Tuesday, 7 January 2020

The Value of Open Mics

Pubs are important community hubs and have always been part of my life. Open mics in public houses are invaluable, both to the professional and to the amateur.

I was first asked to host an open mic in summer 2015, and have been connecting artists ever since. London in 2020 has a wealth of creative talent, in all artistic medians, ranging across its multicultural heritage. An open mic, in a busy London pub, might include a singer from Iran, a guitarist from Slovenia and a poet from Croydon. It may also give rise to the next Adele or Ed Sheeran.

Open mics are inclusive events, set within a simple rule system, where anything beautiful or entertaining is praised. They nurture new talent and give wissened old-timers a voice; are places of humour, learning and community. In London, they represent the city's diverse cultural identity.

As a teenager, I begun performing at open mics to reach an audience with my songs but also to be a part of something. In a healthy culture, one that reflects the hopes and fears of the human heart, mirroring all that is light and all that is dark, communal gatherings are a social necessity. Open mics teach us to listen, as we face the mirror peering into our vagrant souls.

Belsize Open Mic Live at The George has ceased until further notice.

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