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 (living room, backyard, community center, basement, heated barn, etc.). The host invites anywhere from 20 - 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.
In addition to the suggested donations & merchandise sales from the audience, the house concert host typically offers the artist meals & a place to stay for the night (a guest room/hotel room). There is no need to sell tickets or obtain permits for this kind of event.
Here is a short VIDEO that answers some of the most commonly asked questions about hosting a House Concert.
HOW I HELP YOU MAKE THIS FUN AND EASY:
There are many way's to host a house concert. No living room is too small nor back yard too large to create a magical experience for you and your friends. With first-hand experience in producing house concerts, I can walk you step by step through the process to make it enjoyable and stress-free.
From invitations to day-of planning, I have the tools to help you make this experience magical for you and your guests.
Once you read this FAQ, email me at ElizabethLiveMusic@gmail.com to start the booking process!
HOW TO INVITE PEOPLE TO A HOUSE CONCERT:
Above all else, this should be a stress-free, exciting experience for you as a host.
There are a variety of ways to get the word out about our house concert:
- Word of Mouth
- Passing out flyers to your friends & neighbors (I will even design one for you!)
If you're open to meeting new, music-loving people, some hosts use online groups, such as MeetUp to advertise their concerts. Also, I have a wonderful network of friends & fans throughout the US & Canada I could invite, if they happen to live in your area.
I will send you an easy-to-customize email template. If you want to create your own email invite, the main points to cover are:
- This artist is a singer/songwriter/storyteller coming to perform in my home!
-This event will begin with a social hour but the performance will be a listening experience.
- Briefly explain what a house concert is.
- Donations will be taken for the artist. This artist makes their living playing music, so please be generous with your donation.
- 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).
- A link to the performers website and a video of the performer.
At many house concerts, the host will ask friends to bring a dish to share before the performance. This typically increases the attendance and can be anything from a bottle of wine, appetizer, dessert, to a full dish for potluck.
SETTING UP YOUR HOME FOR A HOUSE CONCERT:
The most common misconception when considering house concerts is that your space is too small. No room is too small for a house concert!
When mapping out a performance space in your home, it is usually best to choose the largest common room (living room, basement, back yard, etc). Once you've picked the room, arrange the seating to face where you envision the performance taking place. When setting up, the goal is to turn this room into your own, mini-concert hall. If you are unsure, take a few pictures of your room and send them to me. I am happy to help!
Artists enjoy when the audience sits close to them. It creates an immediate energy & connection which allows for a fun, conversational concert. Since some people tend to be on the shy side, it would be best to have the seating arranged close to the performer before the audience begins to arrive.
Make sure that the place where you expect the artist to perform is near a power outlet, or that a 3-pronged extension cord is available to attach a power strip. I will provide a compact sound system and will need room for my microphone stand.
INSIDE OR OUTSIDE?
When performing outside, there are two things that usually work against artists from giving you their absolute best:
1.) Sound travels & it has very few, if any, spots to reverberate when performing outdoors. With the stripped nature of my performances, it is important to keep the sound contained as much as possible.
2.) One of the greatest things about house concerts is the palpable, symbiotic 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, there have been a few outdoor house concerts where the audience was instructed about it being a listening environment & the setting had some natural acoustics. Those concerts ended up being amazing nights.
No two house concerts are the same & I trust your judgement when it comes to what will work best for you & your audience.
DAY OF THE SHOW:
The invites have been sent, the chairs are set up, & I 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.) Create a list of people who will be attending & those who might be attending. This is for your records & you or a volunteer can cross names off of it as they arrive.
3.) 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. When it comes to the amount, I prefer asking for an open-ended suggested donation of $10-20 per person. Keeping it open-ended allows for some folks to give more while not alienating those who may not be able to afford a higher priced admission. With this being how I make my living, I appreciate you kindly instructing your friends about the suggested donation before, during & after my performance.
4.) Attach a sign to the jar or bucket that says the following: "Donations: 100% goes to the Artist."
5.) If you could have a designated table/counter space for me to display my CDs and merchandise, in a visible, central area, I would greatly appreciate it.
6.) Make an announcement 5-10 minutes before the performance, instructing guests to grab a refreshment & take their seats.
7.) At most house concerts, the host will make a short introduction right before the performance. In this introducion it is best to mention that it is a listening environment (conversations can be taken outside), there is a jar for their suggested donations & that I 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, I will take it from there so you can enjoy the evening.
If this all sounds great or if you have any questions, contact me through the form below. I look forward to working with you to create an unforgettable event!