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How To Play

Monday Open Mic Night
Monday Nights at 6-7:45 PM:

For writers who haven’t played at the Bluebird and writers from out of town, Open Mic is the place to start.

Perfect for:

  • Trying out new material
  • Meeting other writers
  • Becoming a part of the songwriting community
  • Practicing your performing skills
    **Anyone is eligible to play at Open Mic as long as your material is original!

How to Sign up:
We have been having trouble with our new Open Mic phone line and therefore will be trying out online sign-ups starting April 18, 2022. For those who would like to participate in open mic, please see the show calendar on our website and visit the “Open Mic Night Performer Sign-ups” show page for the day you would like to sign up. Sign-ups begin at 11 AM CST every Monday the day of the show.

In an effort to include as many writers as possible, we ask that participating songwriters not sign up for two consecutive Open Mic night shows.

Please remember the following guidelines as they remain in place: each participating writer will get the chance to play one original song (solo or accompanied by no more than two others). Drums and backing tracks are not allowed. This is a family friendly show–no profanity.

Writers who are on the list must be at the club and have checked in with the host by 5:15pm on that Monday evening in order to perform. Each writer may bring one guest with them.

Open Mic Nights are made possible by The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA). The RIAA recognizes the importance of The Bluebird Cafe as providing opportunities, not just to established writers and artists, but also to those who are developing their talents and their careers.

Sunday Writers Night
Sunday Nights at 8-10:15 PM:

Writers Nights feature six songwriters who play three songs each. The show is hosted by Steve Goodie and ends with a special guest performance by a successful songwriter from the Nashville music industry.

QUALIFICATIONS to play a Writers Night:

  • Must have passed our audition process
  • Performances are scored and filed to determine when a writer is eligible to perform a Spotlight show AND/OR an early show [6PM show Tuesday-Saturday]
  • NO PAY for these shows, but CD sales are allowed

Sunday Writers Nights are made possible by The Recording Industry Association of America® (RIAA).  The RIAA recognizes the importance of The Bluebird Cafe as providing opportunities, not just to established writers and artists, but also to those who are developing their talents and their careers.

How to Audition for our Sunday Writers Night:

Who is eligible to audition?

Nashville Residents or anyone residing within a 100 mile radius of Nashville and/or active members of an NSAI regional chapter

Next Audition
Our next audition date is Sunday May 1, 2022 at 10:30 AM. Sign-ups start on Friday April 15, 2022 at 11AM CT here. Visit the May 1 audition date via our show calendar on the website and you can sign up by clicking on the auditions event.

Auditions are judged by the Bluebird Cafe staff and professionals from the music industry. Each person auditioning is asked to play a verse/chorus of one original song (one minute long). All auditions must be acoustic with no drums or backing tracks. No more than 3 people on stage. If you secure a spot for an audition, see your confirmation email for more information.

Sunday Spotlights
Sunday Nights at 6-7 PM:

Our Sunday Spotlight is typically a plugged-in show where we offer bands who perform their own original music the opportunity to play The Bluebird. Spotlight performers are chosen from our ranks of songwriters who have bands, as well as local and national touring artists, who would like to perform on this one-hour set.

Qualifications to play a Spotlight Show:

  • Staff writers from established Nashville publishing companies and touring artists with product and local/national press
    **Spotlight bands can include up to 6 pieces (including a small drum kit)

Early Shows
Tuesday–Saturday at 6PM:

Early show time slots feature the best up-and-coming songwriters selected from our Sunday Writers’ Nights. They are typically presented “In-The-Round.”  Writers who have played at least four Sunday nights and have high scores from our judges can then be considered to play an early show. If you don’t already have a following, you should continue to play Sunday Writers Night and Open Mic.
**Booking inquiries can be sent to: earlyshowbooking@bluebirdcafe.com

Late Shows
Tuesday–Saturday at 9PM:

Late show time slots are primarily reserved for hit songwriters. They are typically presented “In-The-Round.” These shows consist of three-four songwriters seated in the center of the room, trading songs and stories. Shows are created by the songwriters themselves, making it a rare situation where someone is added to a show without knowing the other writers who are performing.


Our solo stage shows (“An Evening with …”) feature local and national acts with a large following.
**Booking inquiries can be sent to: booking@bluebirdcafe.com

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