Students open eyes, ears and mics at Solbar

By Mia Ludwig

The Solbar has announced it is welcoming bands to their open mic every month after huge success since opening the back room to instrumentalists.

Alongside the Solbar, USC has opened a recording studio to help music students with production and performing to support them in attending future gigs.

The back room will be open to amateur bands once a month at the open mic.

The Solbar aims to give music students the opportunity to showcase their talent and original songs by opening the back room to bands and other loud instrumentalists.

The bar’s booking manager Melissa O’Bryan organises the event and books talent at the open mic.

Ms O’Bryan said anyone can sign-up with their bands and the event has attracted more university students and under 25s since it started in 2011.

“Anyone can come sign-up for the open mic,” she said.

“Our demographic used to be over 30-year-olds.

“Since the back room opened up to bands we’ve had more under 25s and university students come watch and play.”

The event is expected to attract thousands of young artists every year and aims to help students showcase their music before graduating.

USC opened its first recording studio this semester to set students up for the future by teaching them song writing and performing skills for future gigs like the open mic.

USC’s artistic director Sean O’Boyle runs the music program.

“I know for a fact that students have written songs in our course that they have then taken to their life outside of university,” he said.

“This week they all want to go to the open mic after class.”

The studio aims to set students up for life with practical music skills they can take into the real world.

USC drummer Mitchell McAuliffe attended the first open mic since they opened the back room and regularly uses the studio.

His band Top Smoke was given the opportunity to showcase their music in front of hundreds at the monthly event.

McAuliffe said the studio helped him produce original songs to show-off at the open mic.

“The studio means I can record original music,” he said.

“The Solbar is a great way to showcase your talent and your music, the studio has really helped me with that.”

Ms O’Bryan said the agenda of the Solbar was to support local artists so opening the back room was an easy decision for the bar.

The bar first opened the back room to bands at the open mic in December 2017 on a six-monthly basis.

Previously only acoustic artists could perform and were limited by noise restriction.

Last December the open mic was opened to bands and has since expanded their opportunities.

USC is planning on extending the recording studio to help future students secure their future in music.

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