Open mic events can be a great way for new artists to cut their teeth, to gain experience performing in front of an audience before going out to look for paying gigs.
Attending open mics was how I actually got involved in the Bradford/Leeds independent music scene, which lead to the creation of Daz In The Hat.
As far as open mics are concerned, there are good & bad events. For some venues open mics are simply a way of hosting live music on the cheap! They pay a set amount for a host with all other artists performing for free, which in my view is wrong.
There are others that treat open mics as a rehearsal - if a singer or band goes down well they receive a booking, which shows respect for artists & supports local, independent singers, bands & their music.
Here are a couple of great Open Mic events to look out for, if you know of others please leave details in the comments section or send them through to Hat Tracks Central
Goats Head, Steeton
Launching on 23 September Caroline Street Club, Saltaire