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What is a House Concert?

A house concert is a private event in someone's home where an artist comes to perform in an intimate, listening environment. The host (homeowner) invites anywhere from 15 - 100+ of their closest friends, co-workers, family members, neighbors, etc. to experience a concert they'll never forget, while supporting an independent touring musician.

CONCERTS

HOUSE

 

Like we mentioned before...

A house concert is a private event in someone's home where an artist comes to perform in an intimate, listening environment. The host (homeowner) invites anywhere from 15 - 100+ of their closest friends, co-workers, family members, neighbors, etc. to experience a concert they'll never forget, while supporting an independent touring musician. 
 
 

Now that you know what a house concert is, here are our most FAQ'S

HOW MUCH DOES A HOUSE CONCERT COST?

SUGGESTED DONATIONS: The majority of house concerts we perform at, the host will ask attendees to contribute a "suggested donation" in exchange for attending the show. We've found that an open-ended ask of $10-20 per person works wonderfully; it doesn't alienate possible attendees who can't afford a higher price ticket, but also encourages those who truly enjoy the show to give more. 100% of these donations go directly to the artist. 

You don't need to recruit a door person to collect donations (although a couple hosts have done that & it works flawlessly). You can simply place a jar with a sign to let attendees know to put their donations in it at a highly visible spot (or two) at the entrance to your home. 
Some hosts even like to pass the jar around right before the intermission to allow people to donate, if they haven't already, or to add more if they are really enjoying the show!
HOW DO I GO ABOUT INVITING PEOPLE?
There are a variety of ways to get the word out about our house concert: 

- Facebook 
- Email
- Text 
- Word of Mouth
The main points to cover when inviting people are: 
 
- Briefly explain what a house concert is. 
- That there is a suggested donation of $10-20 per person. 
- 100% of the proceeds go directly to the touring artist. 
- What time you want your friends to begin showing up (usually an hour before concert). 
- What time the performance will start. 

At many house concerts, the host will ask friends to bring a dish to share before the performance. We've seen that this typically increases the attendance. This can be anything from a beverage of your choice, an appetizer, dessert, or a full dish for potluck.
HOW SHOULD I SET UP MY HOME FOR THE CONCERT?
Something we hear often is a potential host saying that they would love to do a house concert, but feel like their home is too small. That is, almost always, not the case. Rooms can be deceiving when it comes to how many people can fit in the space comfortably. 

Most often, a space which the host estimates they can accomodate 15-20 people is usually able to comfortably handle 30 or even more. 
Tip: To estimate your capacity, clear the middle of the room (coffee table, etc.) and move the couches to the side or against a wall if possible. Then, start arranging available chairs (dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, office chairs) to get an idea of the number of people your space could hold. Once you’ve set up a few rows, it’s easy to imagine how the rest of it would fall into place. Remember to allow at least a 4' by 6' area for the performer — more if it’s a duo or group.

When mapping out a performance space in your home, it is usually best to choose the largest common room (living room, den, basement, etc). Once you've picked the room, arrange the seating to face where you envision us performing. When setting up, the goal is to turn this room into your own, mini-concert hall. 

We do enjoy our audience to sit close to us. It creates an intimate listening environment which allows for a fun, conversational concert. Since some folks tend to be on the shy side, it may be best to have the seating arranged close to us before the audience begins to arrive. 

When it comes to what we'll need to perform, all we ask for is the following: 
- Two electrical outlets (either directly behind us or in close proximity) 
- Space for our compact sound system* & microphone stands
-Also an accessible space to set up our merchandise :) 
INDOORS VS. OUTDOORS?
When performing outside, there are a couple things to consider:

1.) Sound travels & it has very few, if any, spots to reverberate when outdoors.  
 
2.) Weather. Some people like the idea of a cozy campfire with a live performance. This may be very nice for the audience but if the temperature is below 65 degrees it is hard for the musician to play. Our hands get cold and the blood stops flowing which accounts for missed notes and extra vibrato! Yuck!

3.) One of the greatest things about house concerts is the energy the performers & audience feel when the focus is on the music & the stories. When indoors, there is an environment conducive to listening. In most cases when outdoors, there are more distractions that could encourage the attendees to sit far away, get up, talk, etc. 

That being said, we have performed many outdoor house concerts where the audience knew it was a listening environment & it worked wonderfully! 

No two house concerts are the same & we trust your judgement when it comes to what will work best for you & your audience :)
IT'S THE DAY OF THE CONCERT! WHAT DO I DO NOW?
The invites have been sent, the chairs are set up, & we will be arriving in a matter of hours! Here is a helpful checklist of things that will guide you through the day of the concert: 

1.) Send a friendly reminder about your house concert to your email/text/Facebook list. In this reminder include the time, address, & the suggested donation. 

2.) Place at least one jar or bucket in a heavy foot traffic area for attendees to put their suggested donations in. It works best when the jar is placed near the front door or near the potluck area. 

3.) Attach a sign to the jar or bucket that says the following: "Suggested Donation of $10-20 per person. 100% goes to Artist Name Here" 

4.) Make an announcement 5-10 minutes before the performance, instructing guests to grab a refreshment & take their seats. 

5.) At most house concerts, the host will make a short introduction right before we begin performing. In this introduction it helps to mention that it is a listening environment, there is a jar for their suggested donations, & that we have merchandise for sale during the intermission & after the performance. If you plan on hosting more house concerts, consider having an email sign-up list so you can easily inform your audience about the next one. 

After the introduction, we will take it from there so you can enjoy the evening! We typically will perform two 40 minute sets with an intermission in between. If it is a weekday, we may suggest simply performing one longer set.