Open Mic Night Policies

Microphone Picture

The Tupelo Open Mic series prides itself as a showcase for emerging talent and uses this platform to develop artists as support acts on our weekend stage. On a typical evening you’ll find around 20 performers and an audience of up to 100 folks sharing an amazing level of diverse talents.


The series is run by Robert Haigh, who many may remember as the encouraging host and sound engineer of the long-running and highly successful Old Vienna Kaffeehaus in Westboro, MA. Among the artists who may have started their careers from the fellowship at the OVK’s Open Mic are Dar Williams, Greg Greenway, Catie Curtis, Ellis Paul, Don White, Lori McKenna and countless others.


Tupelo's Open Mic series also provides a feature slot, in which an artist we are seeking to develop will perform a half hour set around 8:30pm. This feature act, on occasion will showcase an established, national touring performer, who may be looking to add a Thursday date to their routing.

Here’s how we do it at Tupelo Music Hall:


The Open Mic series is typically held on the first Thursday of each month. Occasionally we have to make room for a National Artist, so sometimes the Thursday, and occasionally the day of the week will change. Please always refer to the schedule on our website.

There is a $5.00 admission fee. We have a light fare menu available these evenings, and a BYOB policy is in effect (please do not bring coffee, water or soda, as we will provide such) Underage audience members will be carded and strictly monitored. Tupelo has a $3.00 per person BYOB fee if you choose to “bring you own.”

Signup is between 6 and 6:50 pm. The names are then drawn from a hat for the order of performance. We draw the first 25 names (and five alternates who will play time permitting). Sorry, no phone signups please. Those whose names are not drawn (and/or alternates) will be given a voucher which may be presented during signup at a future Open Mic which will guarantee a slot for that night.

We start at 7pm and each performer will get two songs. Please prepare to go promptly when your name is called. For unusual sound needs, please see Robert, or the sound engineer in advance of your set.

The stage is generally set with two vocal mics (Shure 58s), two instrument mics (Beta 57s) and two DI’s…. We’ll supply the ¼” cable too. The stage also has a 1942 Baldwin Grand which is available along with a vocal mic.

The feature act goes on around 8:30pm and plays for a half hour. We “Pass the Hat” for the feature act during their performance. Please contribute whatever you feel is appropriate and remember, this is how they get paid for the evening.

There is an area away from the audience for tuning and vocal prep… but don’t ‘hog’ the area as others are looking to do the same thing.


That’s about it. We rarely hire someone as feature act after just one visit, and almost never if we’ve never heard your name or reputation. Sorry…there are thousands of performers, playing hundreds of area stages for dozens of audience members for tens of dollars…. We just can’t accommodate all the wonderful talent!


Further questions may be addressed to Robert Haigh at