hatmandu is a bit more scathing of last night’s open-mic event than I would wish to be. Certainly the attendance was rather low, although only half of it consisted of people we directly knew, so there were some newcomers. And Mew and Wooster were crisp and sweet as a dew-covered pippin, despite the appalling fuzz on the vocal microphone.
After last year’s astonishing success, though, Open Mic ’08 was a disappointment. But then: none of us put in the directed pre-event effort we did last year, despite no longer having a route to channel the audience directly from Blackwell’s (and their free alcohol) to us. Next year we’ll plan it better, and try to make it a focal point: have it on a drinking night; advertise more, specifically; and get a few literary luminaries along (possibly through better scheduling more than anything else).
I say “we”: I did volunteer last night to organize Open Mic ’09 myself, which given my track record in welching on deals might not have been the best of ideas. But a single event would at least not be the open-ended organizational nightmare that an entire fringe festival must be (eh, hat?, eh, bluedevi?), and it would mean I could concentrate on that one thing while the overall organizers could safely ignore it.
If nothing else, though, it was lovely to sit, have a drink, hear some music, and above all meet the hatforementioned Mr Hill last night. His spirited rendition of whatever on earth it was. If we’d had half a dozen people like him then it would have been a riproaring success; but then that’s a fringe festival for you.