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One Mic Stand - Online Highlights Gallery

Young Identity’s One Mic Stand has been a regular feature of Contact’s programming for years – last week, we posted Keisha Thompson’s reflections on it’s history and it’s place in the world of live poetry.

During our building’s closure, One Mic Stand has featured at Band on the Wall, as well as Gorilla. Both of these famous Manchester venue have the perfect atmosphere for a riotous night of slam poetry and music. But with nowhere open to host it, where else could this month’s planned One Mic Stand event go, but online?

A Whole New World (on the internet)

On Friday 24 April, we hosted the first ever Young Identity: One Mic Stand as a live-streamed event on our website. The night kicked off a little after 7.30pm. Glitches were smoothed out since everyone involved – not least host Reece Williams, proved to be a master of improvisation, and we could not be prouder for the team at Young Identity for pulling it off.

The event was free to watch online, but we are so, so grateful to audience member who chose to donate before, during and after. This money will go towards our continued support of young artists and their work, and at a time when so many artists and creatives have lost their livelihoods, that support will be vital. Thank you to all of you.


These highlights are a little different to our usual output – instead of photos, we have screenshots. But hopefully these will give you a flavour of the night, whether you were one of our audience members, or just catching up now.

You can watch the whole of One Mic Stand on YouTube here.

Reece introduces our artists for the evening as they gear up for individual live performances


The judges: Sharon Raymond, who has judged every One Mic Stand, Keisha Thompson, a founding member of Young Identity and our own Young People’s Producer, and John McGrath, Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival


We meet the ‘inner circle’ – this group of Contact and Young Identity staff and friends made up a virtual studio audience, providing the cheers, claps and opinions for the night.


Veteran slammer and previous OMS winner Jardel Rodrigues starts off the night


Host Reece Williams talks to musician James Holt


Special guest Nasima Bee chats to the virtual studio audience right before performing some brand-new poems.


CHUNKY, special guest DJ for the night, takes us on a journey through some Manchester music – against a virtual journey through the city!