Open mics & writers nights

If you are a songwriter who wants to be heard, try out new material or meet people in the industry, writers nights and open mics can be a great place to start. It is not likely there will be publishers, producers and record labels there – they are bombarded with songwriters and singers trying to get to them so they don’t usually go out looking for new talent. But if you’re good, people will notice and it may lead to introductions. Plus building relationships with other songwriters in the community is an important ingredient of any successful career.

You may be wondering what the difference is between a writers night and an open mic. On this page the term “open mic” to refers to a show you do not have to audition for and that anyone can play. Some of them require advanced sign-up; for others you simply show up that night at the sign-up time. The term “writers night” refers to shows that have a line-up of multiple writers who are scheduled in advance.

When approaching hosts about booking it is important to remember that the clubs are in the business of selling food and drinks, and they rely on the performers to draw an audience. Be prepared that you may have to play open mics or just visit the writers nights and get to know some people before you get booked to play

Bluebird Cafe

See the Bluebird page of this website for detailed information about the club.
Monday 6 to 9 PM Open Mic – sign up at 5:30 – come early to get a seat
Sundays 8 PM Writers Night – scheduled by audition only
Tues through Sat – Early shows feature some of the best up-and-coming writers.
Late shows feature hit writers and established bands.


Ri’chards Cafe
4420 Whites Creek Pike 299-9590

It’s only 12 minutes from downtown, but it’s like a different world at this Louisiana style cafe in the tiny town of White’s Creek just north of Nashville. Richard’s Cafe’ is a popular original music venue featuring the best up-and-coming songwriters and artists.  There is a full PA and three mics and DI inputs for performers. The patrons are a fun upscale family crowd who come to dine, talk, listen and even tip and buy CD’s. Not to mention, feast on the fine Cajun cuisine.

Wednesday through Friday – 5:30 to 6:30 Open Mic
Wednesday through Saturday 6:30 to 8:30  – songwriter rounds and featured artists
Sunday – 12:30 to 2:30 pm – songwriter rounds and featured artists

For booking inquiries email


Commodore Sports Bar at the Holiday Inn, Vanderbilt
2613 West End Ave, 615-327-4707

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays,  6:00 PM – hosted by Debi Champion  with rounds and featured writers. If you are new to Nashville and want to start meeting people and learning the ropes, this is one of the best places to do that. Debi has hosted nights for many years in Nashville and does a great job of booking hit writers and gathering a regular following of talented writers who are serious about their careers. Be there by 9:00 PM to play at the late-night open mic, which serves as an audition for future bookings. Check out her website for the complete line-up.

Fridays and Saturdays 6:30 PM – hosted by Rick Stewart with rounds and featured writers. Visit Rick at the club on their nights to inquire about booking a night with him. Check online for the schedule.


Douglas Corner
2106 8th Ave, (615) 298-1688

Tuesdays 8 pm to close. To play this long-running Open Mic hosted by Rick Campbell writers must call 292-2530 between 2:00 and 6:00 PM on the day they want to play. They perform in the order in which the messages are received. Writers play two songs each in rounds of four. Those who show up without calling will play late. The show continues until everyone has played.