You’re A Star: Karaoke And Open Mics In Palm Springs

A microphone and stand on a stage with lights and people in the background

In the mid-1980s, I was touring with a cover band for the DoD. When we were in Okinawa, a couple of the flyboys took us to a bar and I saw and sang karaoke for the first time ever. I’d never even heard of it at the time but came home and told all my friends. Yes, dear readers, it was I that brought karaoke to these (not so) United States.

Disclaimer: parts of that story are wildly untrue; I think you can guess which ones. 

But that’s all to say, I get it. Occasionally your inner star needs to come out for the evening. So, you dress up like the celebrity you are, and hit your favorite karaoke bar.

But when you’re not in your own town, you can’t go to your favorite spots and see your favorite hosts and sing your favorite songs. And sometimes, just like a craving for (fill in your favorite food here), that diva inside you wants to come out and shine a light tonight! 

It’s going to be okay. I’m here to help. 

Karaoke spots in Palm Springs

The Retro Room — Nightly. It’s a tiny bar, but that’s part of the charm. Reminds me of Chicago bars. You’ll be singing, encouraging other people to sing, and maybe having a random duet. You never know who might show up. It’s YOU! You’re showing up and showing out.

V Wine Lounge — Wednesday nights. Taking a break from the fantastic ladies of song appearing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, you – you little superstar — are subbing in every Wednesday evening. Great drinks, mocktails, wine selection and bar food. Plus, it’s a very fun and kitschy mid-century modern establishment. It is not pretentious or stuffy and the owner is as delicious as the food. (Very!)

Streetbar — Every third Thursday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. I know! Once a month is a long time to wait for a chance to show off your pipes, but Streetbar has a lot going on, what with nightly fun and all. They don’t have a website, so that link gets you the address. They’re on Facebook if you need to look at pictures.

The Village — Tuesdays. Just two spaces north of 420 Bank & Dispensary, this place recently had an overhaul. They have live music, bar food, and cocktails, but no bar games. Enjoy the jumping dance floor, outdoor patio, and nightlife (open until 2 a.m.). 

Beforehand getting your karaoke on, grab a bite at Thai House, Fuzion Five, or for French/Belgian bistro food try Pomme Frite for some mussels. And when you’re done making people weep with your talent, go dance it off at Reforma nightclub just a stone’s throw away.

Fireside Lounge — Tuesdays, starts at 9 p.m. This bar is like no other in Palm Springs. It’s mostly locals, and a lot of entertainers stop to hit the mic. Way off the beaten track, it’s off Ramon near the dispensaries at 696 Oleander (no website). Very fun dive bar.

Hunter’s — Tuesdays. One of the OG gay nightclubs in town. Bring your A game.

Open mic in Palm Springs

In season only

Play Lounge — You will bring Joel Baker your sheet music, and you will sing, songbird, sing dammit!

Palm Canyon Roadhouse — Sundays at 4 p.m. Their website is a mess. This used to be with a full band, not sure what’s going on. Definitely call. They might answer.

Oscar’s — With Michael Orland, former pianist, arranger, vocal coach, and associate musical director at American Idol. 

I hope this guides you through your musical journey. Namaste, little diva.