What Is A House Concert?
Think of it as a potluck with entertainment and that about sums it up!
Is your place big enough to host a potluck dinner or a movie night for 15, 20 or 30 of your friends? You'd be amazed at how many people actually fit into the smallest living room, or loft, or back yard ... so it's probably true that you can host a House Concert.
I Love House Concerts, and They're Way More Fun,
Personable and Better Attended Than Gigs.
I’d suggest that you invite double the amount of people you want to show up as there is usually a 50% “show” rate. You know your friends better than I do though so this is my general guideline. Note: Many house concerts on my tours happen on weeknights when people are often busy so it’s better for everybody if you can realistically estimate how many people will “actually show up” on the night. That’s probably the biggest concern we’ll have – after that everything is pretty simple and straightforward.
Most of the time hosts want to run am “invite only” concert for their own friends and family. Inviting your friends is usually via email and a private or public Facebook event. Sometimes people use something like “Evite” but this doesn’t work well unless your friends are already heavy users – use an RSVP approach that you know works which is likely email and/or personal invites. Don’t worry about privacy as I don’t give out your address.
We lay out the schedule to meet your needs for the night. Typically you decide when you want the Concert section of the night to start and we work everything around that. An example would look like this:
Your guests start arriving and hang out with me and each other and optionally have something to eat.
The 45 minute-ish concert starts.
The concert’s over and people can hang around and mingle if they want or head home.
I can play in a living room or a back yard or anything in-between … I’ve played in a kitchen in Moscow (USSR)and a maximum-security prison in Romania so I’m sure your place is good :p. It’s critical to have ample seating though. We need to make sure everyone has a good place to sit for the entire concert comfortable and uninterrupted. A comfortable crowd is an attentive crowd! If you need to you can ask guests to bring folding chairs. I have a sound system I’ll bring – my music isn’t loud, just loud enough for people to hear, understand and enjoy. As the host you can choose whether you want to provide snacks and drinks, and/or ask guests to bring a dish for a potluck. It’s really completely up to you and your friend’s preferences and likes.
Kid's and Pets
Can children come? That’s really up to you as the host. But I’d recommend against having kids under the age of 10. It’s not fair on kids as they have a shorter attention span than adults and distractions can really impair the intimate concert setting the night is.
What if I have a dog or cat? Are your guests allergic to cats? My dog will just chill out so that’s OK right? Unfortunately many people are allergic to our feline friends so if you’ve got a kitty just let us all know ahead of time. If you’ve a proud pooch owner (even a purse dog) please arrange to have it hang at a friends place for the evening or keep it in another separate room for the show. Even the best dogs don’t do concerts well as audience members and can be really distracting to me and the audience.
What do I put in my invitations? Don’t freak! I’ve got a sample email you can use to cover what you need. Have a look, change it how you want, or just copy and paste it. It’s further down this page …
How do I setup for my house concert? Pick on of the largest rooms in your place and choose an area for me. The “stage” should be view-able from anywhere in the room without distraction and away from where people walk. Arrange your couches and chairs (depending on the number of guests you’ve got coming) so everyone can face the stage. You may need to temporarily relocate some of your other furniture to another room just for our night together. Lay the chairs out so there’s entrance and exits, lighting and a direct line-of-sight to the artist.
Got other questions? Not a problem. Just email your question! I’m extremely flexible and open to ideas to make this house concert worjk great for you! My goal is to make your house concert unique and enjoyable for you and your guests .
Here's what I suggest using. Please feel free to personalise it how you want but ensure that you include the following word-for-word sentence in whatever you send out: "This is a donation-based concert; please come prepared to make a donation to the artist after the show."
If you want a fill in the blanks approach copy and use the following:
You are invited to a house concert by New Zealand based recording artist Peter Woolston at our home on __________, as part of Peter's New Zealand and US house concert tour promoting the release of his new CD 'Hope ON My Horizon'.
The event takes place at our home at ________. Please arrive at ________. The concert will be a potluck-style event [if it is], so please bring a dish to share. We will start hanging out at ____pm [usually 7], and the concert begins promptly at ____pm [usually 8]. [do people need to bring anything else? Chairs, drinks etc - tell them here. Do you need to tell them anything about parking?]
Peter's music is powerful and deeply authentic, delivered with an unmistakable rock voice that brings to mind Bono and Jon Foreman. His music has been featured on national television, covered by newspapers and appeared on radio across the world. Learn more about Peter at his website http://www.peterwoolston.com.
If you would like to attend, and I think you would, please respond ASAP and let me know how many people are in your party! This is a house show, so there is limited space - of course we want to make sure you are counted before it fills up.
This is a donation-based house concert; please come prepared to make a donation to the artist after the show.