Shows at Smith’s follow a fairly regular pattern, but we’re flexible, so please contact us with your ideas. Scroll to the bottom for info on how to book a gig, the financial aspects, and technical/staging details.
Mondays early evenings (7-9pm) are in most part reserved for poetry, with a team of local poets putting on a variety of shows each week under the banner of That Poetry Thing That Is On At Smith’s Every Week. Most events begin with an open mic so bring your poems along to share.
Bands are invited to rehearse on the stage on Monday evenings from 9.30pm. Email us if your band would like to rehearse.
Old Timey Tuesday is a fortnightly open jam where we party like it's 1899. Luminaries from the local old timey/folk/acoustic scene gather at Smith’s to lead an open session featuring music from bygone eras, mainly that wonderful century many recall fondly as the Twentieth. 7-10pm
Roughly once every four weeks on a Tuesday is Bang!! Beng!! Bing!! Bong!! Bung!!, an opportunity for less experienced musical performers to have a play on a good stage with a friendly audience. Five ‘Bungers’ play five songs each, followed by a set from a more experienced performer. Original songs are preferred but not required. 7-10pm
Other Tuesdays are available for any type of performance.
The 7-9pm show on Wednesdays is available for any type of performance. Every month or so Smith’s hosts Classical Capers, where classical musicians of all levels of ability are invited to come and play their instrument of choice, to sing, form small ensembles, do whatever they please.
Smith’s Varietal is held every Wednesday from 9.30-11.30pm. There are no restrictions on genre, style, vulgarity, art form. We accept virtually anything and anyone. Dance, origami, balancing acts, acrobats, impressionists, expressionists, depressionists, magicians, comedians, bonsai demonstrations, burlesque... Anything interesting, unusual, entertaining, humourous, but not illegal or degrading to the human spirit. Each Varietal is hosted (including selecting the acts and being MC) by someone from the local community. Generally a minimum of six acts is required. If you would like to host a Varietal, email us.
Thursday Night Jazz is just that. Jazz. On a Thursday night. Contemporary, traditional, experimental. Local, national, international. 7-9pm.
Late night shows on Thursday are open for any type of performance.
Friday and Saturday nights are available for any type of performance. There are usually two shows, 7-9pm and 9.30-11.30pm. There are also opportunities for afternoon shows and shows after midnight.
Sunday afternoons we have a Jazz Jam, 1.30-4pm, with the Smith’s Alternative House Band leading the way and players and singers invited to join in.
Sunday nights are open to any genre. 7pm-late
Other regular events include Lunchulele, a beginner level uke/singing group (12.30-1.30pm Monday), Lunchtime Sing Fling, a vocal workshop for non-singers (12-1pm Tuesday), and Smith’s Scribblers life drawing classes (12.30-1.30pm Thursday and 11am-1pm Saturday).
Smith’s also hosts book launches, workshops, talks, presentations, panels and we are keen to have more weekday events.
Let us know what you’ve got to share.
How to Book a Gig at Smith’s
The main method of obtaining a booking at Smith’s is by emailing us at email@example.com. Please include links to your online assets and all other relevant info. Besides email, you can call us or come in and have a chat, or if you really want to stand out, send a letter to Smith’s, 76 Alinga St, Canberra City, 2601.
For door deal shows, you want to be confident, and be able to convince us, that you have the ability to draw a good number (50+) of paying customers (min. entry $10/7) to your show. The capacity of Smith’s is 70 and any comps must be pre-advised so available tickets can be reduced accordingly.
About The Money
The standard deal at Smith’s is a door deal, 70/30 in the artist’s favour, with production and door service provided. For shows that don’t require a dedicated AV tech, an 80/20 split can apply. The minimum ticket price allowed is $10/7. Some of our shows are ‘open mic’ in the sense that we are providing an opportunity for performers who can’t draw a crowd to play on a good stage for a listening audience. We don’t pay performers in such instances. Smith’s has it’s own ticketing system via our website and we insist that it be used. There is a small fee for each on-line sale, generally less than a dollar per ticket, with no booking fee for customers.
Smith’s has a beautiful little stage, roughly 5x4 metres, with a nice p.a., lighting and an upright piano in situ. We also have a nice drum kit and amps for bass and guitar available for use. Our main AV tech, Bevan Noble, is the best in the business. In the event Bevan is not available, we have a small stable of dedicated audio engineers to call on. At worst, the venue owner is a capable audio engineer and often does sound at open mic or spoken word style events.
Our p.a. is controlled by the 32 channel ipad operated Mackie DL32R. We have an extensive range of mics and DI’s sufficient for most situations. If you think you might exceed our capabilities, let us know and we’ll scrounge up what’s required.
Lighting, which consists of two fresnels and a bunch of LED’s, is also controlled by the ipad via the Luminair app.
We have a digital projector in situ with a screen mounted at the back of the stage. Inputs include HDMI, mac mini, lightning and USB-C.
Smith’s has 70 sqr metres of outdoor seating area and we often hold outdoor gigs with a portable p.a. able to be brought in if required.