Open Mic Letterkenny is the latest up and coming monthly creative event aimed at musicians looking for a platform and space to develop skills and experience. Mng,ie was invited to come along and check out what’s happening on the music scene for emerging artists in Donegal.
Formerly held at Port na Fáilte, Open Mic now takes places at the well known creative hub, The RCC, behind an Grianan Theatre. (monthly dates at the bottom).
This night is a fantastic example of a thriving joint working initiative embracing Letterkenny CDP’s philosophy of reducing the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol in our community by providing meaningful alternatives.
You can expect, a menu of free virgin cocktails, snacks, a full PA, sound engineer, and vocal coach and a nice laid back atmosphere where everyone can get involved.
There was a mixed crowd of friendly, shy and interested folk. Singer songwriters, first timers and observers saying things like “I think I can sing, but I’m just learning and starting to write my own lyrics, I won’t sing tonight but maybe the next night", (17th October).
And those who did perform, like Michael Devlin, handsome and talented Chippy from Letterkenny “I write away at songs but never sing in front of anybody. You won’t get to Wembley stadium that way”. Michael sang one of his own songs, strong and powerful lyrics that would reach out the Diaspora.
Edel Mc Gir (pictured left with Darret) performed of Latch by Disclosure, who are nominated for the Mercury music prize, which was brilliant.
Joel Harkin 17, Letterkenny, was bubbling with energy and eager to entertain us all with a couple of covers and one of his own too, which was great.
The free mocktails are the real deal too, fancy glass and all, you just forget there’s no alcohol, enjoy a tasty drink and the craic. And there’s plenty to go around.
Mary Vernon, organizer says “Community members benefit immensely from this type of event, not only do performers get the experience of trying out new material in a nurturing and supportive environment but everyone learns how to have a fun evening without drugs and alcohol”.
Amanda Healy, resident recording artist, sound engineer and vocal coach says “ It can take time to get your creative abilities out of the bedroom and onto the stage. A lot of important connections are made and members learn from each
other and form great friendships across all cultures, it makes you
proud to be involved. The Open Mic night is going from strength to strength and some former artists are now performing in various venues, throughout Donegal. Amanda is on hand for advice and guidance for everyone throughout the night, as well as performing herself, which is always captivating.
Open Mic Letterkenny will now hold regular monthly evenings on a Thursday, dates til Christmas are as follows: 17th of October: 14th of November: 12th of December.
The Regional Cultural Centre, has free parking and it allows Open Mic Letterkenny to create a wonderful ambiance for all performers, should you be a singer, poet, dancer, DJ or comedian there is a space on this stage for you all.
See you on the 17th October 7.30pm. Everyone welcome.