Comedy has been around for as long as people can remember, and it’s probably never going to die. In Australia, we love to laugh more than most, and it’s our sense of humour that keeps us going through good weeks and bad. It’s something that most people cannot live without, and we have comedians to thank for their hilarious jokes and skits.
If you have a knack for writing and performing stand-up comedy, why not use that skill to bring a smile to people’s faces? There are plenty of venues with open mic comedy nights in Sydney, giving you the chance to entertain friends and strangers by performing a live comedy set. You can build your comedy career or moonlight as a stand-up comic, gaining valuable experience and building your confidence on stage.
In this article, we’ll share the top 7 venues with open mic comedy nights in Sydney. Whether you are a comedian looking for a stage to perform, or just want to go along and have a few laughs, these venues will surely be worth visiting. So, start writing your jokes and practice performing in front of your friends—your next comedy gig awaits!
Open Mic Comedy Nights in Sydney
1. Harry’s Comedy – Open Mic Comedy
Location: 40-44 Wentworth Avenue in Surry Hills, Australia
If you want to start the week off right, Harry’s Comedy at Hotel Harry holds an event every Monday, called “Open Mic Mondays.” It is pretty easy to sign up, and you can do it on the day itself. Harry’s is Sydney’s only two-room comedy club.
Sign up starts at 6:30 pm, and the show starts at 7:30 pm. Make sure you be there early if you want to get a good slot! The venue is pretty intimate, allowing stand-up comics to interact well with the audience. So, make sure you prepare jokes that get everyone involved for a truly riotous set. People who perform at this venue are usually new to stand-up comedy or veterans trying out their new material.
If you’re going to perform at this venue, make sure you tell your friends that they are serving $10 cocktails and $10 burgers all night and draw a truly impressive crowd.
2. Open Mic Showcase at Potts Point Hotel
Location: Potts Point Hotel on 33-35 Darlinghurst Road, NSW
If you are looking for a venue that holds open-mic comedy on a Tuesday night, you can sign up to perform at Magic Mic Comedy. The lounge is big enough to cater to 50 to 80 people—perfect for new and aspiring comics who want to showcase their talents to a larger crowd!
Their goal is to give new and old comics a stage to entertain guests and show off their material. If you are free on Tuesdays, make sure you sign up to perform at this weekly event. The show starts from around 7:30 pm to 8 pm, and it is free to enter.
Plus, if you are free the next day, you can come back to the venue and laugh along with the best comedians in the country. The Wednesday event is for veterans in the industry, which is an excellent way to learn from the best.
3. Cactus Juice Open Mic Comedy Night
174 King Street
Newtown, Sydney, NSW 2042
Social Media: Facebook.com/Cactusjuicecomedy
COVID-19 Update: Due to current restrictions, please check their social media pages for up-to-date show schedules and info on any cancelled events.
Cactus Juice hosts new and upcoming comedians every Monday night. The venue is tiny, which can be a good thing, especially if you want to connect with the audience. The lounge also gives off a genuine comedy club vibe that will allow you to get into the mood of being your funniest self!
Signing up is very easy. They will usually post a form on the Cactus Juice Facebook page. They will choose a few performers, and they will give you 5 minutes to work your magic. Make sure you practice and prepare your best jokes because a smaller crowd is a little bit harder to please. If you do get selected, don’t forget to tell your friends to come along for a few cocktails.
4. Black Sheep Comedy Club
Location: 256 King St Newton, Sydney
COVID-19 Update: After a hiatus in November 2020, Black Sheep Comedy is back in full swing via Zoom so that you can enjoy some good laughs in the comfort and safety of your own home. Buy tickets and reserve slots via their website.
If you want to perform alongside some of Australia’s best stand-up comics, this comedy club in Sydney is a great place to start. You can get a slot by dropping them a line on the Black Sheep Comedy Facebook page. But since the spots are limited, only selecting eight new stand-ups to perform each week, you should probably submit a sample video of your set.
