What is a House Concert?
A house concert is a concert in a living room. It's an intimate, casual, one-of-a-kind event that connects musicians and music-lovers. They're happening more and more frequently as artists find that 25 to 40 people can fit into a living room quite comfortably! Hosts have the opportunity to introduce their favorite artists to friends and create a unique musical moment for everyone involved. Musicians and songwriters get attentive audiences, new friends, and new fans.
Generally, when I play house concerts, I travel with a small PA. I play two 45-minute sets of original music with a break in between. The host and I usually decide together on a "suggested donation" between $10 and $20. I also sell CDs. Often, hosts offer accomodation for the night. Hosts may choose to do potluck and BYOB, coffee and snacks, or a full spread. Every house concert I have played has a different flavor, and it's part of what makes them so much fun.
House concerts have emerged as a viable way for acoustic singer/songwriters to tour and build a fan base without relying on clubs. That said, making a house concert financially viable is essential. Some artists ask for a guarantee, but I prefer to work with the host on a show-by-show basis to figure out the best way to make a show work. Sometimes we go with a higher "suggested donation" for a smaller crowd, for example. I have found that people are generous when they feel that they've seen and heard something really special, so that's my priority.
There are plenty of great resources for learning more about hosting a house concert (one of the best is www.concertsinyourhome.com), or I can talk you through it if it's your first time! The most important factor is that the show is advertised as a "sit down concert" - audience expectation will be the difference between having a party with background music and having a true concert. I love playing these shows. They make me feel like a modern-day troubadour.
Would you like to host a House Concert?
Contact me at saralynbeck at gmail.com if you'd like to host a house concert.