House Concerts/Private Events
What is a House Concert?
A house concert is where a solo artist, duo or trio will come to your home and perform to about 20 to 50 people. Most house concerts operate with out a sound system so they're mostly acoustic shows. These intimate environments are a great way to support live music and they can allow the audience and artist to connect in a more personal way at a grass roots level. I've attended house concerts as a guest and I love meeting the artist and hearing their music up close and personal and it's great when you're the performing artist because you get to know the audience up close and personal too!
What you need to know if you'd like to host a House Concert:
1. You need the biggest space in your home that can safely accommodate your friends/neighbours with several chairs. Round up all your chairs in the house (office, kitchen, dining room) and borrow if you can. People need to have easy access to and from their chair before, after and sometimes during the concert if need be. It's a good idea to do a dry run and fit lots of chairs in the space to see if people can indeed move around to get to their seat and that the performer can access the stage area.
2. You will need a stage area. Usually a 4'x6' or 5'x7' space that can be well lit, seen and heard by the audience whether the artist sits or stands and is not in the way of people walking to and from their chair. You don't need a sound system but if preferred, I have a small sound system that can be used. I usually like to have one or two people accompany me either on up-right bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle or accordion and harmonies if possible!
3. House Concerts are advertised by word of mouth and it is a good idea to ask people who are wanting to attend the concert to phone or email to reserve their seat. This gives you an idea of how many guests to expect.
4. The Concert is by donation. Suggested donation is $20 per person. Children are welcome if they're old enough to remain quiet during the concert. (Children Free)
5. People arrive around 7:00 pm or earlier if the hosts prefers and the show starts at 7:30 pm. There are usually two 45 minute sets of music with a 15 - 20 minute break in-between for refreshments. The show wraps up around 9:30 pm.
6. Accessible Parking. Make sure people know where to park.
7. Back yard concerts can also be accommodated if there are no scary dogs, wicked mosquitoes or Sasquatch!
Does the host make any money?
To be frank, No. All proceeds go to the artist as well as CD sales. The host is usually someone who loves live music and is inviting people and the artist into their living space for the joy of connecting with their folk community and with the artist. I would be striving for great vibes and new friendships before, during and after the show!
Does the host provide Refreshments?
The host can decide whether to provide a few snacks or not. Some hosts will provide tea/coffee/water. Some people like to share in a pot luck before the concert or bring appetizers and some hosts ask people to BYOB. It's whatever you want.
If you're planning a birthday party, anniversary, private event of some kind and would like to have live music, please contact me and we can discuss the particulars: when, where, how many songs, a 45 minute set, an hour or two, etc. I often collaborate with Hugh Spinney. Hugh is an accomplished singer-songwriter, guitarist and we can put together a variety of songs, originals and covers.
If you are interested in hosting a house concert or private party/event and have more questions, please contact me below: