WHAT IS AN OPEN MIC?
Open mic today is one of the most popular and exciting events organized in India. The widespread addiction to open mic has provided thousands of people with professional opportunities to showcase their talents. Many professions like standup comics, poets, singers, etc., have prospered through the open mic concept in India.
Many lounges and restaurants have now adopted open mic as their business strategy and a crowd puller. Open mics are now everywhere in big cities like Delhi, Banglore, Chandigarh, etc. people today go to
open mics often for daily pleasure and fun, just like they visit movies and restaurants.
An open mic is a place where people are associated with art like comedy, poetry, or singing, performing in front of the crowd. The open mic was there in India years ago, and there were bands and singers always performing in bars and restaurants. Just the tag of open mic that came from the west was missing.
One of the most popular and demanding open mic held in lounges is standup comedy. Standup comedy has seen a sudden rise in popularity between the 2000s to 2010, and people are taking it as a profession.
HOW DID STANDUP START IN INDIA?
Standup in India started in Mumbai when Weirdass Amateur Nights came to India. In the beginning, there were only foreign or non-Indians performing on stage, but after some time, they auditioned for standup comics, and some of the finest comics now were there, like Rohan Joshi. Weirdass amateur also gave a chance to one of the most successful comics of India, Vir Das. Following the rise of standup in Mumbai, comic-like Varun Thakur also started such shows for Weirdass comedy and the comedy store. Open mics also got famous because of the youtube and social networking revolution happening in India; clips of standup comics were getting famous and hitting millions of views and shares.
Financial issues like huge booking costs in theatre halls also led artists to book in buffet halls and cafes where the spot was cheaper, and the risk was also less. During 2010 and 2011, standup comics like Zakir khan and sapan Verma brought the next wave of the audience that took the open mic to another level that wasn’t there before. Open mics largely are dominated by standups, but new segments like poetry and singing have also become famous and started featuring in open mics.
Open mics did good and were beneficial at both ends where they gave a sparking thing for cafes and lounges. It attracted an audience and crowd to the lounges.
At first, standup comics were approaching the lounges to give them a spot for presenting their art in front of the crowd. Now it was vice versa. In many cases, the lounges and bars were hiring and dealing with standup musicians and other artists to perform for them.
The work done by past standups like Vir Das and more was paying off as they were not only performing in India, open mics of Indians were now started to be performed in countries like the UK, Dubai, etc.
With time open mics evolved as the technological part was added to them. Artists performed open mics for both offline and online audiences. Artists like standup comics were now being signed by streaming platforms like Netflix and having their standup special. They were recorded performing at an open mic, and then those recordings were created into a show and viewed by an audience. Artists also started to post their open mic content on youtube by monetizing their channel and having brand engagements. The recognition they were getting from youtube was massive. This also played a crucial role in the increasing trend of open mic. Many people also started youtube channels to promote different arts presented on open mics, like music and poetry. Channels like unerase poetry and spill poetry came forward to give chances to the talent that was not blooming because of the oppression they had to face in lounges and cafes.
Besides standups, artists like musicians and poets also start getting recognition from open mics. Poets like Nidhi narwal and Priya malik were reciting and made their profession of performing at open mics. They got famous, and many others started to follow the same path.
Open mics trend in last two years goy so viral that open mics auditioned new artists to perform in cafes and lounges for free so that their fan base and experience can increase. And the cafe can also have a benefit from it.
The journey of open mics has been long, and it’s the hard work of the past, present, and future that has led open mics to the popularity they have today. Every teen adult has gone to some open mic these days because of their improv and real experiencing content.