Amateur Night at the Apollo

A talent contest for the aspiring with the audience on the scene as their judges.

“To be GOOD or be GONE” is the explicit slogan of the Amateur Night, a night dedicated to talent on the stage at the Apollo Theater, in the heart of Harlem. For over 75 years, aspiring contestants have been battling it out on Amateur Night to please an audience and get their cheers to be declared winners.

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AMATEUR NIGHT, is an integral part of the Apollo Theater, a theater that brings forth a sense of the old glamour in its traditional and customary decoration: a heavy red curtain to separate the public scene, traces of golden color, velvet seats and brass railings. A legendary and historic place in the heart of Harlem, a point of reference for jazz for over 70 years.

Amateur night at the Apollo is a quintessential talent competition that serves as a model for Star Search and American Idol. Michael Jackson, James Brown, Lauryn Hill and so many other iconic and talented performers made their first appearances at the Apollo Theater on the stage of the Amateur Night. Their names are immortalized in the ground at the entrance of the theater.

On Wednesday evening, the show begins in a euphoric atmosphere, at 7.30 pm precisely. The soft chairs find themselves stormed by the fans in full support and encouragement of their protégé. The comedian Capone, known as Gangsta of Comedy, hosts the show and keeps the evening animated, energetic and the audience awake throughout the show with his hilarious jokes and teasing.

The competition is held in two parts. The first part of the Amateur Night is reserved for the “stars of tomorrow” with young artists from 5 to 15 years. The second focuses on candidates over 15 years.

Contestants try to please the audience with different genres of performances, singing and dancing being fairly prominent among those. After the performance of each potential talent, the public gets to vote by cheer or jeer. The audience gets to decides who stays and who gets booed off stage. The first place goes to one that reaches the highest decibel level.

The most talented (or the one with the largest family) wins!


3 prices according to the desired location categories:
$19 (“Uptown“), $25 (“Middle“) and finally $29 (“Downtown“).

During the semi-finals (“Top Dog“) and finals (“Super Top Dog“), prices are slightly steeper:
$20 (“Uptown“), $30 (“Middle“) and $40 (“Downtown“).

You can buy and reserve your tickets directly online:

Fortunately, the schedule allergic and last minute planners can also purchase their tickets on the spot, just before the show starts. The show starts promptly at 7:30 pm, so we suggest you arrive around 7 pm because you will surely not be the only ones…

Good to know

All the shouting is making you thirsty? You can re-hydrate yourself at any of the bars open at each level of the Theater.

Hide not your talents, they for use were made, What’s a sundial in the shade?