I remember when I was in my first year I desperately wanted to get involved with an open mic. Before I started uni, music would always be a part of my everyday routine in the form of singing, playing the piano and or collaborating with other people. I became aware of Open Space Society which held a weekly open mic but I never had the confidence to pursue it or to reach out to other musicians.
It wasn’t until second year that I started jamming with a course friend who played guitar. It was so awesome to finally have something music related in my uni life aside from singing in the shower! After many practices we finally got down to the Red House on Solly Street, performed, had a drink and met some great people. If I could turn back time I would’ve definitely gotten involved with Open Space in first year without a doubt. I realise now that my nervousness towards it was irrational. But hey, you’re in your first year, finding your feet and everything is totally new so it’s OK to feel wary. My advice to any uni student out there would be to get involved in whatever society you want, you won’t look back. It doesn’t even matter whether it’s halfway through the semester, it’s not like the Activities Fair was your last shot at joining.
At the end of second year I was elected to be the Secretary and Inclusions Officer for the Open Space society of 2015/2016. (You just don’t know what’s around the corner)! With this position I hope to reach out to everyone who is hesitant about joining. Along with the new committee this academic year we also have a new venue, the University Arms and we hold our open mic nights every Thursday at 8:30pm. It’s a very chilled atmosphere, just like being in someone’s living room, except there’s a bar. People come down and put their name on a list to perform and it’s always great to have an audience so even if performing isn’t your thing you can still come enjoy the show!
The really cool thing about Open Space is that it isn’t restricted to students, a lot of our members are locals or graduates. We’re still early on in the semester and I’ve already met so many new people just from a few open mics. Recently we worked with the Mental Health Matters Society and the Poetry Society to raise money for Sheffield Mind. We held an event called Speak Your Mind with performances from poets and musicians. It was great to use open mic as a way of raising money for charity.