetry
Tapped Craft Beer & Restaurant, Middletown
In addition to offering a variety of craft beers, Tapped is showcasing local writers in its Summer Poetry Series. The series will facilitate weekly poetry and other spoken word readings until early autumn this year. If you’re not a poet feel, free to join anyway and even share inspiring literature with the audience (although be sure to credit the author).
Where: 22 Henry Street Middletown, Orange County, New York
When: Every other week from July 7 to September 1
Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs
Over the past few years, this quaint coffee shop has garnered a respectable reputation from hosting a number of up-and-coming artists. During their monthly poetry gigs, featured writers are book privately and allotted 20 minute slots and walk-on performers are permitted five minutes. Features are generally well established poets who have contributed to the local literature scene.
Where: 47 Phila St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
When: First Wednesday of every month at 7:30pm
Admission: $5 (in-person sign-up from 7-7:25pm)
Woodstock Poetry Society, Woodstock
This poetry society was formed in 1996 to give Hudson Valley poets an outlet to share their work to an appreciative audience and hone their craft. Now at the Golden Notebook bookstore, their readings involve one or more featured poet(s) before allowing members from the public to share their work in the groovy upstate town.
Where: 29 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY
When: Every second Saturday at 2pm
All Talents Welcome
Crafted Kup Coffee House, Poughkeepsie
All acts are welcome at this cool coffee place, giving the perfect venue to sit and relax, or gather grab some gumption and hop on the stage. Try some of their local organic coffee roasts or snack on some fresh made bakery goods while you enjoy the evening acts. If you’re a Vassar student or Poughkeepsie local, the venue is just a short walk from campus.
Where: 44 Raymond AvenuePoughkeepsie, NY, 12603
When: Every Thursday at 7pm
Admission: Free (in-person sign-up at 6:30pm)
Darkside Records & Gallery, Poughkeepsie
The Hudson Valley’s largest record shop hosts an array of local up-and-coming bands and singers every week. Each month they open their doors to undiscovered artists and other performers including comedians, poets, and anyone else brave enough to take the stage. It’s the place where music-heads meet to talk shop and explore new artistic endeavors.
Where: 611 Dutchess Turnpike Poughkeepsie, New York
When: One Sunday every month (keep your eyes on Facebook)
Admission: Free (in-person sign-up the day of open mic)
CafAmelia, New Paltz
Monday night open mic night is a staple of most SUNY New Paltz students first social experiences as a freshman. Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee or gearing up to sing your heart out, CafAmelia is where it’s at. The vibe changes drastically depending on the time of year: it’s absolutely mobbed while college is in session and practically vacant when it’s out. For a first-timer, the crowd’s indifference during the school year can be relieving—but probably frustrating if you want to be noticed. Anyone from bands, to poets, stand-up comedians, or even people reciting the train schedule are welcome.
Where: 58 Main St, New Paltz, NY 12561
When: Every Monday night at 7pm
Admission: Free (in-person sign-ups start at 6:30pm)
Have a favorite performing spot of your own? Show us some of your best performances or the can't-miss open mic nights in the area on Instagram @Chronogram.