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April’s Ocean Mic: A virtual sing-song to remember!

The show goes on(line)!

The first Thursday of the month is always Ocean Mic Night. Performers from Splott, Cardiff and South Wales flock to Ocean Arts for an evening jam-packed with laughter, drinks and music of all varieties. But when lockdown came into effective in late March, we were forced to think creatively – could the show go on?

Although we can’t leave our homes, events like Ocean Mic are important for raising our spirits and keeping us occupied during what is a troubling and unstable time. So we decided to throw our first ever Online Open Mic, a virtual sing-song, with performers from all round the world dropping in for a song or two. After some manic preparation, we had a plan of action, and prayed that we could handle any technical problems that came our way!

We were blown away by how many of you got involved. We had 12 brilliant performers join our livestream, and nearly 3,000 people tuned in at some point to watch. Everyone got involved, with over 500 comments coming in over the 3 hours we were live.

We were so thrilled that we’re reminiscing about the best bits two weeks on…

1. The hostess with the mostest… Francesca’s Word Salad

The completely wonderful Francesca’s Word Salad did a fantastic job of keeping the night on track. When our technical software experienced the occasional hiccup, Fran was quick thinking on her feet, grabbing her guitar at a moment’s notice or distracting everyone with some eccentric accessories. We’re thrilled that she’s lined up to reprise her hosting duties for May’s Online Open Mic!

2. Guests from all around the world

One advantage of moving the show online was that performers could join us from all across the globe! We welcomed Marcus Jade, live from Austin, Texas, whilst Slovakian artist Deneon picked up his guitar for his first performance in some time from his room in Cardiff. Of course, our usual gang of open mic performers also brought their A game, joining the stream from their homes across South Wales. Silver linings like these show us that this situation is full of opportunities to become more connected.

3. Our special guest, MADI

Everyone was blown away by our special guest, MADI, who managed to deliver her unique flavour of electronic art pop from home! She’s a prime example of how we can get creative in these strange times. You can watch her amazing set in the full video of the livestream, starting at around 1 hour 14 minutes.

4. A royal variety of performances

All our 12 guests offered a completely different style of performance. We had guitars and pianos of all shapes and sizes; a viola and a harmonica; and even some very special spoken word poetry. This vibrant variety made the night even more special.

5. Supporting Ocean Arts – thank you!

Our Online Open Mic raised more than £300 on the night, with over £100 more having been added to our total since. THANK YOU so much to everyone who donated. You have made a huge difference and hopefully means we can throw another Open Mic – in person – when our doors can reopen.

But in the meantime, we’re gonna celebrate by throwing another Online Open Mic! Join us on Thursday 7th May with our returning host, Francesca’s World Salad, another very special guest and hopefully more from our community of fantastic performers.

Missed April’s Online Open Mic, or want to rewatch all the action? You can watch the whole night on our Facebook page!

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