Creative Factory Open Mic Nights
5th May 2020
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Creative Factory is supported by 'Walsall for All', which has enabled the expansion of the evening social events, one of these being our Open Mic Nights.  The initial drive behind the Creative Factory Open Mic Night, was to create a space in which the community could come together and socialise, whilst showcasing the incredible depth of talent that Walsall has to offer. I feel it's important to give equal weight to the support of both those who come to enjoy the night and those who come to perform, as both are equally vitual in creating the relaxed and inclusive atmosphere that makes the night so successful.


Inclusivity is very important to Creative Factory, and as such, anyone wishing to attend is  made to feel very welcome, and quickly feels part of the community. We enjoy a diverse selection of performances, from shadow puppetry, spoken word poetry to more traditional singer/songwriter artists. Essentially anyone who can perform behind a microphone is always welcome to turn up on the night and request a slot, and endeavours will be made to make it happen.


The evenings are free to attend, although there is a donations bucket which is passed around should people wish to support Creative Factory and show their appreciation.  There is also an opportunity to partake in a raffle for the chance to win artworks produced by local artists. The space is intimate, with candles and nibbles on the tables, low lighting and seating occupying most available space, aiming to create an environment similar to that of a Parisian cafe/bar.  There is no bar at Creative Factory, but attendees of the night are welcome to bring their own refreshments.


Given the difficult circumstances in which we all find ourselves during the Covid 19 Lockdown we, like others, have had to adapt and explore technology to best continue the special community spirit that the Open Mic nights have developed. As such, Creative Factory now hosts regular ‘virtual’ open mics on the Facebook page, "Creative Factory Open Mic Night". On these nights, performers  ‘go live’ from that page, one after the other, whilst people are encouraged to watch the night unfold from their homes (with perhaps a glass of wine or two) and engage with others watching through sharing comments as the acts go live. In this way people can get a sense of being part of the night and being part of the community without risking health or the health of others. As with the usual open mic nights, anyone is welcome to perform, and anyone wishing to perform can request a slot on the Facebook page once the date of the next night has been announced. A running order is then created on a first come first serve basis, similar to our normal Open Mic nights.


Fortuitously, the circumstances in which we find ourselves have actually encouraged the growth of community. No longer limited by physical space, artists and those supporting the night can now come from all corners of the UK and even further. It is this, and the hardwork and ingenuity of many of the performers that enables the Creative Factory Open Mic Night to gain support whilst continuing to provide a friendly, relaxed environment for the community to socialise, create and make lasting new connections.    


About the Author

Ian Henery

Member since: 4th February 2019

Presenter Black Country Radio & Black Country Xtra

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