Do you enjoy listening to live acoustic music?
Don't enjoy high priced tickets? Bad seats? Bad sound?
Distracting audience members?
Don't like going home smelling like cigarette smoke?
Worry about driving, parking, waiting in line, just to get to the concert?
Do you ever just wish you could get the artists
to come and play in your living room?
Consider hosting a House Concert!
Q: So what's a House Concert?
A: It's elegantly simple. It's a concert that
you host in the safety and comfort of your own home.
Q: Who attends a House Concert?
A: The attendees are your friends, neighbors
and co-workers. They're people you know. You don't
have strangers coming to your home. You have friends
over for a party.
Q: What does it cost to host a House Concert?
A: The only cost to you, the host, might be some light snacks,
served at intermission. Some House Concert hosts rent chairs for
about a dollar each. Many times, invitations, RSVP's and other
"administrative" work is done via email at virtually zero cost.
Q: How do I set up my house for a House Concert?
A: This is what I consider the fun part. Consider yourself
a "concert promoter for a day". Pick the largest room in your
home and arrange it like it's a mini concert hall. Temporarily
move tables and other furniture around or into another room.
Decide where you want the "stage" to be. Decide where you want
the "audience" to be. Arrange chairs to accomodate entrance and exits,
lighting, sight lines to the artist etc.
Q: What about that "stage" thing you mention?
A: When I perform, I stand. In most homes, with typical
residential height ceilings, that means the "stage" can be
something as simple as a 4x8 foot rug or sheet of plywood,
placed on the floor. If you have a tall, cathedral ceiling,
consider elevating that piece of plywood on cinder blocks.
Elevating the stage just a few inches will allow the audience
a better sight line to the artist. But even without the elevation,
everyone will have a good seat. Everyone will be able to see and hear well.
Q: What about lighting?
A: This too, can be a really fun aspect of hosting a House Concert.
Consider your mini concert hall as having two main sections,
the audience and the artist. We want to be able to emphasize the focus
on the artist and de-emphasize the focus on the audience. A simple
way to achieve that emphasis/de-emphasis is to dim the audience lights
and add some auxillary light to the artist. This is exactly the kind of
lighting we experience when we go to a concert or a play. The "house lights"
are reduced (but not eliminated) and the spotlights are turned on the performers.
A simple way to add spot or auxillary light to the stage is with inexpensive
clamp on lamps containing simple screw in spot bulbs. General white light
mixed with a little red and blue spot light makes a wonderful stage effect.
Q: Do I charge the guests for the House Concert?
A: It's a private party. It's not a business. We suggest you
ask for a donation which goes to the artist to pay the travel
expense. Depending on the locale, that suggested donation is
typically ten to twenty dollars per guest. The host collects
the donations, usually as the guests enter, and presents the
money to the performer at the close of the show.
Q: Is there food and drink at a House Concert?
A: Yes. And like all aspects of a House Concert
the particulars are up to the host. Some hosts
provide simple soft drinks, chips and veggie platters
during intermission. Some host an extensive BBQ or pot luck buffet
before the concert. It's entirely up to you, the host.
Q: What if no one shows up for the concert?
A: You will usually know, well ahead of time how many
guests to expect. I recommend RSVP'ing for exactly that
reason. But in the event that you end up with very few
or no guests, then you get a very intimate, private concert.
There are no guaranteed incomes. No contracts.
Q: How long does the concert last?
A: Typically I'll perform two sets, each about an hour long.
There will be an intermission between the two sets to allow guests
to stretch, grab a snack, use the restroom etc. This is also the time
that I will have my CD's offered for sale. I will autograph CD's and chat
with the guests. Typically, guests want to ask about what kind of instruments
I play, who I've performed with, what recordings they've heard me on etc.
Q: Can children attend the House Concert?
A: I strongly recommend against bringing kids under the
age of about 14 years. The kind of intimate, quiet setting and
musical style is just not something that young kids enjoy.
This kind of setting is better suited for adults to have a
nice, quiet, entertaining night out. Without having to
worry about the kids.
Q: Anything else I need to know about hosting a House Concert?
A: There probably are lots of questions you could ask.
And I'll be happy to address any of those questions.
Just drop me an email if you're interested. I love to
perform. I've done it all my life. My goal is to make your
House Concert a success.
|Email me at -