Traveling on a budget? There’s plenty of live entertainment to be found in Portland, including these free shows. Read on for our day-by-day list of free comedy shows and, following that, free music in Portland.
Free Comedy in Portland
In addition to weekly free comedy shows, several theaters and bars across Portland offer regular open mic nights. These local happenings are a great way to catch free comedy (or try it yourself).
“It’s Gonna Be Okay” | Eastburn – 8 p.m.
Local and traveling comedians can often be found Monday nights at Eastburn. This beloved neighborhood pub offers a seriously delicious food menu (including one of the country’s best grilled cheeses). Their showcase, “It’s Gonna Be Okay,” starts at 8 p.m. and is hosted by Portland’s bubbliest nerd comic, Barbara Holm. Consider coming back the next morning for Eastburn’s brunch offerings, including a $12 cocktail flight.
Open Mic | Helium Comedy Club – 8 p.m.
Open Mic | Funhouse Lounge – 7:30 p.m.
Open Mic | Kelly’s Olympian – 5:00 p.m.
Visit classic downtown bar Kelly’s Olympian for after-work comedy on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m.
Comedy Night | Al’s Den – 10:30 p.m.
Beneath McMenamins Crystal Hotel downtown, you’ll find Al’s Den, a historic basement bar offering late-night music and comedy. On Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 p.m., the popular spot hosts a free showcase of Portland’s best up-and-coming comedians. Hilarious host Brandon Lyons emcees the shows.
Open Mic | Funhouse Lounge – Midnight
Late-night Friday offers another opportunity for free laughs at Funhouse Lounge.
Comedy Night | Al’s Den – 10:30 p.m.
Saturday nights at 10:30 p.m., Brandon Lyons emcees at Al’s Den free showcase of Portland’s best up-and-coming comedians.
“The F*Cks of Life” | Alberta Street Pub – 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The Alberta Street Pub is a cozy bar with a spacious, partially covered outdoor patio and generous live music and comedy space. Enjoy this late-brunch comedy mic.
Free Music in Portland
Musician in Residence | Al’s Den – 7 p.m.
Al’s Den makes the list again thanks to its artist residencies. Each week, a different musician-in-residence (from folky solo artists to singer-songwriter duos) performs nightly at no charge.
Happy Hour Shows | Laurelthirst Pub – 6 p.m.
You can catch great live music with no cover charge several nights a week at Southeast Portland’s Laurelthirst Public House. From 6-8 p.m. daily, happy hour shows — often featuring acoustic, Americana or bluegrass artists — are always free.
Nearly Every Night
Mississippi Pizza – Time and Format Varies
Mississippi Pizza, a beloved neighborhood haunt, offers frequent free shows. Delicious yet unpretentious pies, including vegan and gluten-free options, are also on the menu. The laid-back event space, dubbed the Atlantis Lounge, is full of red vinyl benches and stained glass windows. Traveling with little ones who might appreciate live music? The spot offers frequent regular free performances from unique kiddie bands, like Mr. Ben and Red Yarn. (Red Yarn is all the rage amongst four-year-olds.) Some shows here do charge a cover, but it’s usually quite small.
Jimmy Russell’s Party City 2034 | Goodfoot Pub & Lounge – 10 p.m.
Every Tuesday night, the Goodfoot hosts a Portland soul-funk super-group led by guitarist Jimmy Russell and includes members of The Quick and Easy Boys, The Excellent Gentlemen, The Liv Warfield Band and the Ural Thomas Band. The upstairs bar at this Southeast Portland institution offers food and pool tables. Goodfoot is best known for the music and dance venue in the basement, which feels like a snug, grungy speakeasy.
Lunchtime Concerts | The Old Church – Noon
When it comes to venues, The Old Church is one of the most stunning that Portland has to offer. This historic church faced demolition in the 1960s but was restored as a non-denominational event space. It features original architecture and an awe-inspiring pipe organ. Their free Lunchtime Concerts occur every Wednesday at noon and range from solo piano concertos to string quartets.
“Sunday Sessions” | Rontoms – 8 p.m.
Central Eastside mainstay Rontoms offers free concerts on Sunday nights. These shows feature a lineup of multiple bands from Portland and beyond called Sunday Sessions. Looking for an outdoor concert? In the summertime, bands perform under the geometric eaves of Rontoms’ back patio. The space is one of Portland’s most popular sun-kissed spots.
Free & Nearly Free
Some of the best things to do in Portland are totally free. Connect with nature, discover local artists or learn something new.
Cheap Things to Do in Portland for History Buffs
Experience Portland’s history without breaking your budget.
Cheap/Affordable Things to Do in Portland for Arts Lovers
Experience Portland’s stellar music scene, ample museums and galleries, arts walks and festivals — all without busting your budget.
Cheap Things to Do in Portland for Weekend Adventurers
Bring your walking shoes, water bottle and day-pack for an affordable urban adventure that highlights several things locals love about Portland.
Summer Free for All
Portland Parks & Recreation offers over 400 free events including free movie screenings, concerts and rock climbing.
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