“What is a House Concert?”
What Exactly Is A House Concert?
A house concert is my favorite type of concert, because it is more like a “get-together” of friends in your living room, backyard, deck or garden. I prefer this type of concert because that cozy type of atmosphere is exactly what you are trying to create in traditional venues. The more intimate the setting the better, as I can get to know the audience, and you get the chance to share with your friends a unique and memorable event. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that most people like to know before embarking on the adventure of hosting a house concert.
1. My house isn’t very big. Can I still host a concert?
Yes! The cozier the better. You don't need a gigantic space – just a place to put out some extra chairs, which can be folding chairs, dining room chairs – whatever you’ve got!
2. How many people are expected?
You can do a house show with as few as 20 people, and as many as 60. The beauty of a house concert is that it is purposely more intimate, so aiming for about 20 or more should do it.
3. Can I book you at my neighborhood theater, coffeehouse, or gallery instead?
Sure! If you have a relationship with a local venue, and you’d like to make that connection, that is another option.
4. Does it cost money to host a house concert?
Yes and no. There is no outright cost to host a concert, although most people ask guests to bring some sort of snack, treat or beverages to share, and the host usually provides some beverages and a couple snacks as well.
5. Do I have to sell tickets?
Traditionally, the hosts ask their guests to come expecting to give a suggested donation of $15-20 per person. Some house concert hosts collect the money at the door. Some wait and "interrupt" the performance near the end of the evening, and direct the audience to “pass the hat”. It is up to you how you’d like to run the event.
6. How do I plan for the concert?
The great thing about hosting a house concert is that they are low stress. Once we agree on a date and a start time, you can setup a Facebook invite and/or shoot out emails to your network of friends to let them know about it. It's just like hanging out with your friends and enjoying some live music – but in the comfort of your own home!
7. Do I need a piano? Or a sound system?
Having a piano or a sound system is not necessary. Normally, you don’t need a sound system unless it’s a very big room or outside, and if that is the case, I’ve got you covered. I bring my instruments, including a keyboard with me. If you have a piano that’s in tune and playable, I would LOVE to play it if it is available and practical to use, but otherwise, you just need a little bit of space for me, my guitar and my keyboard.
7. But I Really Don't Want Strangers In My House.
This is usually a homeowner's primary concern. You’re interested in hosting something but don't want it to be listed as a public event. No problem. Simply keep the Facebook invite private or limit the Evite to your network. I'll stick a generic "Private House Concert" listing on my calendar page for your specific date and town. If a fan sees that on my site and wants to attend the show, I will ask you first if it is ok to pass your address on to this interested person. If you'd rather keep it a closed event, then no problem. It's your house, your rules!
8. What is the schedule for the evening?
The schedule is pretty laid back. It's usually great to give folks 30 minutes to an hour to arrive, get comfortable, and chat it up before getting into music. Music can go for as little as 1 hour or as long as 2. Sometimes, depending on how long the music is planned to go, there is a break in the middle to allow people to stretch their legs, get more food, and talk.
9. What are your expectations for the evening, Lisa Jeanette?
First, now that we’ve gotten to know each other, you can call me Lisa, LJ or Fabulous!
I like sharing the origins of the songs, what I like to call “song spoilers”, which is my own personal meaning. The most enjoyable and memorable house concerts occur when a house becomes a listening room. As a performer, my least enjoyable experiences involve playing in a noisy room where there is no connection to the audience and the music plays a backseat role. There is nothing wrong with music that exists merely to set a mood for an event, but if that is what you're looking for, I will not be a good fit for your event.
10. This sounds doable!! What's next?
Fantastic! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask me whatever additional questions you have or let me know if you are looking to book a specific date. Let's do this!