Open Mic night brought people together at downtown Riverside’s coffee shop, Back to the Grind, on September 25.
That night, in the basement of the shop, people were in their seats ready to get another taste of the community’s talent.
In the crowd sat four friends, Dylan Mayer, Michael DeSantos, J.J. Garcia and Lori Knight, who came out to support their community.
“I love everything about Open Mic nights–the talent, the people, the ambiance, the support–it’s what people need to get away from the real world for a while,” shared Knight.
Open Mic nights are known for hosting a diverse array of talent ranging from poetry to live music.
“Even though I don’t come all the time, it’s kind of nice to know that the event exists to give support to a person who needs it,” said DeSantos.
The event demonstrated positive support and acted as a safe zone for any talent the public wanted to share.
“I like how diverse it is. There are some other kinds of music that I’ve never thought I’d be into, but after hearing and seeing the person perform, I actually do dig it,” shared Mayer.
Three of the friends explained how they prefer going to an event together because it’s more fun to explore it with each other.
The exception was Garcia, since it was her first time attending and preferred to tag along with her pals after their recommendation.
“I had never been to an Open Mic before, but I kind of knew what I was getting myself into because of my friends,” said Garcia.
Just like how Garcia got the knowledge about the event, her other three friends also learned about it by word of mouth.
“We thought it would be something she would be into since she’s been to Back to the Grind and was familiar with the place,” said Knight.
On a typical day, Back to the Grind is filled with people studying or hanging out with friends.
The shop displays a cozy and relaxing vibe for the students at the nearby University of Riverside.
But when 9 p.m. on Monday night hits, attendees enter the world of young talent on the rise just by walking down the stairs to the basement.
“The only thing that people need when they come to the Open Mic is to bring huge support for all of the performers and to enjoy themselves along with the audience,” said Mayer.
Supporting other artists, poets, and anyone of the community is what the event is all about.
On the night of an Open Mic, the event lets anyone sign up to take a turn being in the spotlight, no matter what talent the person has.
“I think if people want to, they can just buy a coffee, a donut and make their way to the Open Mic where they will explore the wonders of the other side,” shared DeSantos.