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March 4, 2009 > Free Expression at Open Mics

Free Expression at Open Mics

In its bi-monthly open mic event, Bay Street Coffee Roasting will have something other than the aroma of fresh coffee in the air: live music. The man responsible for organizing the event is no stranger to open mics. For the past 10 years, Fremont native Seán Lightholder has run www.bayareaopenmics.com, the bay area's longest running online open mic calendar.

"I started the website back in 1998. Back then there wasn't a good listing of open mics anywhere. I set it up for my own use and must have hit a button with people, because it became popular pretty quick." Lightholder maintains the site personally, writing reviews for each listing and carefully checking details for each open mic event he posts.

Lightholder's Bay Street event is an acoustic open mic with minimal amplification. "It's a low-key, acoustic event," he explains. "I offer live recording, so there are mics and a speaker, but it's pretty chilled-out," Lightholder says.

"This is the first open mic event I've hosted," Lightholder confesses. "I've attended a lot of open mics over the years, but always had to go to another city to find them. When I was in high school and college, there were no open mics in Fremont. As it is, this [Bay Street] joins three other excellent open mics in Fremont: The Essanay Cafe in Niles every second Wednesday, Mission Coffees on third Fridays and Joe's Corner every Thursday. Anyone who's attended those can tell you they're all extremely popular . . . there was definitely room for another open mic in town."

Open mic is on March 6 and starts at 8 p.m. with sign-ups at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. Details can be found on www.bayareaopenmics.com. Seán can be contacted at sean@lightholder.net or at (510) 552-1105.

Open Mics
Friday, March 6
8 p.m.
Bay Street Coffee Company
4000 Bay Street Ste A, Fremont
(between Fremont Blvd. and Union St)
(510) 353-9590

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