What is a House concert?
A magical opportunity to host an intimate gig for you and your friends in your own home. It’s also a great social for your friends, family and community.
How do I host a House Concert?
All you need is some friends, a warm space for 15+ guests (lounge/barn/studio), chairs and cushions, space for snacks/drinks and a small table for me to put out my CD's. Hosts usually accommodate me overnight. I am happy to play solo, duo (with Cello) or trio (with Clarinet) depending on how much space you have.
What about sound equipment?
I will bring whatever amplification may be needed. You don't need a license and you don't need to hire anything. I have Public Liability Insurance for myself and the band.
House Concert etiquette
Its important to remember these performances are ‘house concerts’ not ‘house parties’. They can turn into parties when the show is finished, but the actual concert is attended with the same intention as going to a theatre.
What about children?
Kids are welcome if they are happy to listen, rather than make noise and cause distraction.
How does the evening run?
Guests arrive around 7-7.30pm, they can bring snacks, mingle, have a drink and settle into the performance space. Music starts 8pm to 8.30pm. There are usually 2 sets of music, each running for about 35-45 mins. During the interval and after the show everyone gets to enjoy the company of friends and strangers as well as spend time with the host and artists. Lunchtime is also possible.
What's in it for me?
A house concert is a unique & magical experience. Everyone walks away happy. Your guests are thrilled to be part of a 'happening' and you look great for bringing everyone together for such an exciting experience.There is little or no cost to you, unlike throwing a party. A pot of coffee and some nibbles is sufficient, although some folks ask guests to bring goodies, food and drink. etc. It is entirely up to you.
What do I actually do on the night?
OK people are arriving! where do they meet and greet? A big kitchen is always handy, a place where refreshments can be set out is good, and a bedroom for jackets and coats too, so explain where to leave jackets and how the house works at the door as people arrive, everyone should have time to socialise but be seated before the music starts. Enter You and artist! this is your chance to make people feel even more at home, and to make last minute announcements about toilets, PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE, please don't chat during the songs, and then introduce the artist. You could mention it being your first or 10th House concert, talk about my latest cd and tell some background on me. At the break you’d tell people where the cds are for sale, and at the start of the 2nd set reiterate as necessary.
How much will it cost?
This is generally made up of donations from guests of around £10-15 a head but people can be as generous as they wish. It is important to mention the donation concept on the invite. You can have a ‘Jar’ with a sign saying “Suggested donation £15” as people arrive or if you mention the donation concept during the welcome and introduction of the concert this invites everyone to contribute to the 'jar' while keeping you out of the money collecting responsibility. These nights are very much in the spirit of the “soirees” in the past when musicians performed in intimate home surroundings under the patronage of members of society who wished to support and share great art and performance. Remember your friends aren’t paying you, they are donating to the artist.
Want to host but don't have a big enough space?
Ask a neighbour? Try your local Pub, they may have a free function room, or a local community centre.
A house concert is a beautiful way to strengthen family, friend and community ties through music.
When embraced in the spirit of supporting independent artists and original music, they make for an extraordinary and unforgettable evening. If you live in the countryside and we both have time the morning after, I’d love to go for a local country walk with you.
If you would like to host a house concert send me an email and let's find a date: firstname.lastname@example.org