Open mic nights are the New Big Thing at cafes, theaters, and warehouses in and around San Francisco. According to a study of online reviews, here are the top three ongoing Bay Area open mic events.
The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley hosts a wildly popular open mic on the third Monday of every month, and sometimes son Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Call ahead for scheduled show times. Many excellent musicians play here, which expains teh $8.50 cover charge ($6.50 if you arrive before 7pm). The cover charge does nothing to deter throngs of spectators from viewing these performances.
Next, check out the Brainwash Laundromat-Cafe, where every Thursday night you can eat, wash your clothes, play video games, and watch local comics try out their material. Your host, the cheerful and welcoming Tony Sparks, is a truly unforgettable influence on San Francisco’s Underground comedy scene. Be there every Thursday night at 8. Arrive by 7:30 if you want to sign up. Performers get four minutes each. Air your dirty laundry in more ways than one at the Brainwash Laundromat Cafe.
Last but not least, join an unorganized, impromptu gathering of singing, dancing, ranting weirdos on the BART train platform at 16th and Mission. Someone draws a chalk circle, into which passersby may jump in and do whatever they want. The “show” runs every week from 9:30 pm until midnight.