Share Your Songs & Meet Austin Artists

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"After playing a song, I feel positively wired..."

- Tom Gayle, Songwriter

People Actually Listen

With most open mics (and gigs) you are playing background music. When you share a song at the Cactus Cafe, you can expect a spotlit stage, a listening audience, and a dedicated sound engineer.

Build a Real Community

Showing up to an open mic and then leaving right after your song is the worst way to build a community. At the Cactus Cafe, we all stay and support every act.

Look Forward to Tuesdays 

Tuesdays don't have to suck. With great music, a full bar of craft drinks, and friendly folks, you can have a magical evening every Monday at the Cactus!


Not Your Typical Open Mic...

1. Everyone Listens and Stays the Entire Time.

It sucks being ignored as a songwriter. Unfortunately, the vast majority of gigs and open mics are essentially background music. Even if you do score a listening room gig, it is even more difficult to get folks to show up. At the Cactus Cafe Songwriter's Open Mic, you will have an audience that truly appreciates your art.


2. Original Music Only.

This open mic is specifically for songwriters. It's is about expressing yourself and developing relationships with other writers. Anyone can come and enjoy the evening as a listener, but you can only perform original music.


3. No Drum Kits or Backing Tracks.

While you can have up to two people accompanying you, we ask that you do not bring a drum set or backing track. That being said, live looping and hand percussion are happily accepted.


What Folks Are Saying...

Stac3y Bell

Songwriter, Austin, Tx

"I had been in bands before and performed quite a bit, but I had never played solo. It was unnerving to have only myself to carry the performance.

Fortunately, Jake fosters a warm, friendly, and positive atmosphere that helped me get past my nerves.

My favorite part of the experience was finally able to relax and enjoy performing instead of being hyper focused on every little mistake.

I love Interacting with the other performers, giving and receiving feedback, and just having a drink with everyone. 

I'm looking forward to participating in The Songwriter's Open Mic as often as I can! "

Ryan Pawling

SONGWRITER, AUSTIN, TX

"After so many hours spent creating my song, I had no way of hearing it with unbiased ears.  At my first performance I felt like I was really living and It made future performances less daunting.

My favorite part was receiving feedback from other musicians going through the same creative growth as me.  I would never in a 100 years believe that people would be so into my song that they would bother to text or call me afterwards to talk about the songwriting process or collaborate.

Whether it is your 1st time or 20th time, the environment is very welcoming for people of all skill levels. I would 100% recommend other songwriters to check out Jake’s open mic. Everyone in attendance will be very excited to hear your song.  And afterwards I think you’ll be glad you tried it."

Tom Gayle

SONGWRITER, AUSTIN, TX

"Before I perform I'm always wondering,  "Will the music sound interesting?",  "Will the lyrics connect with the audience?", and  "Will I screw up the performance?"

But after playing a song I feel positively wired. Even if the song wasn't performed perfectly... you feel alive.

I love the preparation it takes to get ready for an open mic.  Practicing the music over and over, preparing what I'm going to say, and thinking about the "showmanship" aspect of the performance.

Listening to the other people playing gives you ideas and a sense of we are in this all together. I would definitely recommend doing it."  

"Jake's songs have a way of engulfing you the way a great book or film does. His use of imagery and detail conjure up nostalgic images of sweetness mixed with tension in a subtle yet powerful way."


- Justin Douglas, King Electric