The Tipsy Muse Café started hosting bi-weekly open mic events on Sunday afternoons in order to bring back the sense of community and culture in downtown Fredericton after COVID-19.
Rob Pinnock and his wife, Krista Touesnard, first opened the café together in January 2019. Pinnock said the Tipsy Muse is special because it is more than just a café, but a venue for artists too.
“By the time we did have to shut it down, we would generally have a full room,” said Pinnock. “If we have five or six performers and we each give them 10 to 15 minutes … that’s pretty much going to fill up your hour and a half.”
Pinnock said the Tipsy Muse’s doors are open to anyone that wants to get involved in the open mic events, as long as the setup doesn’t take too long. Pinnock said they want to open their stage up to as many ideas as possible.
“If someone wants to get up and do poetry, we open our doors to that. Stand-up comedy is also fair game. We think that’s exciting,” said Pinnock.
He said he’s impressed by the talented artists who came to the café’s open mic in the past and the original material that was performed.
Jason Andersen is one of the artists who took advantage of the open mic sessions available at Tipsy Muse. He’s performed there twice as a singer-songwriter.
“As a café, it’s such a vibrant, welcoming community space and their open mic series is a glowing reflection of that big-hearted, inclusive atmosphere,” wrote Andersen in an email. “A safe place to try out a brand new song or take a shot at a cover tune.”
Like most restaurants, customers need to prove that they have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in order to sit and watch the performances.
Pinnock said he worried musicians would give up because of not being able to perform during COVID-19.
“That really scares me,” he said.
Pinnock hopes the Tipsy Muse’s open mic event will breathe new life into the city’s musical culture.
The open mic shows are not the only event the Tipsy Muse offers. The café also has live performances most Friday and Saturday nights, and currently has a line up scheduled until December.
“I think [customers] can expect to be thoroughly entertained and the artists can feel very confident that they’re coming into a warm, inviting environment [that lets them do what] they want to do,” said Pinnock.