WHAT IS A HOUSE CONCERT? A house concert brings the touring artist to your home to play a private show for you and your friends. Whether on home turf or while on tour, it is difficult to find commercial venues that book music on "off" nights, ie Mondays - Thursdays. Occasionally, a performer will be looking to fill a weekend hole in his calendar. Perhaps an afternoon performance at your next backyard BBQ? House concerts offer the performer a chance to play in a friendly "listening environment" and to earn some money to keep on touring. For the audience, it's a chance to hear some great music and an opportunity to chat with the artist. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT IT IS A CONCERT AND, THEREFORE, A LISTENING EVENT! There will be plenty of time to chat before and after the show.
HOW DO I ORGANIZE A HOUSE CONCERT? It's simple. You know at least 15 couples that would enjoy hearing a private concert! You've hosted parties before, right? Just call up your music-loving friends, or email them an invite. Depending on the number of people you can comfortably hold, you would charge an admission price of $15- $25 per person. They would pay that much for a night out at the movies, so this is not a hard sell.
At many house concerts, friends are asked to BYOB, plus a plate of finger food to share. This all adds to the warmth and friendliness of the evening. The possibilities are endless, and it's really up to you what to suggest. The show would consist of approx 2 X 45 min sets with a meet and greet intermission. CDs sales are encouraged, and Al is always happy to sign them, or pose with guests for photographs. Generally, all this can take place in a two or three hour time frame.
NUMBERS AND SPACE. Depending on the admission you charge, you'd need a miinimum of 15-20 people to make this viable. You have to decide how many people can comfortably sit in your home. Guests can be asked to bring folding chairs, or pillows to sit on the floor. You'd be surprised how many folks can comfortably fit in your home!
MONEY. The amount of money the performer needs to make can change depending on the day of the week. Charging $20 to just 15 people will net the performer $300 which is a decent base rate for a solo musician on a quiet night. A successful house concert can net the performer anywhere from $300-$1000. CD sales will help bolster the performer's take for the night. Pre-paid reservations are advisable since people who have already bought tickets don't change their minds at the last minute. You don't want people cancelling on the day/night of the show!
PROMOTION. Promote the event in the same personal way you would any celebration/event you have decided to host at your home. Whether you phone people or send written invitations, the personal contact is crucial. Posters, photos, press clips etc that you can email your friends are all available from this site.
ACCOMMODATION. A performer on tour will always appreciate the offer of accommodation to help avoid the cost of a hotel. It could be your home, or someone you know who would be willing to offer a room in theirs. Throwing in a meal is always a nice touch, and provides a social opportunity for you to get to know the performer a little better.
AND FINALLY... House Concerts build strong friendships between musicians, presenters, and listeners. Most importantly, House Concerts provide the most intimate and compelling performance environment available! Become a bonified "patron of the arts"! and book a House Concert! You and your friends will be glad you did.
Check Al's schedule and perhaps he is in your area when you're planning a party?