Berkeley Fellowship Monthly Open Mic


The BFUU Monthly Open Mic (BF MOM) was founded by legendary Berkeley singer-songwriter Country Joe McDonald, who used to run the show himself. Now, volunteers who love folk music, poetry, humor, and progressive politics run the show. You can participate and help! Here’s how it works:

Quarterly Meeting

The BF MOM Coordinating Team meets once every three months. It’s a simple, common sense, all-volunteer operation. Some of our decisions are made by phone and email.

Show Schedule

BF MOM shows are always on the second Friday every month. Doors open at 6pm. Performer sign up time is 6:30 pm. We have a first-come first-choice policy. Performers can pick any one of the 20 available 10-minute spots on the sign-up sheet. We especially appreciate performers who come to hear everyone else who signs up to perform.


BF MOM Audiences Come to Listen!

Our audience is very attentive. We are always looking for good commentary and song craftsmanship. We are especially interested in original songs. We ask those who want to talk to go to the back of the room or outside. We have a suggested donation of $5-$20 for everyone, including performers. People with little money are encouraged to volunteer some labor in lieu of donation. “No one ever turned away for lack of funds” is our policy. Sound engineering labor is donated by David Yandle.

BF Monthly Open Mic Hosts

We have a group of rotating hosts who MC the shows. Our Host kicks off the evening with a warm welcome and reads the entire list of performers in the order of their sign-up. Our host tells the audience that the BFMOM is a project of the BFUU Social Justice Committee (SJC), and between acts the host will announce upcoming events by the SJC and its community partners. Our hosts encourage people to take community calendars and flyers for the next month’s open mic to post and hand out. The host explains that each performer gets 10 minutes to do one or two songs. The host says a little about the Featured Artist for the evening, and gives a mention to the Featured Artist for the next month. The host sings two songs to set the pattern for the evening.

Featured Artists

Our hosts are also talent scouts in that they get to pick a “Featured Artist” for the evening. The Featured Artist gets to do a 20-25 minute set that begins around 8 or 8:30 pm depending on what that Artist and the Host agree to do that evening. The Featured Artist is contacted by the host about two months in advance so that publicity can be done for that event and for that particular Artist. The Artist is asked to provide a photo or two, a short descriptive blurb about their music, and if they have one, to give us a web site address to use in our publicity. The Artist and our next BF MOM event should be publicized at least one month in advance. We try to have the flyers for the next open mic ready for distribution at the current one happening. We invite the audience and the BF MOM Team Members to take flyers to post or hand out in the community.

Getting Involved in this Progressive Music Community with the Social Justice Committee

Every BF MOM event is different, unique, and fun! Each one has a charm and character of its own! If you love your BF MOM, then give it your support by inviting others, posting some flyers, forwarding email posts or by becoming a Team Member. If you are a performer, then bring your talent, friends, and fans to one of our shows and play to an attentive and encouraging crowd. If you want to make new friends who support topical songwriters and progressive roots folk music, mark the next BFUU MOM on your calendar. You are welcome to be part of our circle of friends, and you may want to help us keep this valuable all-volunteer community-building project going strong! Every 2nd Friday in Historic Fellowship Hall – 1924 Cedar St. Berkeley CA


revised March 2016