The size of the place is pretty moderate – not too big and not too small, either. It has fantastic lighting that will get you in the mood to crack some of your best jokes! The sets here are significantly longer, so make sure you prepare a 7- to 10-minute set before you get up on stage.
5. Crown Comedy Free Open Mic Comedy
The Louis Hotel
794 Parramatta Rd.
Lewisham NSW 2049, Australia
Whether you want to perform or watch other comics do their thing, Crown Comedy is the place to be! Every Thursday, Crown Comedy hosts open mic comedy nights in Sydney’s Inner West, where upcoming comics show off their skills in delivering hilarious and amusing jokes.
The layout of the venue is pretty standard, but it can get packed depending on the turnout. You can sign up to perform at the venue 30 minutes before the show. Take note that the show starts at 7:30 pm, so you should be there by 7 pm if you want to perform.
The show is free to watch, so don’t forget to invite your friends to catch you on stage while enjoying drinks and good food! Plus, you might even get a chance to become a paid regular performer if they like you. Check out more info and show schedules on their social media page.
6. Fresh AF Comedy Open-Mic Nights in Sydney
The Chippo Hotel in 87-91 Abercrombie Street
Social media: Facebook.com/freshafcomedy
COVID-19 Update: Due to the recent events, open-mic comedy nights at the venue are postponed until further notice. However, you can always slide into their DMs for the chance to perform once the events are back on. The venue is still open for wining and dining, so don’t forget to stop by and scope it out before you get up on stage.
The Fresh AF Comedy Club is home to up-and-coming comics, and they have been supporting new talents since day one. At this comedy club, you can get a chance to perform alongside seasoned pros and other fresh new acts.
The venue is located at The Chippo Hotel in 87-91 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale Sydney, and it is usually free to enter. It is a spacious room big enough to accommodate a crowd, so you probably need to step up your joke game if you want to hear more than giggles.
7. Sweeneys Comedy Open-Mic Night at Hotel Sweeneys
236 Clarence Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Social Media: Facebook.com/sweeneyscomedy
Every Tuesday at 8 pm, you can visit Hotel Sweeneys to perform stand-up during their open mic nights. It is one of the best venues on the list, thanks to the interior’s homey vibe. The audience will be seated on comfy chairs, making them feel so much at home—even terrible jokes can’t make them leave!
If you want to sign up to perform, you can send them a message once the weekly events are back on track. If you’re planning to head over there this weekend, you can find Sweeneys Hotel easily. Look for the Town Hall and Sweeneys is located just across the street.
Open Mic Comedy Competitions in Sydney
Fast $100 Comedy Competitions at BonkerZ Comedy Club Circuit
If you are confident in your skills as a comic, you can turn your talent into cold hard cash by competing with other Sydney aspiring comedians. Take note that this competition is for newbies only. So, if you are a pro, just leave it to the mikers!
To enter, all you need to do is show up with two paying guests. If you win, you will receive $100, and that is the easiest money you can make if you have what it takes.
Info/Contest Terms & Conditions: comedyintheraw.com.au/comic-terms-conditions
RAW Comedy Competition
This competition is Australia’s most prestigious open-mic comedy competition, and it could be the shortest way to get known throughout the country. It has been on for 20 years, and it has produced many big names in the industry. There are currently no announcements on when the event will resume, so keep your heads up for future news.
What is Open Mic Comedy?
Open-mic comedy is an accessible way for up-and-coming comics to show off their skills and get their name out there. Unlike many comedy clubs and festivals, you don’t need a big reputation to land a set at an open mic night, and entry costs are low-to-completely-free. However, pro and semi-pro comics can also perform at open-mic nights to try out new material. A lot of popular comedians began their careers performing at open mic events.
What Comedy Festivals are Held in Sydney?
Sydney is home to a few major comedy festivals, such as the Sydney Comedy Festival, which attracts headline performers from across Australia and internationally. The RAW Comedy Competition is another prestigious Sydney event, still going strong after 20 years in the business. These events usually feature some big-name comedians as well as smaller community events and opportunities for lesser-known comics to participate.