Why I run our 12 Hour Charity Open Mic

It started out simple.

One of my best friends was doing a great job fundraising, and I wanted to show support. I had a few writing connections, I knew a few comedians, and a select batch of musicians I could reach out to and ask to perform. The rest would be left up to fate. Leeds didn’t disappoint and the creative community came out in force to help raise money for charity, and have a good laugh doing it.

Three years later…

We’re back again. Doing it all in the name of helping the rain forest. This time, it’s become almost nostalgic for me – familiar headliners such as Jack the Rapper and Jake Donaldson making my year yet again, seeing old friends and catching up with fellow creatives. There’s a slight change this year as we’re hosting the event at Brooklyn Bar, Leeds, an exciting venue right in the city centre. We’re also scrapping ‘slots’ (in the majority), allowing people to come and go and take part in the open mic a little more flexibly.

Why do it?

It’s actually really good fun. Not only do you get to see performers you love, you get a mixed bag of creatives. You’ll love parts, you’ll hate parts, and after twelve whole hours I’ll have seen almost everything Leeds has to offer. I can guarantee I’ll be super proud when the clock strikes 11pm, whatever happens.

Favourite acts?

It just doesn’t work without a mix. Too many musicians, too many Bob Dylan covers. Too much poetry, too much talking. Too much comedy, too much politics. All generalised, stereotyped attitudes but I have to admit it’s kind of true. Getting a mix of all different styles and artforms is the real joy for me. Normally you see spoken word nights, or open mics for musicians or comedy nights – it’s quite rare to see something that brings everyone together and I’m super proud we’re creating 12 hours of just that!

12 Hour Charity Open Mic – 28th May

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