As someone who has hosted one house concert, I can vouch for this being an amazing way to showcase great artists from the comfort of your home, while introducing them to your friends and family — giving bands exclusive access to a brand-new fan base. Of course the EXECUTION can be sometimes difficult to pull off. My attempt, while at Ball State, was to bring folk songwriter Danny Schmidt to my campus complex’s community center, to perform for a large audience of plugged-in listeners. Unfortunately, we had to schedule months in advance, and afterwards a campus carnival was scheduled which siphoned off most of the families I’d hoped would attend. Even though only a handful of locals attended, it was a great opportunity to hear his music up close and personal, and his willingness to go back to my place to watch a movie before we crashed for the night, and then hang out while I grilled burgers the next day (and he watched the NFL draft) only cemented my fanhood.
Recently I ran across an excellent guest post about house concerts by acoustic artist Fran Snyder on The DIY Musician. These gigs are so named because the artist performs in someone’s living room in front of anywhere between 10 to 50 friends and neighbors of the host and hostess. Such concerts are very intimate affairs: most venues enjoy excellent reputations for having good concerts, and it will usually be a packed house.
What Artists Can Expect
There are practically no downsides to performing at a house concert. You will not have to promote it. Admission (called a donation in house concert parlance) is usually between $10 and $20 per person, and you get to keep it all. You are also encouraged to bring CDs and other merchandise to sell. There’s almost always dinner or a potluck, and some guests may bring their own wine or beer (depending on the rules of the host). Most…
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