Be the coolest house on the block
Invite me to perform an intimate, unforgettable concert in your living room, backyard, barn, bookstore, or anywhere else that’s conducive to listening to lyric-based music and having a downright fun time!
WHAT IS A HOUSE CONCERT?
It's an easy way to turn your space (living room, library, apartment loft) into a live concert venue for one special night! It's also a great way to support original music, get to know an artist directly, and support them monetarily — as house concerts have provided songwriters with a viable way to make a living in the 21st Century.
HOW DO I HOST A HOUSE CONCERT?
It's pretty easy. Just make sure you have room for 20+ guests and one performer — me! (I have minimal gear: a small PA, a microphone, and two guitars). Set the time and a date, and then invite your friends, family, and local music lovers.
NO KIDS THOUGH. I sound like a jerk saying it, but believe me (I'm a father), kids have a way of drawing attention away from the moment, distracting the audience, and interrupting the performer. Either because the children are totally adorable or abominable terrors. Either way, distraction! House concerts are supposed to be intimate, special, connective events. So invite folks you know will respect that kind of space.
Also let your guests know in advance that there will be a $10-20 suggested donation to support the artist, and put out a clearly marked tip jar. You can remind everyone as they enter your cozy temporary venue, and will hopefully announce the suggested donation again, either with some introduction/welcome remarks or a short thanks-for-coming shoutout at the end of the night. I’m happy to help you figure how best to talk to your guests about this if you like.
Consider seating. Should guests bring their own chairs? Will you provide them? (Let them know in advance). Providing chairs always makes things easier for the guests, obviously.
Think about the "vibe" of the space where you want the musician to perform. The cooler it looks, the better the concert will feel. That being said, you don't need smoke machines and fancy lighting. The intimacy and minimalist approach is what makes house concerts special. I once hosted a house concert with nothing but a crappy green reading lamp to set the mood, and the musicians who performed that night put on of the best shows I’d ever seen them play.
Want to combine the house concert with a potluck dinner? Let's do it! It gives your guests a good chance to talk with the performer. (There I go talking in the 3rd-person again). Guests can show up an hour before hand, eat and mingle, then get seated for the show. I will arrive two hours before the music begins to get everything set up, and have a chance to meet your guests for a bit.
HOUSE CONCERT VS. HOUSE PARTY
House concerts are generally sit-down, listening experiences, where guests are invited to give attention to the music. If you've got a great space and you've set the right expectation in terms of attentiveness, arrival times, performance duration, and so forth, it'll be awesome. Seriously. The house concert I mentioned hosting above was “life changing” according to a couple of my friends who attended.
Most of these events are scheduled from 7-9pm or 8-10pm, and I've found that 70 minutes of "official" music — with a short break in the middle — is ideal. After that, if the guitars come out and a jam session strikes up, or if people want to migrate to the kitchen for snacks and chit-chat, the night will find its own way — and your guests will feel free to come or go as they need.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT HOSTING A HOUSE CONCERT PLEASE CONTACT ME AT CUTTHROATPOP@GMAIL.COM.