Open Mic Nights are incredibly popular at the moment. They can be found in most cities where they offer new, up-and-coming as well as hobby musicians an opportunity to play to an audience and maybe develop a fan-base. Recently, these events have been criticized for ‘killing live-music’ because they degrade live-music to mere background noise et al.
In Symbolic Interaction there has been a long-standing interest in live-music events, not at least since Howard S. Becker’s famous studies of dance musicians, published in Outsiders – Thaddeus Müller just published a paper on the origins and development of Outsiders in the journal.
Save for Becker’s studies and Müller’s article the 2006 Special Issue on ‘Interaction and Popular Music‘ has Marcus Aldrege’s article ‘Negotiating and Practicing Performance: An Ethnographic Study of a Musical Open Mic in Brooklyn, New York’ and related articles demonstrating the interactionist tradition in research on music.