What is a house concert?
It is a really great way to hear good music . . . and it’s performed in someone's house.
How does it work?
Someone with an interest in live music, and a room that will hold between 20 & 75 people comfortably, books the performer and invites their friends in for a show. There's plenty of room for creative and fun variations of this venue with only a couple of essentials.
My house isn’t big enough!
Actually, it’s pretty surprising how many folks can comfortably sit in an average living room. Remember, they won’t be up and circulating during the performance, although you’ll want to allow for socializing before and after the show.
Depending on the number of folks attending, you can simply rearrange your existing furniture, or bring in additional seating.
Some folks have the audience bring their own folding chairs; however, if you provide them, you’ll have better control of the layout. After all, you’ll want everyone to be in a good place to enjoy the show.
An alternative might be to host the show at the home of a friend who has more space. A clubhouse is another possibility; remember, we’re being creative.
Sometimes a back yard is the perfect spot for this kind of performance, but then one has to assess the weather (will canopies or outdoor heaters or fans be needed?), insect infestations and the noise factor. Often, there is traffic racket that one is accustomed to, but that would be detrimental to enjoying the music.
How do I invite people?
Most musicians can provide photos and information about their performance. Chris can provide custom flyer masters from which copies can be made to hand to your invitees. For this type of venue, reservations are a must to insure adequate seating for everyone.
Please don’t overlook the fact that people will be arriving in cars that need a place to park. Their chauffeurs or liverymen may be otherwise occupied that night. Chris will require a nearby convenient place to unload his equipment.
Know ahead of time what type and how much space the performer requires. Chris needs minimal space for house concerts and has few requirements beyond power. The audience needs to see and hear the performer without distractions; consider the path needed for late arrivals or guests needing the restroom.
Remember that Chris will need a clear path to get his keyboard into place.
A house concert creates a wonderfully intimate venue, allowing a connection seldom enjoyed between musician and audience. Chris provides his own sound equipment.
This need not be elaborate. The goal is for the audience to be able to see the performer clearly without shining bright lights directly in the musician’s face. You probably have adequate lighting in place already; track lighting can be adapted very easily, and many other types of lighting will work very well.
Dim the lights, but don’t black out the room entirely. Lots of flexibility for this: maybe a couple of inexpensive clip-on lights, or a bit more elaborate: in-line dimmers and colored bulbs or theatrical gel covers.
Musicians love what they do, and they love to make a living. Typically, house concert guests pay $10 to $20 each. If you have 30 guests, that's $300 to $600. Combined with CD sales, it makes a profitable evening for the artist. Some hosts take a cut; a percentage of the gate would help to defray expenses if there are any. Hosting a house concert is not generally considered a financially profitable proposition; motivation is more likely to be for the love of the music and a desire to share it. Financial arrangements need to be discussed with the performer in advance to avoid misunderstandings.
Speaking of money: Do you know the difference between a large pizza and a professional musician? A large pizza can feed a family of four.
Will I serve food?
Some hosts provide light refreshments, and may cover the cost with their part of the admission. Others encourage guests to bring along their favorite dishes to share: potluck before or after the show is always popular. Again, creativity and personal preference are the order of the day. Audience members are there for the music, so if you decide no refreshments at all, no one will be the wiser.
Many performers love to do house concerts. . .
. . . and Chris is one of them. He and his audiences enjoy the closeness and interaction during this type of venue. Of course it requires that the host and the musician be in the right place at the right time. Chris welcomes queries of any type that express an interest in hosting him. If the concert does not fit in his schedule at the time, he can file the interest and possibly schedule for a different date. You never know if he’s got a trip or a tour in the works, so it can’t hurt to ask.
Contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
He loves to hear from you whether you want to host a house concert or not.