Enjoy Your 15 Minutes of Fame at Bellingham Open Mic Nights

Whether you're a singer, dancer, comedian or poet, there are countless ways to share your talent with the community.

Have you ever seen a performer and thought to yourself, “Hey, I could do that!” Are you feeling brave and want to try to sing a song, recite a poem or tell a joke in front of an appreciative crowd? Maybe you just want to cheer on another brave and talented friend. Whatever your reason for seeking out an open mic event, there’s no shortage of opportunities to share your talents in Bellingham.

If you’re looking to perform and it’s your first time on stage, here are some tips to consider:

  • Don’t waste time setting up.
  • Don’t go over your set time. Be respectful of the other performers.
  • Practice makes perfect! Create a tight set.
  • Bring friends for support and make a night of it. If you support other performers, they will return the favor.

Schedules occasionally change from online listings. If you are a first timer, call ahead to confirm.

Except where noted, all events are free and all ages.

Café Bouzingo
Tuesday — Music, Dance, Poetry and Comedy (8:00 p.m.)

Big crowds show up for the live entertainment at Café Bouzingo in Bellingham.
Big crowds show up for the live entertainment at Café Bouzingo in Bellingham.

Once a week, Café Bouzingo hosts an Artist’s Open Stage where local performers of all kinds can use their 15 minutes of fame to play music, read poetry, dance, share jokes and more. The weekly event is hosted by Traesti and Alexandra of Breaking the Spell. Sign up in-person by 7:30 p.m. to perform during the 8:00 p.m. show.

Café Bouzingo
1209 Cornwall Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Kulshan Brewing
Last Tuesday of the Month — Music and Spoken Word (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

Play a song or read a sonnet during this newly introduced open mic event. Performances commence at 7:00 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month. Participants can sign up day of to secure their spot. Sets are 15 to 20 minutes long.

Kulshan Brewing
2238 James St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Honey Moon Mead and Cider
Wednesday — Music and Spoken Word (6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.)
Third Thursday — Write Riot Poetry Slam (8:30 p.m.)

Enjoy mead, live music and more at Honey Moon Mead and Cider. Photo courtesy of Honey Moon Mead and Cider.
Enjoy some open mic with your mead at Honey Moon Mead and Cider. Photo courtesy of Honey Moon Mead and Cider.

This is one of the longest running open mic events in town — and with good reason. This open mic event never fails to draw in some the area’s best talent. Sign up for one of the 12 available slots no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Participants are selected at random, and sets are 15 minutes long.

If poetry is your niche, head to Honey Moon on the third Thursday of each month for the Write Riot Poetry Slam, hosted and coordinated by Jessica Lohafer. All ages are welcome. Sign up at 8:00 p.m for the 8:30 p.m. show. The cost is $2 to participate, and poems are limited to three minutes.

Honey Moon Mead and Cider
1053 N State St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Wild Buffalo
Monday — Lip Sync Battle 21+ (9:30 p.m.)

Sign up for this weekly vocal face-off online through Wild Buffalo’s website for your chance to participate in three rounds, including a “fake it ’til you make it” showstopper. The fun starts at 9:30 pm. Prizes are awarded to the best performer.

Wild Buffalo
208 W Holly St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Poppe’s 360
Tuesday — Music 21+ (7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.)

poppe's open mic
“Anything goes” is the theme at Poppe’s 360’s 21+ open mic nights.

Hosted by the versatile Chuck Dingee, the theme here is “anything goes.” Dingee says acoustic guitar, jazz, classical guitar and rock covers are all welcome. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends by 11:00 p.m. Sign up in0person or email Dingee at chuck@tusktusk.com for your 15 minutes of fame. (The club is scheduled to undergo renovation starting at the end of April but will reopen after summer.)

Poppe’s 360
714 Lakeway Dr.
Bellingham, WA 98229

Western Washington University — Underground Coffee
2nd and 4th Monday — Poetry (7:00 p.m.)
Tuesday — Music, Spoken Word and Comedy (7:00 p.m.)
1st and 3rd Thursday — Comedy (7:00 p.m.)

The Underground Coffee on the WWU campus hosts a variety of open mic nights each week geared toward different performance styles. Whether you want to belt out a tune, read a piece of prose or crack up the crowd with some jokes, there’s an opportunity for you at this campus coffee house. Sign up by 6:30 p.m. for any of the 7:00 p.m. performances. All performances are limited to five minutes.

Underground Coffee
516 High St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Green Frog Acoustic Tavern
Monday — Music (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Monday — Comedy 21+ (9:30 p.m.)

The Green Frog plays host to Bellingham's popular Guffawingham.
The Green Frog plays host to Bellingham’s popular Guffawingham.

With a name like The Green Frog Acoustic Tavern, open mic is a given. On Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., musicians of all kinds can sing or strum their hearts out. Sign up starts at 6:30 p.m. for 10 minute sets.

After the musicians have had their turn, stick around for some laugh out loud fun during the tavern’s 21+ Guffawingham. Sets are five minutes long. Performers should arrive by 8:00 p.m. to sign up for one of 20 spots.  A featured comic will perform at the end.

The Green Frog Acoustic Tavern
1015 N State St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Colophone Cafe
Second Wednesday — Spoken Word (6:50 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)

Chuckanut Sandstone Writer’s Theater Open Mic, hosted by Carla Shafer, gives local writers the opportunity to share their origianl poems, prose, plays and memoirs. Sign up for a seven-minute slot at 6:30 p.m. to participate in the 6:50 p.m. event.

Colophone Cafe
1208 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Village Books

village books open mic
Open mic with Laurel Leigh takes place the last day of every month. Enjoy 7-minute sets of spoken word from 12 particpants.

Last Day of the Month — Spoken Word (7:00 p.m.)

Open Mic Night with Laurel Leigh take place at 7:00 p.m. in Village Books’ Readings Gallery on the last day of every month. Leigh is a local writer and teacher. Sets have seven-minute time limit and are not restricted to original work prose or poetry. There are 12 guaranteed spots each night, which fill up before the event. Participants are encouraged to sign up at the bookstore’s main counter on the first floor or call 360-671-2626.

Village Books
1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Bellingham Public Library
Monday — Poetry (8:00 p.m.)

Local poets can share their prose, haikus, sonnets and more during Bellingham Public Library’s Monday night poetry open mic. Organized by Boris D. Schleinkofer, this open mic takes place every Monday at 8:00 p.m. (sign-up in person at 7:45 p.m.). If it’s a full house, sets are limited to three minutes, with time reserved at the end to showcase two featured poets.

Bellingham Public Library
210 Central Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225

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