The third season of the Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival Open Mic and Jam Nights kicks off this evening.

Whoop & Hollar Folk Festival Artistic Director Josh Wright shares what the Open Mic and Jam Nights are all about.

"The Open Mic and Jam Night is an event co-presented by the festival, as well as four other organizations, that brings people together to hang out for an evening of music and jamming," explains Wright. "What's unique about an open mic is that people from the community can sign up for a short performance- anything from comedy to poetry to music to storytelling- and perform in front of a supportive audience. [...] Then the jam session following that brings people together for a creative evening of music and playing together which is very unique for a public event."

Folk Festival Coordinator Linda Omichinski says the last two seasons of Open Mic and Jam Nights were well received by the community, noting one of the great things about the Jam Nights is that they give people the confidence to express the creative aspects of themselves to an audience.

This season promises a new and exciting addition to the Jam Nights, Omichinski shares.

Glen McCabe"This season, we're doing something a little different and offering a half hour free concert by the host. The host this time is Glen McCabe, who played at the Whoop and Hollar Folk Festival. So from 7:00 to 7:30 there will be a free concert for the public, and then we're hoping that that vibe and scene will allow people to come and stay," says Omichinski, explaining "people are not necessarily used to open mics or jam nights, but they are used to free concerts. So then we're meeting people within their comfort zone."

She adds they are excited to announce that they are able to offer this concert for free thanks to funding from the Portage Community Revitalization Corporation's grants program, noting hopefully this will open the Open Mic and Jam Nights to a wider audience.

The Open Mic and Jam Nights take place on the final Friday of the month from October through April, with the exception of the month of December, at the Portage Legion. Doors open at 6:30. For more on the Whoop & Hollar Festival you can check out their website.