South Florida, have we forgotten what it's like? Those butterflies when you get to the bar and scrawl your name down on the night's list of performers. The pit in your stomach as you step under the lights of the little stage and try to spot your friends among the quietly chattering crowd.
The excitement of watching that quiet person you know from real life blossom into a natural performer when all eyes are on her. The thrill of discovering all the musical, poetic, and comedic talent surrounding us that's otherwise hidden on a normal day.
DJs and electronic beats might be our current default musical mode on a night out, but there will always be something special — spine-tingling, if we're lucky — about the rawness and pure excitement of a classic open-mic night. Here are seven South Florida venues upholding the tradition.
7. Marina 84 Sports Bar & Grill
2440 W State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale
Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
Bring your best performance to this sports bar on open-mic night and you could win a cash prize. Swing by early to catch their happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. and enjoy a local craft beer and $2 tacos.
6. Shade Post
16 NW First Ave., Fort Lauderdale
Wednesdays 8 p.m.
Kayce Armstrong started the Shade Post to provide a larger venue for her team’s art projects and produce her own shows that incorporate fashion, art, and music together. The space has a live stage, portable runway, eco boutique, and bar. Comedians, writers, singers, and artists of all kinds are invited to share their talents with the community during this open-mic night. There is a $5 cover.
5. Funky Buddha in Boca Raton
2621 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton
Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
Come check out one of the longest-running open mics in Palm Beach. This bar tends to draw some great talent. You know you’re going to get great beer and some quality entertainment here. Bring two canned goods or $3 for the cover, which goes to Boca Helping Hands. During happy hour, get a $12 Hookah or $2 off your Buddha draft. Signup is at 8 p.m.; show starts at 9 p.m.
4. Mrs. Murphy’s Pub & Grubb
2925 E. Commercial Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Bring your voice, friends, and your instruments for this Irish-style open mic hosted by Irish Billy. Happy hour is from 3 to 6 p.m.
3. Awa Na Kava
2762 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale
Mondays at 9 p.m.
Relieve all that anxiety and stress with a cup of kava or hookah and some local talent. Enjoy a relaxing night of entertainment and chill with friends at this cool kava bar.
2. The Brewhouse Gallery in Lake Worth
720 Park Ave., Lake Park
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Are you a poet, comedian, musician, or spoken-word artist? If so, show off your skills in front of a great audience and enjoy a craft beer every Thursday on this all-arts open-mic night hosted by professional comedian Wayne Felber. Signup starts at 7 p.m., and performers take the stage at 8. This brewhouse has a great mix of guitarists, spoken-word poetry, vocalists, improv groups, and more. Happy hour is from 3 to 7 p.m.
1. Holloway’s Irish Pub
6909 SW 18th St., Suite a101, Boca Raton
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Every Thursday night, come see some of the best local talent perform on their open-mic and improv comedy night. Holloway's has $9 domestic beer pitchers and $4 shot specials as well as an impressive menu of Irish pub grub.
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