HOUSE CONCERTS: These are rapidly gaining in popularity all across the country by fans of independent singer/songwriters as people become aware of them and how to Host one. Many are Hosted on a regular basis, maybe monthly or 6 times per year by fans of original music who bring in a different writer each time. Others are on a one time basis Hosted by a fan of a particular songwriter they enjoy and want to support by helping promote to people who they think would enjoy the music.
These mini-concerts are up close and personal shows with a songwriter (or sometimes two or three) where he talks about how the songs were written and shares stories about his music & career etc. It is a seated, theater type listening event though it can be in a living room or back yard, deck, club room, community center, or restaurant banquet room etc. It is a chance to really hear the lyrics and background behind the songs. It can be a private invitation event but usually it is promoted to the Host’s neighbors, friends, co-workers and any fan-base the artist has in the area via Email & a half page flyer with details, description of House Concert, contact info to RSVP or purchase tickets, directions etc. The hope is to have between 25 – 150 guests depending on the space available. It’s also a chance to meet the artist and make new friends in a non-bar atmosphere. People usually bring pot luck and their own drinks, sometimes Host provides a food or drink and sometimes not. People arrive and eat during Pre-Show time and then settle down to listen for 60-90 minutes – then a break to sell and autograph CDs, maybe dessert, refresh drinks etc and then another short set maybe 30-60 minutes and close.
The ticket fee is usually in the $15-20. range as a 'Recommended Voluntary Donation' to the artist (bypassing any ‘for profit’ motives of homeowner/host) . Folks attending for the first time usually feel like it is a bargain and one of the coolest things they have been to. It can happen on a weeknight, to accommodate the routing of a traveling singer/songwriter’s schedule, or a Friday or Sat evening ending before 9 or 10pm to prevent noise problems with neighbors or Sunday afternoon/early evening is a great time for shows. People are usually eager to purchase and have the artist sign the CDs of the songs they have listened to. This also grows the fan-base of the independent singer/songwriter as well as supporting his craft of writing, recording his music, traveling to perform etc. A good goal is 40+ folks which brings in enough revenue for the artist to cover his travel expenses and to earn a living doing what he loves to do. Some artists set a minimum fee they require others don’t.
It’s a simple concept that someone finally realized- if they can’t hear the lyrics- they won’t purchase the CDs and become real fans of the music. This allows the artist to concentrate on performing his own music and investing in building his career instead of playing cover songs in a noisy bar where people are not there to listen.
Let me know if you have any other questions or would like to talk to other people who have hosted them. Thanks!! - Kelly