Open Mic Sessions
During the three busiest days of the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Western Folklife Center provides opportunities for everyone to share their musical and poetical talents. And new for our 36th Gathering: at the end of the week, we’ll host a Saturday show featuring open mic highlights!
Poetry Open Mics are called "Anything Goes," and Music Open Mics are called "Take Your Turn."
In general, each open mic participant will perform no more than once per day, Thursday through Saturday. Sign ups are taken each morning and fill up quickly. Dates and times of "Anything Goes" and "Take Your Turn" are included on the daily schedule, which we anticipate publishing online in early January 2020. (This page may be updated at any time.)
We anticipate poetry sign ups for Anything Goes open mic sessions to be taken daily in the early morning at 8:30am, Thursday, Friday and Saturday outside of the Elko Convention Center's Silver Room on a first-come, first-served basis until all of the day's openings are filled. At that time, sign-ups will be closed for the day.
We anticipate music sign ups for Take Your Turn music open mic sessions to be taken daily in the early morning at 8:30am, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Elko Conference Center lobby, outside of the Ruby Mountain Music Stage room, on a first-come, first-served basis until all of the day's openings are filled. At that time, sign-ups will be closed for the day.
For all Open Mic performances, the amount of time you have to perform will be determined based on the number of people who sign up for open mics on any given day. Typically, open mic participants have five to ten minutes on stage. Short poems or songs are recommended. Out of respect for the other performers, we discourage the performance of long pieces so that everyone has a chance to recite or share their music.
The schedule often offers an open-mic Teen Poetry & Music Slam on Wednesday, in the Western Folklife Center G Three Bar Theater. This will be confirmed for the upcoming Gathering. Signups are typically open from 4:00pm—5:00pm, and the show begins at 5:00pm.
Students are welcome to sign up for any open mics. We also encourage students under 18 to sign up for Thursday's Young Buckaroo Open Mic and Talent Show. Historically, the registration for this show occurs in the Elko Convention Center's Turquoise Room on Thursday, 5:45pm—6:00pm; the show begins at 6:15pm.
Banner image: Jessica Brandi Lifland