As we are planning our tours, we contact friends and ask them if they’d be willing to host a house concert. Some of you may have hosted many concerts but others may be new to the concept, so we wanted to explain what it’s all about.
House Concerts are Concerts In Your Living Room
Or whatever room works for you. Add some folding chairs or your dining room chairs to your living room or family room, leave a space up front for the performers, invite friends and enjoy great music in your home.
What is a typical concert like?
Each house concert setup is unique. Some include a potluck before or after the concert, while others simply offer tea or coffee. The choice of whether to have any food involved is entirely up to the hosts.
Some house concert hosts have a music jam afterward for those attendees who are also musicians. Others have an open mike before the concert, while many simply have the featured performers and no other music.
Typically the artists play either a one-hour set or two shorter ones (e.g. 40 minutes) with a break in between for refreshments, conversation, CD sales and signing, etc. There’s typically time after the show for more socializing.
House concerts are considered private parties. Invite your friends and neighbors and enjoy an evening together. Your guests contribute a “requested donation” amount (typically $15) that goes to the artists.
What’s In It For The Hosts?
House concert hosts provide a space for great music to be shared in an intimate setting. It’s a chance to get together with friends and help out musicians who are on the road.
Most of all for the hosts it’s a chance to get to know the artists, or reconnect with them if you’re old friends.
What’s In it for the Artists?
As traveling musicians, we play in lots of different settings. One day it might be a coffee shop, another day a church, the next, a bar. House concerts are special. We get to play for a listening audience. Whether that’s just a few folks or a packed room does not matter. It’s an opportunity to share songs with folks who listen.
Artists also will sell CDs and any other merchandise they may have to offer. It’s a nice way to take home something to remember the evening by, and music to listen to later or give as a gift.
Many hosts offer overnight lodging to the artists when needed, and if they have the space available to do so. Some artists may be traveling in their own small camper or van, or have other local lodging available. We travel in a self-contained camper van and love the freedom it offers us as we tour.
Don’t I need experience to host a concert?
No. If you’re willing to host us, we’ll help you figure it all out. When we can, we host house concerts ourselves and have done so for many years. When we host, we do spend a bit of time getting the house ready (it’s an excuse to do some cleaning, we find) and we may offer a meal to our guest performers.
If you’re willing to give it a try, we’re happy to help you through your first hosting experience. You may well get hooked on the idea and do it again! Some folks only host shows for a particular artist when they come through town, while others might host shows frequently. It is fun and once you’ve worked out your way of doing it, the bit of work required is small, and the joy you help share is immeasurable.