WHAT IS A HOUSE CONCERT?
It’s an invitation only concert in someone’s home presented by the host who does not profit from the event and who may house the performer for the night of the gig. It can be presented in an average size livingroom with usually a minimum of 25 people [to ensure a good atmosphere], 10 to 15 euro each, paid to the performer. Indeed it can also be presented in a garden, community room, art gallery, shop, church, school room or any other small space where people are gathered to focus on the music
HOW TO ORGANISE A HOUSE CONCERT
If you’ve ever organised a party for 20 or more people, then you have all the skills necessary to organise a house concert. Generally its a no alcohol event.
1. DECIDE ON DATE AND VENUE
Attendance usually runs between 20 and 50 at most house concerts, so if you have a good sized living room, say 12’x15′ or larger (about 650 sq. ft.), we’re in business. Move the furniture around and you can get a lot of bodies in a space that size. It might be snug, but one of the charms of house concerts is cosiness. Still, what if your place is just too small? Well there are alternatives. Music shops, public library rooms, art galleries, school rooms, community halls, churches and gardens. The informal character of house concerts make them adaptable to any number of environments. For our purposes, though, let’s assume you do have a room of sufficient size. I’m coming through on tour in a few months and we’ve set a date for the show. Now what?
2. SPREAD THE WORD
Typically 90% of your audience will be people you know or friends of theirs. Invite the neighbors and anyone you come in contact with on a day-to-day basis whom you think might enjoy songs of love, healing and inspiration.
Spreading the word suggestions
A. Email / text / facebook:
Message containing the relevant concert information: A description of the music. Date and time. How much the suggested donation will be. Whether you’re planning a potluck, jam session, etc. Include your phone number for reservations and directions.
B. As far as timelines go, here’s some suggestion for moving things along:
One month before the show:
• Start letting people know about the concert.
• Do an initial email announcement.
Two weeks out:
• Put out flyers if that’s appropriate for the event.
• An article in the local newspaper timed to appear the week of the show is a consideration. • • Post an updated email announcement and reminder.
The week of the show:
• Last email/text to remind everyone to come out, then give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
3. SET UP THE ROOM
Create a “stage” area for the performer in your concert room in front of the fireplace or french doors, in an open corner of the room and arrange the seating facing the stage. Have more light on the performer than on the audience
Do you have enough chairs of your own? If not, consider places you might obtain loaners: school, church, the library etc. You can even tell people to bring their own. Or forget the chairs and arrange for people to lounge on the floor. Or do a combination.
5. HOSTING THE SHOW
House concerts typically consist of two sets of music of about 40-45 minutes each with a short break between – about 20 minutes – so that people can stretch their legs, chat, have refreshments, visit the loo and purchase the artist’s Cds.Before the show, point out the exits, silence phones & introduce the performer[s]
VOLUNTEERS – It’s good to have people who help out with refreshments, collecting money at the door and handling CD sales for the artist.
After the break, make a short reintroduction of the artist, then sit back and enjoy the rest of the show! When the show is ended….well…who knows!!