Want to try out your chops? Or just sit back and take in the tunes? Veterans and newbies alike, of all skill levels, have been welcomed with open arms and open bar tabs at open mics around Busan for years. They have been encouraging and successfully running for over a decade. Some old and some new, the venues are as diverse as the expats patronizing them.
Basement Bar, PNU
Location: PNU, Basement Bar
Time: 10 p.m.
Host: Amy Kathleen
The oldest and longest-running open mic has been on for over 10 years. It was originally hosted by the omnipresent Dave Khimasia, followed by the dynamic duo of Dan Panozzo and Collwyn Craig, and now Amy – all excellent musicians in their own right. The Basement bar in PNU has a loyal and talented lineup of regulars and welcomes new talent with open arms. There is even a taco Tuesday organized by PNU’s biggest fan, Dan, at Papa’s tacos, if you wish to pre-party.
Eva’s Ticket, KSU
Location: Eva’s Ticket, KSU
Time: 9:30 p.m.
Host: Rob Chrisman
Eva’s Ticket in KSU is the latest addition to the open mic events. Rob Chrisman hosts and serenades us with his unique style of music and encourages new performers to get up on stage while the rest of the lazy (or musically challenged) onlookers lick the 500-won wing-night wings off their too-good-to-strum-a-guitar fingers. Beer, food, music-a-plenty. There are pizza giveaways regularly for musicians and audiences, and it’s only on Tuesdays, folks.
OL’ 55 Tavern, KSU
Location: OL’55, KSU
Time: 11 p.m.
Current host: Michael Edmonds & friends
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t make it to Wednesdays without the hope of a fun night at the OL’ 55 open mic. One of the oldest and most popular (especially with musicians) spots in KSU, the open mic has been going on there non-stop since May 2006. Go check out what all the fuss is about in this divey, iconic downstairs live-music bar.
Beached Bar, Gwangan
Location: Beached Bar on Gwangalli Beach
Time: 10 p.m.
Current host: Dave Khimasia
Last but not least, and with a stellar view of the Diamond Bridge as a backdrop, is Beached Bar on the beach in Gwangalli. Hosted by the veteran host Brown Dave of Basement fame, you might as well call him the Music Mayor of Busan. By Thursday night we are all itching for the weekend, and most seem inclined to throw caution to the ‘this is my career, but is it?’ wind and start the weekend early at this open mic. This has become one of the most popular open mics in town since it started in February 2015.
You can see more photos from Anuj on his website