Student musicians are not hard to find here at the UR. But not all students like to hear or be heard as part of a larger, flashier group—sometimes, they just want to perform, alone or with others, in a more intimate, quieter setting.

Friday Night Live (FNL), a weekly event organized by the Student Programming Board, suits that desire exactly. Hosted in Starbucks from 10 to 12 p.m. on most Fridays throughout the year, the coffeehouse-style concert series showcases every variety of student solo act and small band, featuring a new performer most weeks, as well as the occasional returning act.

12It is remarkable how much some gentle, live background music adds to the atmosphere of Starbucks. The contrast between this laid back atmosphere and the crowded, hectic, line-out-the-door Starbucks during peak hours is startling in the best of ways.

FNL offers a venue for performers across many genres, with the only general criteria for landing a gig being that the performance must be quiet enough to be appropriate in the relaxed coffeehouse setting.

Senior and Student Programming Board’s coffeehouse chair Elizabeth Crummins said that Starbucks is small, and, in that venue, “people are more often than not trying to hold a conversation while they listen to the performer, so it’s important that that ambient noise isn’t drowned out.”

She stressed that, within those criteria, “any type of music” is welcome.

Sorry, UR heavy-metal enthusiasts — you’ll have to find another venue.

Although it isn’t quite as restrictive as the volume criterion, Crummins asks that “each performer/group has at least an hour’s worth of music in order to book a show.”

“The way I book the performers varies,” she added. “Sometimes they reach out to me, sometimes I book performers   bbgg who have had successful shows in the past, sometimes I reach out to groups I have seen perform on campus, and sometimes I reach out to musically-inclined friends or open it up to anyone who follows [Student Programming Board] on social media.”

But, above all, Crummins emphasized that the venue is an open one.

“If you’re a performer or group who wants to share their music but haven’t been able to perform on campus thus far, FNL might be your chance,” she said. “We love when we are able to give some exposure to aspiring musicians, and the friendly atmosphere of Starbucks with people stopping by to order food and drink is perfect to draw in new listeners.”

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