Local music road bumps: Vegas on the Mic goes dark, Acoustic Armory scrambles

The Quitters play outside the old Artistic Armory last year.
Photo: Aaron Thompson

Editor's note: While Vegas on the Mic has ended, Money Plays continues to host open-mic nights on Thursdays at 8 p.m.

The local music scene hit two road bumps last week, with news that open-mic institution Vegas on the Mic had come to an abrupt end and that the Artistic Armory, a live venue and art studio, had lost its familiar space.

If you hung out at Money Plays on Thursday nights over the past three years, chances are you noticed (or were part of) a group of local musicians performing inside the local dive bar. But on January 26, Vegas on the Mic founder Mike Ziethlow announced through Facebook that the open-mic night was over, “effective immediately.”

“It’s sad it’s over, but he’s probably moving on to bigger and better things,” says Sonia Seelinger, a local musician who got her start performing at Money Plays. “He wanted to help the community, and he did. I think he had a lot on his plate.”

On top of running Vegas on the Mic, Ziethlow recorded artist performances and uploaded content onto his website,, free of charge. A label, Off-Strip Records, was also in the works, which Ziethlow also addressed on his Facebook. “Off-Strip Records may still exist, but it will do so without me.”

The Artistic Armory ran into difficulties of its own last week when, co-owner Dustin Hoots says, landlords evicted the renters from their space at Russell and Arville. Now, the Armory is moving into new digs down the block from the original location, at Tropicana and Arville, Hoots says. A crowdfunding campaign went up last week at to “keep us from being in massive amounts of debt,” Hoots says, adding that the new space should be ready to host shows soon.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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