Phil DeBar's Human Voice Show: all groups are welcome to sing on Phil's shows, to publicize gigs, record releases, etc. KKUP is heard well from Redwood City and Oakland south to San Jose, Salinas, and Santa Cruz/Monterey. Contact Phil DeBar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Open mic shows are a great place for an informal performance.
Edinburgh Castle: great little room upstairs, seats about 50.
Union Square in SF is a crowded area with a lot of tourists, but it's unclear how the police respond to public performances. (Anyone know?)
The Laurel Shopping Center in Presidio Heights has a wonderfully reverberating central tunnel. Foot traffic is moderate on weekends and the security guards are reported to have been very friendly to acappella shows.
Stanford University - frequent performances by college groups.
Streetcorner Singing - Lytton Plaza, outside of Pizza My Heart, is a good spot to draw a small crowd, esp. in the summer. Weekend nights typically see a lot of foot traffic, and being near Stanford the crowd is young and lively.
Dana Street Roasting Company at 755 West Dana Street. Contact the Ower, Nick Chaput at 650-390-9638.
We love this place. There is no stage, but there is a pretty large space and you get a wall behind you, so you can hang a banner or put out an easel or whatever. On Friday/Saturday night, the walk-up traffic is great from people killing time between dinner and waiting for the Limelight/the Salsa place next door to open. They don't pay officially, but they've given us $50 to start our tip basket each time we've been there. We did do one weekday performance there. It was OK, but there were quite a number of people trying to work (they have a wireless internet connection) who just seemed kind of annoyed. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
[Near San Jose, Campbell has a promising, if not fully realized, historic downtown area.]
Orchard Valley Coffee Roasting Company on the corner of Campbell Avenue and First, or Second, or Third. Live bands perform there in the past, and it was a nice scene. A bunch of singers wouldn't be unwelcome, though they might not get paid.
Freight & Salvage Folk Coffee house, very nice venue with up to approx. 400 seats. Variety of music, including folks, bluegrass. Major local a cappella groups perform there on a regular basis. Contact Steve Baker 510-548-7603. (Please don't send unsolicited demo tape; call first.) [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Ben and Jerry's on Oxford (just below UC Berkeley campus) - informal. Drop by and ask permission. If people mention they are there for you, you get some portion of the profits. They also have nights where they do fundraisers. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
- UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza is a great place for an impromptu set. At Bancroft and Telegraph.
- Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley - can be very noisy, but is crowded and welcoming to street music
- Codornices Park at Euclid and Eunice has a great tunnel for singing, though this is more of a "for us" performing venue. It's at least 50' long, running under Euclid, with the entrance viewable from the basketball court.
St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 1501 Washington Ave. (at Curtis), Albany, CA 94707. Contact Deby Beeler at 510-525-1716 Tues/Thurs. One block north of Solano Ave. Their Parish Hall is small, probably seating about 100 people if they're friendly, and has really nice acoustics. The sanctuary seats 132. It's very inexpensive ñ group Flying Without Instruments reports they usually give the church $100 or $125, "but if you're really broke, they'll accept $75." The church also requests that you offer a maximum of 6 comp tickets to church staff. If you send them flyers in advance, they will put them out for you in their lobby to advertise the concert to their parishioners. There's a full kitchen in Parish Hall. This is a popular venue with the Early Music crowd, and the church staff are extraordinarily nice. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Broadway Plaza Shopping Center. The Center is outdoors, with walkthrough plazas. Michael Barkley reports of his old barbershop group's impromptu show: "the people loved us. Eventually the person in charge of signing up such talent for the Center approached us and thanked us for our efforts and invited us back whenever we wish." [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
A summer concert series at the Todos Santos Park (The Edlos, SoVoSo and the Whiffenpoofs have been there in the 1999 season). It's a mid week lunch venue. The contact is Jim Ocean. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
The Willows is a shopping center to consider. There's a gazebo that people perform at. (Jim Ocean may be the contact.) [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Sweetwater: great venue, good walk-in traffic. Contact Sharmon? 415-388-2820 between 1:30-4:30pm. (Requires demo tape & press kit.) [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Kuumbwa Jazz Center: not cheap and often must be booked well in advance, but it's a great spot with a good sound system. One group reports that with six months notice you could be invited to sing in their Friday night series, which means they pay for the venue fee, and split the door. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Places that might be open to a cappella shows: [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
The Crepe Place - late night and Sunday brunch live music
Rosie McCann's Irish Pub and Restaurant - nightly live music
Moe's Alley - Blues bar
The Ugly Mug - coffee house
Mobo Sushi - very small stage, bring your own sound system, very bad acoustics, but live music almost every night of the week! [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Pacific Cultural Center, 1307 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062. Contact Gayatri at (831) 426-8893. They charge an hourly rate for their hall and additional rooms. There is an additional charge for Sound equipment, lights, custodial (if you plan on having food or drink) and Set up and Take down of chairs. You may also set up and take down yourselves, and one group reports providing their own sound equipment because PCC's is reportedly not very good (7/1999). The cost is not too high, however it does add up. The hall holds approximately 250 people, and the acoustics are fair. The event needs to be over by 10pm. There is limited parking. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
First Congregational Church, 900 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Contact Sharon Richards at (831) 426-2010. The First Congregational Church is a nice place to have a large event. The Sanctuary holds approximately 400 people. The seating is in pews and the hall has good acoustics. They also have additional rooms that hold from 50 - 250 people. They charge for their rooms and Sanctuary per day or evening use. The event needs to be over by 10pm. They have a kitchen that can be used for an additional cost. SCATS uses this venue for their annual Acappellafest. There is plenty of parking. This venue is somewhat costly. [2/26/12: Needs confirmation]
Anywhere on Pacific Garden Mall
Municipal Wharf - has a stage area
Capitola Mall also has entertainment on weekends, especially in December
Capitola Village - Art and Wine Festival