So I work at a bar and proposed to my boss we start doing open mic nights, not just open mic nights but OPEN MIC MOJITO MONDAYS. The name says it all, entertainment & flavour. What more could your summer need? Nothing, cause your summers probably realistically suck ass. So by adding this event to your summer schedule I will do my best to make your awful lives a whole lot less shitty. I Hoppsy baby boy, will be your host every Monday night, for the reoccurring Open Mic Mojito Mondays.
I have been a bartender since I was 18, started out as a summer job 7 years ago and here I am still slinging the hottest drinks north of the 49th parallel. I have worked at some premium spots, some chain restaurants, and am going on my 3rd summer at this unreal lakeside restaurant that turns into a bar holding 800+ on Friday/Saturday nights. I like the restaurant style bartending and have a great time bartending club style venues as well. Though this summer I have decided to embark on a new opportunity as old as the hands of time, Open Mic Night.
I have decided that Live Music will save the world and this is my opportunity to do so. I have always shot event ideas to my bars owner and they’ve always been shut down, but open mic night for some reason has captivated him. Per heavy investigation and tireless hours of research I have created the following step by step implementation on how this Open Mic night will be created successfully.
Pick the hottest location you can find:
Or any location you can find if it comes down to it. I have chosen my place of employment. On the beautiful shores of Lake Nipissing Ontario roughly 4 hours north of Toronto. A place I am sure you are all completely unaware of, let me set the scene for you. A 100 year old boat cemented into the dock with a patio built around it with total seating for 300+ during the day/night underneath the starts of the great white north. My boss is giving me a month window to make this somewhat successful. Success is my only option.
Let The People Know:
Gotta hit the social media avenues to uncover the great local stars of my area, though at this time I must also not rule out the dark web. May have to start hitting up local music stores and try an get in with the local scene. Talk about my favourite Bon Jovi covers or possibly my most appreciated acoustic musical setting, whatever it takes. I may seriously have to do this. I think I know 3 people that can play the guitar in this town. Whether they like it or not I have booked them for the first show June 3rd. Two of them have yet to be notified. Hopefully they are practicing.
Preparation Is Key:
Making sure that all my top of the line equipment is ready to go lake side and ready to pack the audio punch needed to get people dancing on the tables and the fat men slapping their bellies is essential, no mistakes come show time people. My boss is providing the sound equipment so I have only several weeks to learn how to set it up and use it. I am probably going to have to test out the sound myself, I used to be able to shred the guitar when I was 10-14. Then I forgot to pick it up for a decade, but I am back better than ever people. I can currently play five songs… If the show goes awry I will have to jump in and save the day with my music. Here is my set list if I am needed for an emergency step in show save.
- Last Kiss- Pearl Jam
- Patience- Guns n’ Roses
- Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In a Small Town- Pearl Jam
- Free Fallin- Tom Petty
- Shallow- Bradley Cooper & Lady GaGa
Keep The Electricity Flowing:
The last thing we want is radio silence during an open mic night, so it is crucial that between performers or songs if there is going to be a pause make sure there is some sort of music playing even if that means throwing the house music back on momentarily between necessary pauses. Need the atmosphere to stay electric at all times. Also if need be, grab the mic and start absolutely verbally assaulting guests for comic relief until someone tunes a guitar and starts strumming. The show must go on.
Staying on Schedule:
We have chosen Monday nights as our open mic night, since this is a weekday and guests and performers all presumably work the next day it is important that this event starts somewhat early and ends at a decent hour. Got to be sure that we start on time each week as well, performers slotted in later on in the show will likely get anxious if the show gets pushed back possibly resulting in them not even sticking around to perform. Open Mic Mondays need to be efficient. Bringing the people what they want, what they need. Even if they weren’t sure that they needed it, it will be brought, trust me.
To keep the pace moving I am thinking of limiting people to 5 songs, or roughly 25 minutes, whichever comes first really. This will ensure that people are getting into a rhythm when they are playing and get comfortable at the venue amongst the elements. Or, We could chose to limit set lengths to 2 songs and then start over at the top of the list once all acts have performed so that it gets everyone to stick around longer and hear everyone play. This will be up for discussion.
Keep Sign Ups Fair:
Gotta be securing 2-3 acts weekly before Monday rolls up to ensure that there is going to be at least some people available to play ensuring a crowd will show up. Though the night cant be full of advanced sign ups because people who walk in wanting to play still need their shot at stardom as it is only fair. It is also crucial to accept all newcomers that want to participate in open mic, when open mics fail to include new combers they eventually all die. Also guests are going to get tired of seeing the same three people every week so the proper inclusion off all comers is crucial to the success of this event.
Make The Artists Feel comfortable:
Trust me, this is essential. Though it will not be a problem. I am going to make every mother fucker who walks up on that stage think they are Elton John, I will have a lighter out, banging on the tables, and an ice cold mojito waiting for them once they are off stage. This venue will become their home. They may never leave. I as host will ensure of this.
Create Repeat Performers:
Through my last mentioned step the feeling of family and musical comradre will be unlike any other. Thus forming an alliance of musicians at my disposal, I will essentially be creating a musical movement in Canada. I hope to find the next Drake or Justin Bieber, but a more Northern Canadian Version, maybe a guy with a beard and a snowmobile jacket on with his coveralls still on underneath from work earlier that day. Something the mainstream media doesn’t realize that they need a whole lot more of. I Hoppsy will do my best to bring these acts to musical notice.
This is Actually happening:
I seriously am doing this, and I seriously have no clue what I am doing. But let me tell you, it is going to work. Trust me. I made this guide not because I needed it, but because we all needed it. There are a lot of things in my life still unanswered, branded has given me an outlet to try an solve some of them with you, the reader. So please tell me how dumb I really am, and let me know what I am missing so far in the plans for OPEN MIC MOJITO MONDAYS.
Has such a great ring doesn’t it.
Featured Image- My buddy Aarons facebook profile pic of him playing at the Calgary Stampede 2017′ on the coca cola stage, with my face slapped over his.