Participants present their poems and songs - Message from Andrew Darbyshire

Dear potential 'Open Mic' performers, one and all, as organiser of the Saturday 'Open Mic' sessions, I'm keen to hear from you at any time!

The sort of information I am suggesting that I need from you, if you wish to perform in an 'Open Mic' session, is:

- Your Name (or how you would like to be introduced)
- Type of performance (, poem, dance), including name of item
- Approximate length of performance/s (including setting-up/tuning time)

The time factor is important, as I will need to keep a estimate of the total time to stay within the allocated time. In terms of the individual song performances, we have also decided on a notional 2 song limit ( just to give as many performers as possible a chance).

However, should we run short of performers/performances, then we'll allow performers to do more than the 2 songs. There may be a little time extension latitude at the end, but we must bear in mind that people will have personal schedules or things they may otherwise decide to do after our session and before the evening programme begins (not to mention some likely rehearsals for the evening event) so we should try to stick to the set finishing time.

Anyway, I will still need to have some idea of the total performance time to help me make a decision about any potential cut-off point, when I'll need to "close the books" (allowing for a few performances in reserve, if time permits such extra performances or scheduled performers drop out at the last minute). The flip side of the coin is that, if I have excess time available, I will accept late expressions of interest to perform (even at the event) and some folk may also get the opportunity to do more than 2 performance items.

An important principle, which is to do with fairness, is that any such cut-off point will be on basis of the chronological order of the registration with me of expressions of interest to perform (with those expressing an interest after this cut-off point going on a "reserve list", if they wish to). However, I will endeavour to give folk some warning of any approaching cut-off point, to try to avoid unnecessary disappointment.

Ultimately, it is not likely I will know what will transpire in terms of the final performance schedule until the day arrives (unless there are lots of early registrations of interest). So, unless there is an early rush, there will be no 'closing time' for registration of interest, as we will make allowances for some coy folk who might become last minute "spur of the moment performers"!

We will create two Open Mic sessions, the poetry segment and the song (or dance) segment. The 2 song performances limit principle applies also to the poetry session.

I look forward to hearing from a good many of you in due course! My more accessible email address is

Andrew Darbyshire, June 2005