If you and 10 or 20 (or a gazillion) of your closest friends love original music, perhaps a house concert is in your future.
A house concert takes your get-together and turns it into a social event, simply by adding a local or touring artist to insert one or two 45-minute sets of music.
And how does one convince a musician to play a set of music in a house? Answer: Compensation. A normal donation is around $20 a person. That'll work for the majority of musicians, unless they used to play backup for the Eagles or Crosby, Still, and Nash or Steely Dan or the like. Yes, some of those guys are out there doing house concerts. As if life weren't tough enough for musicians of our ilk these days.
The show host makes sure that everyone who is invited knows the expectation to donate to the artist's tip jar and to support the performer financially. Often a host will also provide a meal or even a place for the artist to stay for the night.
"It really added a new element to entertaining at home!"
~ K. Coughlin, Fort Myers, Florida
How do we do it?
A house concert is not that much different from any gathering you might host, but there are a couple of points that should be followed to be completely successful for all involved.
Number one is to make sure that everybody knows when to gather and be seated for the show to start.
Once the show starts, all attention should be given the performers. Having folks milling around, talking, grinding coffee beans, etc., is a definite buzzkill for the event. You want to present an environment where you can hear the artist easily.
"[Raggedy Edge was] not only very talented, but also very personable."
~ H. McEllistrem, Madison, WI
You want a performer who does original music, someone who can provide websites and YouTube pages of examples of their performances in order to entice folks to attend.
Food and drink are often a part of house concerts, but this is up to the host. You could have a coffee and dessert show, finger food, or a full-blown multi-course meal to set out an hour or so before the show is to start. It's up to you.
Have your artist(s) come early, before guests arrive so they can set up. Since house shows tend toward solo and duo performers, not a lot of space is necessary, and most often, neither is a sound system.
"...it made the night unique and a true experience. Thank you!"
~ T. Thurley, Charlotte, NC
Raggedy Edge has helped
put together house concerts in Ohio, Virginia, Florida (4), New York, Massachusetts, North Carolina (2), Tennessee, Colorado, and Mississippi. And we're eager to help you set up and run one in your home, wherever it is.