I was talking yesterday afternoon to a sound engineer from Doncaster. He is one of those music mad enthusiasts that we are lucky to have in our music communities. I was talking to him about providing sound equipment and an engineer for the Road To Isle Of Wight band competition that we have scheduled to take place in the Walkabout venues through May and early June. The engineer was telling me of his involvement in the Doncaster music scene and how he runs open mic nights amongst other things to keep the energy levels high in the South Yorkshire music community. A number of acoustic bands have formed and found an audience through their involvement in these open mic nights.It was a real pleasure to speak to someone who puts his time , efforts and talents into the local rock scene.
My new pal from Doncaster isn’t alone. Throughout the UK at every level from promoter to local band night organiser , blogger through to music enthusiast there are hundreds of people contributing to the brilliant UK music scene. In every town and city there are individuals with energy and enthusiasm to spare who make the cultural life of the town so much richer. It might be the guitarist from a band that you will never hear of that is the main organiser of professional style shows featuring local bands in your local town. It may be an older person who is no longer directly involved with playing but has amassed a collection of useful equipment that they loan out to up and coming local bands. It may be a person like an old friend of mine in Sheffield who always keeps up with the local trends and follows the bands most likely to succeed (sometimes being one of only a handful of people at the shows and almost always the oldest person in attendance by a long shot.
Open mic nights are a really fun way of seeing new talent (and of showcasing yourself if you are just beginning to dip your toes in public performance.) Live Music Management have had an open mic night running every Tuesday in Newquay walkabout for over ten years and we have helped set up nights throughout the UK (always with a local enthusiast at the helm.) Many of our top function bands have emerged from this Open Mic culture. If you want a low cost night out look for the local venue that runs an open mic night in your area you will probably be astounded at some of the talent out there and open mic nights are a good way to see acts as they tend to be fast moving nights where the act plays for ten minutes or so and then another singer steps up to the mic.
This was a public service broadcast on behalf of live music!