A house concert is exactly what it sounds like: a get-together of friends & family in your living room, deck, or garden, with live music, and often food, drinks and conversation. These evenings have their advantages over public concerts because they are cozy, intimate, and allow me a chance to really get to know the audience while exposing my music to new ears - your friends! Here are some frequently asked questions:
I don’t have a big house. Can I still host a concert?
Yes! The cozier the better :)
How many people are you expecting? I don’t think I can get 50 people to come to my house.
I've done house concerts with as few as 15 people, and as many as 70. The beauty of a house concert is that it is purposely more intimate and focuses on quality over quantity. Traditional venues rely solely on numbers, making public shows more about quantity than quality.
Can I book you at my neighborhood theater, coffeehouse, gallery or church instead?
Does it cost money to host a house concert?
Yes and no. There is no outright cost to host a concert, but as a traveling artist, I kindly request that hosts ask their guests to come expecting to give a donation, but no one should be turned away if they’re unable to give. Many house concert hosts have a basket or hat by the door with a sign. They often "interrupt" the performance near the end of the evening, and intentionally invite guests to contribute into the basket that is then passed around the room. A typical house concert has a donation of $10-20 per person.
Can I book your band for a house concert?
It depends on my band’s availability, concert location, & other factors, but I usually play house concerts solo.
How do I plan this thing?
The great thing about house concerts is that they're low stress. Once we agree on a date, we can talk about a start time and other details. Then you can setup a Facebook event and send emails/texts to let all your friends know about it. You can even encourage them to bring snacks! Whatever happens, don't stress! It's just like hanging out with your friends :)
But I really don’t want strangers in my house.
This is usually people’s main concern. They're interested in hosting something but don't want it to be listed as a public event. No problem! Just keep the Facebook event invite private or limit the Evite to people you know. Usually I add a generic "Private House Concert" listing on my calendar page for your specific date. Often a fan will ask if they can attend the show. I’ll ask you first if it is ok to pass your address on to this interested fan. If you'd rather keep it a closed event, then no problem. It's your house :)
What exactly is the order of events for the evening?
The order is pretty laid back. It's great to give people 1 hour to arrive, get comfortable & chat before getting into the music. 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 let people to stretch, get more food, use the restroom & talk.
What are your personal expectations?
To me, the most enjoyable & memorable concerts (for me as a performer and as a listener) are when the space becomes a listening room. As an artist who has performed in many diverse settings, my worst experiences involve playing in a noisy bar with no connection to the audience & the music is not the focus, just background noise. There’s nothing wrong with music just to set a mood for an event, but if that’s what you're looking for, I will not be a good fit for your event.
Ok, I think I can do this! What's Next?
Great! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Ask me any additional questions you have or let me know if you are looking to book a specific date. Let's do it!
(some content adapted with permission from www.joyike.com)