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Music in Hamburg

Open Mic Nights

Are you new in town, an amateur musician or just a music lover? Or maybe all the above? Hamburg’s many open mic nights are perfect for you!

Bring Your Own Song Night at Pony Bar

‘It’s all about your music, not the way you sing, play or look’: this is the concept of the monthly singer/songwriter session at Pony Bar in Grindelviertel. Any solo artists or duos are welcome to participate (but no full bands in this tiny venue) with a set of up to three songs. Original material only – no covers.

The night is opened and hosted by Jon Kenzie, who invites the audience to sit down and enjoy the music in a quiet and relaxed way. The night is mostly held in English to include international artists and audiences. 

Where: Pony Bar, Allende-Platz 1 
When: the first Monday of each month at 8 p.m.  
Seats fill up quickly so it’s wise to arrive early.  
Admission: free

Live Jazz Jam Session at Birdland

What could make for a more glamorous evening than listening to some cool jazz while sipping delicious cocktails in a legendary basement jazz club! The Birdland, right between the lively Eimsbüttel and Eppendorf neighbourhoods, opens its doors every Thursday to jazz birds and night owls who can take the stage and show their talent.  

The first set is always played by the house band, who then open the stage to anyone interested in participating. The show always attracts a diverse set of performers and audiences in terms of age and cultural background; after all, jazz is a universal language. 

Where: Birdland, Gärtnerstraße 122 
When: every Thursday at 8:30 p.m.  
It usually gets full so it’s best to arrive early. 
Admission: free

FEM* Jam at HausDrei

The Frauen*musikzentrum (FMZ) opens the stage to all FLINTA* artists at HausDrei in Altona with the slogan ‘Come as you are’. This session is a safe space to connect, inspire and perform the artists’ creative output. The night starts out with a short gig by one of the in-house performers, and then the stage is opened up to FLINTA*-only volunteer performers; the audience is open to all genders. 

*In Germany, the inclusive term ‘FLINTA*’ stands for Femme, Lesbian, Intersex, Trans and Agender 

Where: HausDrei, Hospitalstraße 103 
When: every first Thursday of every even-numbered month. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., show begins at 8 p.m. 
Admission: free

Song Slam at Haus 73

Just like the beloved Poetry Slam, the monthly Song Slam at Haus 73 gives amateur songwriters the chance to compete in front of the most demanding jury of all – the audience. Up to eight artists perform original material from any musical genre and in the end the crowd selects the winner of the night. 

Where: Haus 73, Schulterblatt 73 
When: the second Monday of each month. Doors at 7 p.m.; show begins at 8 p.m. 
Admission: €10

Singer Slam at Zeise Kinos

'War of the Arts' – this is the motto of the creative tournament at Zeise Kinos in the heart of Ottensen. Anything is allowed, from chirping sweet chants to shredding away on heavy guitar solos. The artists just need to convince the five-piece jury elected (randomly) from the audience. The best performance will not only make for the winner of the month, but the artist will also be eligible to contend at the Kampf der Künste finale at Deutsches Schauspielhaus.

Where: Zeise Kinos, Friedensallee 7–9
When: every first Friday of each month at 6 p.m.
Admission: €11

Open Mic Night at the Village

‘All voices are welcome’ at the Village in Niendorf. The monthly Open Mic Session offers musicians from around the world a stage to test out their songs in front of an audience. The evening takes place in two rounds: in the first round, artists can introduce themselves and their original songs (prior registration necessary), and in the second round, musical genius may arise from spontaneous chaos – just bring your instrument and join the jam! 

Where: the Village, Tibarg 21 
When: the last Saturday of each month at 7 p.m. 
Seats fill up quickly so it’s wise to arrive early. 
Admission: free 

Open Stage at hörsaal

The Open Stage at hörsaal is a colourful and diverse open mic night on St. Pauli’s Talstraße just off the Reeperbahn. All performances are welcome, from stand-up comedy, poetry, singing or dance to up-close magic and card tricks – anything is possible! Performing artists are asked to register in advance. 

Where: hörsaal, Talstraße 12 
When: the first Wednesday of every month at 8 p.m. 
Admission: free