House Concert Info:
What is it?: A house concert is a private event in someone's home where an artist comes to perform in an intimate, listening environment. The host invites people to experience an intimate concert while supporting an independent songwriter.
How Much Does It Cost?:
Suggested Donations: At most house concerts, the host will ask attendees to contribute a "suggested donation". It seems that an open-ended ask of $10-20 per person works best; it doesn't alienate possible attendees who can't afford a higher price ticket, but also encourages those who truly enjoy the show to give more. 100% goes directly to the artist. It’s easiest to simply place a jar in a highly visible spot in your home with a sign to let attendees know to put their donations in.
Flat Fee/Guarantee: Some hosts prefer to pay a flat fee to avoid asking their friends/family/etc to pay a suggested donation. Inquire about rates.
- Briefly explain what a house concert is.
- Let them know of suggested donation.
- Inform of arrival time & time of the performance.
*Asking guests to bring a dish or drink to share before the performance typically increases the attendance.
Set Up: When mapping the space arrange the seating to face the performance area. When setting up, the goal is to turn the space into your own, mini-concert hall. I enjoy people sitting close. It creates an immediate connection which allows for a fun, conversational concert.
Day Of The Concert: The invites have been sent and the chairs are set up! Here is a helpful checklist of things that will guide you through the day of the concert:
1.) Send a friendly reminder. Include the time, address, & the suggested donation.
2.) Place at least one jar in a heavy foot traffic area for guests to put their suggested donations in. It works best when the jar is placed near the front door or a snack/drink area.
3.) Attach a sign: "Suggested Donation of $10-20 per person"
4.) Make an announcement 5 min before the performance for guests to grab a refreshment & take their seats.
6.) Usually, the host will make a short introduction mentioning: “this is a listening environment” (conversations can be taken outside), “there is a jar for their suggested donations” & “there is merchandise for sale during the intermission & after the performance”.
I typically perform two 40-min sets of original material with an intermission.
BUT!! I am open to doing one longer set of listening material with an intermission and THEN hosting an open jam session with guests who also sing and/or play!
If you plan on hosting more house concerts, consider having an email sign-up list at your event so you can easily inform your guests about the next one!