Having spent three years hopping from venue to venue, from casual pubs in Cathays to bustling bars in Cardiff’s city centre, I’m going to share my infinite wisdom on my favourite open mics.

Whether you’re a beginner, an expert, or simply a music lover in search of new sounds, Cardiff will definitely have an open mic to suit your needs.

So, without further ado, I present to you the open mic guide.


With a rustic, vintage feel, Porter’s pulls in many talented musicians, definitely one to tick off.

MUB Says

Pro: Full of talented musicians, this open mic guarantees some amazing music and there’s often cash prizes up for grabs!

Con: Being in town means that most students will have a 20-minute walk on their hands, a small price to pay for a great night!


Venue Name: Porter’s
Contact: @Porterscardiff / 029 2125 0666
Address: Harlech Court, Bute Terrace, Cardiff, CF10 2FE

  • Turn up at 8.00pm on a Tuesday.
  • House guitar and piano provided. 
  • Porter’s has a Facebook page dedicated to its open mic nights so feel free to check it out.

Photography: Genevieve Gyseman

Face 11

With a cosy ski-chalet atmosphere, Face 11 is the ideal venue for performers who want to play to a crowd who gives their full attention.

MUB Says

Pro: Face 11’s open mic provides both the performer and the crowd with an intimate experience which is rare to find.

Con: Due to its sophisticated nature, this is probably not an open mic where you’ll end up dancing on tables. However, you never know!


Venue Name: Face 11
Contact: enquiries@face11.co.uk / 029 20228221
Address: 105 Cathays Terrace, Cathays, Cardiff, Cf24 4HU

  • Turn up at 7.30pm on a Thursday.
  • An electric guitar is provided, however, I suggest you bring your own instrument.
  • To perform, email Jessica at jessica.nettleship@face11.co.uk to book a slot.
  • More information about the venue can be found on the Face 11 website.

Photography: Diarmuid Gavin-Gates (urscreenhere.deviantart.com)

Gassy Jack’s

Hosted by Cardiff University’s Live Music Society every Tuesday, this is the perfect opportunity for you newcomers who want to take your first steps into the limelight. 

MUB Says

Pro: Gassy Jack’s welcomes all abilities and the venue provides a lively atmosphere without being too daunting. Also, all performers get a free beer!

Con: Due to the popularity of this open mic, it is likely that you’ll only be allowed to play two or three songs but, hey, a popular open mic means it must be doing something right!


Venue Name: Gassy Jack’s
Contact: gassyjacks.cardiff@stonegatepubs.com / 02920 232608
Address: 39-41 Salisbury Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AB

Photography: Lawrence Court

The Vulcan Lounge

Perhaps the most casual open mic on the circuit, this is one for the more timid, laid-back types who just want to chill out with a casual pint.

MUB Says

Pro: Set in the heart of Cathays, The Vulcan Lounge provides a relaxed atmosphere where performers can really jam away to their heart’s content.

Con: This open mic does not have an official stage meaning it can feel a bit too casual for some.


Venue Name: The Vulcan Lounge
Contact: info@vulcanlounge.com / 029 2023 6363
Address: 2 Coburn Street, Cardiff, CF244BS

  • Turn up on a Monday at 8.00pm.
  • A house guitar is normally provided but feel free to bring your own instruments.
  • More information on the venue can be found on The Vulcan’s website.

Photography: Flikr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/…)

Peppermint Bar

This swanky bar in Cardiff’s city centre oozes class and provides a friendly open mic which often ends in many of the performers jamming together on stage at the end!

MUB Says

Pro: With a great sound system and a core group of friendly performers, Peppermint guarantees an enjoyable evening for all.

Con: Being in the city centre means that students living in Cathays have to commit to a 20 minute walk to get to Peppermint. It’s only a stones throw from Cardiff Central station so, if you’re feeling lazy but don’t want to get a cab, hop on the train. 


Venue Name: Peppermint Bar
Contact: cardiff@peppermintbar.co.uk / 02920 399199
Address: 63 St Marys Street, Cardiff, CF10 1FE

  • Turn up at 7:30pm on a Monday
  • A house guitar and a piano are both provided but feel free to bring your own instruments.
  • More information about the venue can be found on Peppermint’s website.

Photography: Peppermint Bar

So there you have it! 

Whilst the venues possess various different qualities, one thing is certain, Cardiff is smashing the open mic game!

Have you got a story that will inspire or entertain students? We want to hear from you! Email joinus@myunibasics.co.uk

Keep exploring



Written by Joe Merriweather, 9 months ago
Agree? Disagree? You can tweet them here @joemerri