Everyone grab your guitars and your dancing shoes. Bainbridge Island is gearing up for a rare all-ages open mic event this weekend.
Local teens have formed a group called “M.O.B. Inc.” (Musicians of Bainbridge) to put on an all-comers performance at the 122 on Winslow Way from 5 to 8 p.m., Sunday, April 22.
A donation of $3 is suggested for the event. Proceeds will go to support the West Sound Wildlife Shelter on the island.
“We wanted to do something local,” said Emily Rose, who is organizing the show along with her brother Michael and a group of friends.
“Then we decided we should benefit a charity and we came to West Sound Wildlife Shelter,” she added.
Rose, 17, is a junior at Bainbridge High School. She said that her family sometimes goes to open mics in Poulsbo, where there are opportunities for all ages to perform. But on the island it’s a different tune.
“There are a lot of open mics around Bainbridge, but none that are all-ages,” Rose said.
“I think that there are a lot of unseen talent, but nobody really knows who they are,” Rose said. “I see the people in Poulsbo be really impressed. All the kids that get involved really enjoy it.”
Her 14-year-old brother Michael is one such performer. Together, they began organizing an open mic closer to home where all ages can participate.
“We began talking to people that I knew who would be interested, and Michael’s friends,” Rose said.
Soon word got around, and people outside of Rose’s circle of friends came on board to support the effort.
“There’s a glee club at the high school and we’ve gotten a lot of performers from there,” Rose said. “We found a lot of people who weren’t our friends, but they are interested in this. Everyone is getting excited.”
Support came from downtown, too.
“We wanted to give them a venue, the only other open mic are at places where minors aren’t allowed,” said Kim Raymond, co-owner of the 122.
“It’s another way we are reaching out to our community beyond the confines of being a restaurant and a bar. These kids had a need and we could help.”
Raymond was approached by Rose’s father about the possibility of the open mic and thought it was a great idea.
“But it was actually the teenagers took it upon themselves and decided they wanted to make it a fundraiser,” Raymond said.
The 122 will run its normal happy hour specials during the open mic but will also open up the outside patio for the all-ages crowd.
“We are going to have two pop-up tents with barbecues so the kids can have a burger,” Raymond said.
The event will have drums, guitars and other instruments available for public use. People are encouraged to perform up to three songs.
All-ages open mics on the island are rare, so M.O.B. hopes the event will prove successful so similar events can follow.
“I really hope that this will go well, and we can see this kind of thing once in a while where everyone can come,” Rose said. “There are older performers coming, too, so it’s not just younger kids. It will be a bonding experience for all generations.”
The funds contributed to the West Sound Wildlife Shelter will support a variety of operations at the nonprofit.
“For the most part these funds will support our wildlife hospital where we care for injured, orphaned or sick animals,” said Elsa Watson, development coordinator for the shelter.