Definition: A hootenanny is gathering of folk musicians wherein each person gets an allotted amount of time in which to share a song or song(s) they wrote. As with most things having to do with American folk music, the hootenanny has arguable origins. They became most popular during the folk music revival of the 1960s, when artists would gather in the West Village of New York city to share their songs with one another. This mostly arose from a new crop of folk singers who were beginning to write their own material, as opposed to singing the traditional songs.
These days, most hootenannies are referred to as open mic nights, bluegrass jams, song swaps or song circles, although Sidwalk Cafe in New York's East Village does refer to their Monday night open stage as the "Anti-Hoot." Close enough.
Also Known As: Open mic
Dylan was out til midnight last night playing his new song at a hootenanny downtown.