What exactly is a house concert?
A house concert is exactly what it sounds like: a get-together of friends in your living room, live music, and often food, drinks, and conversation. One of the great things about these types of shows is they are cozy, intimate, and create a space for me to really get to know the audience while exposing my music to new ears - your group of friends!
I don't have a big house. Can I still host a concert?
Yes! The cozier the better. You don't need a gigantic living room or one of those houses on the Fresh Prince of Bel-air :)
How many people are you expecting? I don't think I can get 50 people to come to my house.
House shows can be as few as 20 people and as many as 60. The beauty of a house concert is it is purposefully more intimate and focuses on quality over quantity. Traditional venues rely solely on numbers, making public shows more about quantity than quality. These shows are more about creating a more intimate space for connection through music.
Does it cost money to host a house concert?
Nope! There is no cost to host a concert, but as traveling artists we appreciate it when hosts ask their guests to give a suggested donation. Many house show hosts have a basket by the door. They often will say a little something in the middle of the performance, give a 2 minute spiel asking people to support the artist, and then proceed to "pass the hat" during the performance as it continues. Donations really go a long way in helping the artist pay for gas and cover expenses while on the road. It's also just a much appreciated way of helping an artist keep their music career sustainable. In other words it is very helpful :) A house concert usually averages at $10 per person. Some have been $8, some $15 or even $20. But no one should be turned away if they are not able to give.
How do I plan this thing?
The beauty in house concerts is they are low stress. Once we agree on a date, we can talk about a start time. Then you can setup a Facebook invite and/or shoot out emails to your network of friends to let them know about it. If you want, you can encourage them to bring a dish and it becomes a potluck (awesome)! Whatever happens, don't stress! It's just like hanging out with your friends! You can clean your house if you want though :)
But I really don't want strangers in my house.
This is usually a homeowners primary concern. They're interested in hosting, but don't want it to be listed as a public event. No problem. Simply keep the Facebook invite private. I'll stick a generic "Private House Concert" listing on my calendar page. If someone asks me if they can attend the show, I'll ask you first if it is ok to pass your address on to this interested person. If you'd rather keep it a closed event, no worries. It's your house :)
What exactly is the order of events for the evening?
The order is pretty laid back. It's usually great to give folks 1 hour to arrive, get comfortable, and chat it up before getting into music. Depending on if I'm touring solo or with other musicians, music can go for as little as 1 hour or as long as 2. Sometimes, depending on how long the music is planned to go, there is a break in the middle to allow people to stretch their legs, get more food, and talk. Ultimately, I personally think having little or no agenda is what makes house concerts so perfect.
What are your personal expectations for the night?
For me, a huge part of creating and sharing music is connection. The house concert setting allows a more open space to share stories and create an atmosphere where people are able to really listen and connect. It's a little different than playing "background" music at a noisy bar. :) I'm excited for house shows to be a unique, special experience for all of us who gather together for the night. Generally, between me and the host, we try to make sure we can get at least 20 people there before committing to a date.
Ok, this officially sounds like fun! What's next?
Great! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the contact page. Let's do it!
(you can also shoot me more questions)