The Tempe Center for the Arts ("TCA") is the place on Wednesdays for a casual evening of musical entertainment, as local performers perform original and cover songs relating to a multitude of genres, and maybe even some that defy categorization! It's called Walk-In Wednesdays.
Singer, songwriter Walt Richardson serves as the host for this popular series that began in February 2009. Performers represent diverse segments of the local population, all age groups and varying experience levels.
Musicians must provide their own instruments or recorded music. Microphones and amplifiers are provided. Performers sign up beginning at 5:45 p.m. at TCA; that determines the performance order. (You can see the sign-up board on the left side of the photo, above.) Each performer may present two songs. There is no charge for musicians to participate. If your performance involves something other than music or singing, contact the organizers to make sure it will be appropriate for this open mic event.
Each year a few of the Walk-In Wednesday performers are selected to participate in the Songwriters' Showcase with professional musicians and regional headliners.
Walk-In Wednesdays affords local musicians with the opportunity to gain experience performing in front of live audiences while sharing their musical talents with the public.
Walk-In Wednesdays is open to the public. It is free to attend; there is no cover charge. It's very casual, usually held indoors at the Tempe Center for the Arts near downtown Tempe. From time to time it might be held outside, as depicted in the photo above. Almost all the performers are singers and/or musicians.
Unlike open mic nights at some local bars, guests here are typically attentive and the performers get an opportunity to truly showcase their talents. Audience members are invited to come and go as they please. Food and beverages are available for purchase.
Walk-In Wednesdays is appropriate for all ages. It's a perfect casual date activity, and a pleasant environment for friends to gather and spend a few hours. You never know how many musicians will be signed up to perform on any particular Wednesday -- sometimes they actually have to cut off the musician sign-up because there are so many performers!
Walk-In Wednesdays: Where and When
Where: Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona
When: Wednesdays. Performers under 18 typically perform from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone else performs between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Season: September through November and January through May
Parking: Free, at Tempe Center for the Arts
More Information: Walk-In Wednesdays online or call 480-350-2829.