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Benefit concert Sunday at Seven Steps Up

Marie Havenga • Sep 9, 2017 at 12:00 PM

SPRING LAKE — Seth Glier and Birds of Chicago headline the annual Courtyard Concert at 2 p.m. Sunday in the courtyard behind Seven Steps Up, 116 S. Jackson St.

Special guest Jesse Terry and opener Loren Johnson round out the lineup.

Seven Steps owners Michelle and Gary Hanks started the non-profit concerts as a way to give back to the community. 

Proceeds from Sunday’s show will benefit community projects such as Liz’s Concerts that offer an interaction with kids through live performances, and bringing music to the Farmers Markets on Saturday mornings and Art Market on Sundays. The proceeds also help local food pantries and fund emergency situations in northern Ottawa and southern Muskegon counties.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. They're available at courtyardconcerts.org or by calling 616-930-4660.

Gates open at 1:30 p.m. The concert takes place rain or shine. Bring your own chairs.

Open mic nights

Seven Steps Up Live Music & Event Venue, along with co-sponsors Courtyard Concerts, Walk The Beat and the Third Coast Recording Co. team, recently announced the next series of open mic nights, which will run from September through May 2018.

They will be held Sept. 11, Oct. 2, Nov. 6, Dec. 4, Jan. 8, Feb. 5, March 5, April 2 and May 7.

Loren Johnson, a local singer/songwriter and administration director for Walk The Beat, will again host the series. Open mics start at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30.

The open mic series at Seven Steps Up is presented in a unique listening room format. Participants perform to an attentive, seated audience. The audience is encouraged to show respect for the performer by not talking while people are performing.

Past participants have included a wide range of musicians from professional to amateur, young and old. Many performers are songwriters, but while original music is encouraged, it is not required. Performer ages previously ranged from 13-74.

Participants sign up and names are randomly drawn throughout the evening. This type of scheduling allows for everyone to play with an equal chance for all participants to be drawn. Musicians are scheduled for one song. If time allows, a second song could be an option.

Two performers from each open mic night will be invited to perform at a quarterly Best of Open Mic Pin Drop Concert. These will be reserved seating, ticketed concerts presented in a "songwriter in the round" format. Performers will receive a percentage of ticket sales and 100 percent of their merchandise sales.

Best of Open Mic concerts are scheduled for Nov. 19, Feb. 18 and May 20.

"We are hoping for the same response as the first series earlier this year," Michelle Hanks said. "At our final open mic of last season, we had 27 people sign up. It was incredible. We had people perform who had never played in public before. And The Best of Open Mic was amazing, too. The performers and the audience let us know that they wanted to do this again. And now here we are."

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