Musicians show talent in online group
ASPIRING singers, beginner musicians, and regular karaoke-goers this week gathered online to show off their skills to thousands in Central Queensland and beyond.
Emerald resident Bronwyn Roberts and ex-Emerald resident Jenni West recently set up the 'Open Mic Aussie Isolation Style' Facebook group as a platform for the musically-talented to share their work, or for the generally bored to kill some time.
Miss West, who now lives in Victoria, said that the idea came to her during a night of drinking, when she thought it would "be so cool to be famous and singing". From there, she said, "it just snowballed".
"It's become special to a lot of people. I don't think it's an ego thing, I think it's giving them purpose."
The public group has gathered nearly 6,000 members in fewer than two weeks. People may post videos of themselves playing an instrument or singing, or put up messages of encouragement for others.
Miss Roberts said it allowed her and Miss West to stay in touch, and now enabled strangers to share their passion for music.
"It started off as something that would help keep us connected," Miss Roberts said.
"We figured there'd be more people in the same situation and we wanted to make it a group to give people something else to focus on and do.
"We thought it'd just be small."
The members extend outside of Queensland and across Australia.
"It's just blown up," Miss Roberts said. "A lot of members are from Central Queensland, but we've got people from all over the country. It's become huge."
It has also been a way of boosting people's confidence. Without a physical crowd, Miss Roberts said, some seem more willing to put themselves out there.
"There are some amazing talents that have posted," she said. "It's not about how good you are. It's about giving it a go."
Miss Roberts said she expected the group to create friendships with more longevity than the coronavirus pandemic.
"We've already had people saying, 'Thanks so much for putting this together', and 'Wouldn't it be great to get together after this?'"