Whoop & Hollar Folk fest is still half a year away, but eager musicians had the chance to get out and perform their art at last weekend's Open Mic and Jam Night.

It's a chance to hear emerging local artists, let them fine-tune new music and collaborate with other artists in a relaxed environment.

Matt Lehman was one of the artists who attended. He talks about his experience.

"We just debuted one of the first singles that we released, actually. We finally took the leap, and we're putting it all online. Our first single is called Getting Over, and it was great playing it in front of everyone."

This is the third season of Open Mic & Jam Night, and it occurs every month. Lehman talks about why it's an important event.

"For the community, it builds it. I come here, I see a lot of people, I see a lot of regular faces and new faces. Everyone's just out here having a good time," says Lehman. "For me, it's special because I was born and raised here, Aaron included. I've been doing lots of travelling, I've lived in BC for the last decade, and I've travelled the world a little bit. Coming here feels safe and sound."

After the open mic portion of the event, guests have the opportunity to participate in a jam session. Aaron McEachern says that's his favourite part.

"I love the way people come and play their songs and at the end, there is a jam. To me, the jam is almost the most fun part. That's how you meet new people, make new connections, and jam new tunes. Everyone gets along, and it's awesome."

The next Open Mic Night runs on February 28th.