House Concerts

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    What exactly is a house concert?

    A house concert is usually just that: A concert in someone's house. A private party with live music, hosted by anyone willing to invite a few friends into their living room to share in a performance by their favorite musicians. It is essentially a private entertainment with live music. The music is not background, but the focus of the event, and the hosts provide a rare opportunity for guests to experience music in an intimate environment.

    Musicians enjoy house concerts because they get 100% of the proceeds, they get to meet (and sell CDs to) a new audience, and they get to play before an attentive, relaxed audience. For the audience, it's an unusual opportunity to hear the music up close, to meet the performers and get them to sign their CDs, and of course it's a great social evening of friends and neighbors.

    House concerts can vary in almost every respect, but there is usually a "suggested donation" in the fifteen to twenty dollar range. This goes directly to the performer so that your home can in no way be construed as a venue or a business. Like any gathering of friends in your home, house concerts aren't publicized except by email or phone, and they're usually by invitation only. We may post the date and the city on our concert calendar, but your name and contact information is never used. Most hosts find that pre-paid reservations are essential for planning. Knocking a few dollars off the admission price for advance reservations will help encourage advance sales, so you know exactly how many people to expect.

    What do I need to do?

    Presenting a house concert is about as much work as hosting any other party. Arrange a date, and figure how many people you can comfortably accommodate (asking people to bring their own chairs, or borrowing a few folding chairs from your church is common). Then comes the important step of inviting friends, family, and co-workers.

    Food and beverages are a nice touch, but entirely optional. You can offer wine and cheese, ask everyone to bring brownies, have a potluck supper beforehand, make it BYOB, or even get the kids to set up a lemonade stand. Try to keep it simple, though - the point of the evening is music. Make sure in addition to being a good host you can enjoy the performance yourself.

    Keys to Success

    Think of it as an informal party with RSVPs. You can make and send your own invitations by postcard, Evite, text, email, etc, but we're happy to provide flyers or postcards, or help with the wording of an email - or even provide tickets, if you like. We recommend deciding how many people you can comfortably host, and advertising that, too: "seating limited to 25", or words to that effect. You'll want to plan ahead for details like parking, house and bathroom access, seating, refreshments, and admission and CD sales.

    The night of the concert, welcome your guests as they come in, collect the donation (if you haven't in advance), and point them toward the refreshments. Introduce the artists and let your audience know that this is a listening performance ("cell phones on stun, please"). Allow time for socializing before and after the concert, and during the intermission steer folks toward the CDs. Don't be surprised if your friends ask to find out when you're doing it again.

    Hear our music the way it was meant to be heard

    House concerts work wonderfully well for the intimate sound of the lute, which was never intended to be played in large venues. You will appreciate hearing nuances of voice and strings that only can be heard up close and personal, and you'll enjoy the freedom to ask questions if you like. If the idea of having an intimate performance in your home to share with 20 or more like-minded music fans appeals to you, then please consider becoming a host. We can arrange anything from an elegant formal concert to a "pot luck" style gathering followed by a performance. Just ask!