In the heart of the cultural hotbed that is Shoreditch, Rich Mix does pretty much everything: music, film, art, dance, theatre, spoken word, education, community outreach. And from what I've seen, it does them all well.
I was first attracted to Rich Mix for performance poetry nights. I've been to some good ones before (and some less-good), but Jawdance, held at Rich Mix every third Wednesday, is definitely among the best I've found. I was impressed by the quality and range of contributors, but also by the way the relatively large venue, with a capacity of around 400, manages to feel intimate and friendly.
'Friendly' was again the dominant atmosphere when I stumbled into one of Rich Mix's international cultural events. This was an evening celebrating Ethiopian culture, about which I knew little, if anything, when I stepped through the door. Half an hour later I may still not have known much - but I was certainly having a good time, joining in with some traditional Ethiopian dance moves, and tucking into a selection of traditional Ethiopian food. By the time the live music started, the whole thing felt like a big family party, in a good way.
Most recently I went to check out Rich Mix's cinema, to see Richard Ayoade's brilliant Submarine – getting a glimpse on the way in of the art gallery space, the lively cafe, and the sold-out Bollywood Brass Band gig, which looked and sounded every bit as glorious and energy-packed as you'd imagine a fusion of Bollywood and brass could be.
In short, highly recommended: Rich Mix is the kind of place you can just wander into and discover something amazing. And it's the kind of place you really remember, both for the high quality of the entertainment, and for real community feel of its events.