Surf Coast musos take to the mic

July 3, 2022 BY

EACH month, rain or shine, Surf Coast musicians are handed the mic and take to the stage at Bells Beach Brewing’s Surf Coast Open Mic. PHOTO: Rod Priest

SURF Coast musicians are taking the stage with monthly open mic nights hosted at Bells Beach Brewing to showcase local talent.

Award-winning Torquay singer-songwriter Kirsty Coote started the Surf Coast Open Mic in collaboration with Bells Beach Brewing, in October, and it has since become a popular monthly event.

Coote has received international acclaim for her work as a singer-songwriter and has more than two decades of experience in the music industry and even started an open mic night in Nashville, Tennessee, before moving to Torquay three years ago.

She said she had been thinking of starting an open mic night when she was introduced to the owner of Bells Beach Brewing, Adam Smith, and the team at Bells Beach Brewing last August.

Award-winning singer-songwriter Kirsty Coote started the Surf Coast Open Mic in collaboration with Bells Beach Brewing last October. Photo: ROD PRIEST


“There just wasn’t anything happening in Torquay itself for an open mic, and there are so many talented
musicians here.

“I just thought it’s a great opportunity for up-and-coming artists to get up their confidence with such a warm, encouraging audience.

“Everyone has to start somewhere, especially in a small community like Torquay.”

Coote said the open mic nights quickly turned into a spectacular showcase of local talent.

“The talent has just been amazing to the point where people are being asked to come back and actually get paid gigs.”
She said everyone was welcome to come along, from children to dogs, but booking a table is recommended as the nights have been full most months.

“It’s just a cozy, fun night out.”

Local musician Isabella Khalife plays at Bells Beach Brewing. Photo: ROD PRIEST


Bells Beach Brewing owner Adam Smith said the Surf Coast Open Mic nights started as a conversation between friends at the brewery and had grown to exceed all expectations.

“We’ve built a real community around the event,” he said.

“It’s much more than doing an event at the brewery once a month, it’s become a thing of with a life of its own.”

He said he initially thought the musicians would be first-time performers, but he has been amazed at the level of professionalism and talent.

“It’s been a real delight and surprise to us how good it’s been.

“For Surf Coast musicians there is quite a depth of talent there that otherwise might not have an opportunity to
play live.”

The open mic nights are held at Bells Beach Brewing from 6.30-9.30pm on the third Thursday of each month, with July’s open mic night scheduled for July 21.

Each month there is a donations hat for tipping musicians and all performers are given a free burger and drink.

Future performers can apply via Instagram @surfcoastopen or Facebook @surfcoastopenmic.