HOST A HOUSE CONCERT
Think about a house concert as a potluck with entertainment. Is your house big enough to host a potluck or movie night for 15, 25, or 30 friends? You may be surprised how many people fit comfortably in your living room, artist’s loft, or back yard. Chances are you can host a house concert. I love house concerts. They’re often much more fun than larger, less-intimate venues, more personal and well-attended than many coffeehouse shows.
How does the $$ work? For house concert to be a profitable endeavor, the ideal audience is around 20-30 paying customers (In the best case scenario, the host (that’s you) takes an active role in suggesting a $10 donation and/or $15 CD purchase for attendees during the invitation process). Fewer people will work too, but I like to shoot for that number as someone always drops out at the last minute.
Getting Guests: We’ve found that most house concert attendees are friends of the host, even if the show is opened to the public. To invite your friends, you can use individual e-mails, a private or public Facebook event, or “Evite” – or whatever system you are most comfortable with. To invite the general public, a link can be provided for anyone to RSVP for the address. I can always help make sure that “general public” attendees are courteous and that privacy doesn’t become an issue – the host’s address is never just posted anywhere to the public.
Schedule: The evening typically looks like this: 6 or 7pm guests start arriving and hanging out, maybe eating potluck. 7 or 7:30pm music starts. Then, depending on the mood either 7:30-8:30 music or 7:30-9:15 music with a break for potluck, etc.
Logistics: the concert can be in a living room, a back yard, or anything in between. You can ask people to bring folding chairs, or sit on a floor or a lawn. I have a small PA system I will bring – I will not be loud, just loud enough for folks to hear me. The host can choose whether to provide snacks and drinks, and/or to ask guests to bring a dish for a potluck. It’s up to your preferences and your friends’ tastes!
E-mail me with any questions!
FAQs about house concerts
What if I have pets? Allergic to cats? My dog will just hang out, that’s cool, right? Unfortunately, many people are allergic to cats, so if you do have a cat, even if it stays in just one room and your house is very clean – you should make folks aware. If you have a dog, even a miniature one, you should consider sending it to a friend’s for the evening or keep it in a different room during the show. I adore dogs, but even the best-behaved dogs are often not very good audience members and can be really distracting.
What should the e-mail invitations say? We’ve written a couple sample e-mails (below) to give you some ideas about how to phrase yours to your friends or to the public. Check these out and modify them any way that works best for you.
What do I (Adam) like to eat? Healthy, yummy food, black tea with almond milk, fresh fruits and veggies! Mostly this is a great question because you’ll find me being pretty busy and stressed as I set up for the show, and more calm and hungry after it’s over. So, please go ahead and eat your dinner – but you may want to expect me to be more likely to eat our meal (and play card games with you and your friends) once work is done. :)
E-mail Sample 1: to friends/general public
I’m excited to tell you that I will be hosting a special house show on [date] at [time] for a songwriter I’m excited about: Adam Michael Rothberg. Adam is a folk-rock singer-songwriter from Boston (who you may have heard on W___ ). You can find his music and more information about him and his tour at amrsounds.com. If you would like to attend, please respond ASAP, by [date] [deadlines are helpful]. and let me know how many people are in your party! This is a house concert, so space is limited, and we want to make sure you are counted before it fills up.
Here are the details:
We will be paying the musician(s) through donations, so we ask each guest to donate $10 at the door, and to consider purchasing CDs or other available merchandise from the musician(s) to help support his travel and artistic endeavors! The concert will be a potluck-style event [if it is], so please bring a dish to share if you’d like. We will start hanging out at __pm [usually 6 or 7], and music begins promptly at __pm (usually 7:30 or 8). The event takes place at my home located at [address: ______]. [do people need to bring anything else? folding chairs, etc? Do you need to provide information about parking? If so, do that here].
E-mail Sample 2: Responding to RSVPs from the public
Thank you for writing to come to my house show! My name is_____, and I’ll be hosting Adam Michael Rothberg in my home. I will need you to respond to this e-mail with the number of attendees in your party, so you can be counted. The house has a limited capacity, so we want to make sure to have as accurate a count as possible!
Here are the details:
We will be paying the musicians through donations, so we ask each guest to donate $10 at the door and to consider purchasing CDs or other merchandise from the musician(s) to support his travel and artistic endeavors! The concert will be a potluck-style event [if it is], so please bring a dish to share if you’d like! We will start hanging out at __pm, and music begins promptly at __pm. The event takes place at my home located at [address: ______].
[do people need to bring anything else? folding chairs, etc? Do you need to provide information about parking? If so, do that here].
See you there!