Up and coming entertainers from across the Foothills are coming together in a virtual open mic event to continue entertaining fans.
Vick Maan, creator of Freestyle Friday, a weekly gathering that provided an outlet for up-and-coming talent at Tribal Connection Market in downtown Okotoks, is reviving the initiative as a live-streaming event starting tonight.
“I’m reaching out to everybody and whoever shows up we’re going to give them the floor for one performance to keep people engaged,” said Maan. “We’re going to plan it for every Friday, as long as there’s interest.”
Freestyle Friday was cancelled in mid-March after Tribal Connections was forced to close its doors to patrons due to social distancing regulations and mass gathering restrictions implemented by the Province in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alberta chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw recently announced a blanket ban on summer events and festivals, meaning no large gatherings will be allowed until September, at the earliest.
Maan said reviving Freestyle Friday as an online streaming event provides continued support for local singers, musicians, comedians, poets, dancers and storytellers.
“It will be an opportunity for them to try out new material and perfect their skills between shows,” he said. “That’s what Freestyle Friday was about was allowing them that platform to sharpen their skills.”
Maan said their hard work and talent shouldn’t be kept behind closed doors.
“If we can do our part to support the musicians in our community then we will do so,” he said. “A lot of them have got nothing but time on their hands and had the opportunity to work on their music and their acts. This lets them know we want to listen.”
Entertaining in a new venue comes with some adjustments, said Maan, especially in the online world.
“A lot of people are buying cameras and are getting their space set up,” he said. “That’s huge for musicians and artists to be comfortable. We want everybody to take their time to create their space and not feel like they have to rush into this.”
Freestyle Friday’s online open mics will run Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and will feature up to 20 acts each week.
For more details, to view the open mic events or to sign up visit https://www.facebook.com/events/s/freestyle-friday/1135269430157602/
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