A House Concert is an invitation-only concert held in someone’s home, presented by a host who does not profit from the event. The video clips and photos here were taken at House Concerts. Most House Concerts are:
- Mostly original music
- Attended by 30-40 people
- Typically held indoors
- Paid for by suggested donations (usually $15-$20 per guest, all of which goes to the performer)
- Known to include light snacks and beverages (optional)
- Very intimate – the audience sits close and are attentive
- Typically attended by a 18+ age group
- Stronger for artist’s merchandise sales than traditional venues
- Attended by the host’s friends, neighbors, co-workers and maybe a few fans of the artist
Interested In Hosting A House Concert?
All you need is ample space and 30-40 music-loving guests! The host has 2-3 main responsibilities:
1. Provide the space
- Typically, an indoor room works best where the environment and temperature can be controlled and there are fewer distractions (insects, traffic noise, etc.). In warm weather climates, some hosts ask about having the concert outside or by a pool. Although I usually prefer indoor shows, I do perform House Concerts outdoors on occasion. It just depends on the circumstances.
- When setting up the performance room, be sure to allow enough room for the performer. Use the shorter chairs down front, taller chairs/barstools in the back. Try to face all chairs toward the performer. And if possible, try to aim some light toward the performer, and have the rest of the room a bit darker.
- Make sure the artist has a high visibility table for their CDs and other merchandise. The artist will provide start-up change for merchandise sales.
2. Invite friends and gather a crowd
- Although the artist will publicize the event, it is usually the responsibility of the host to get a crowd to attend the concert.
- An ideal size for most concerts (depending on the home) is 30-40.
- Compile a list of as many invitees as possible. A full room adds so much to the feeling of a concert — whether that number is 15 or 1500.
- Don’t neglect to invite someone simply because you don’t think they’ll be into it. The biggest compliments often come from people who thought a house concert wasn’t their kind of thing, but were surprised by the quality and fun-factor of the show.
- Your invitations should provide information and links to the artists’ music; so let people decide for themselves if they should come.
- Social media is a great way to get the word out, so feel free to take full advantage of it. But nothing works better than an in-person invite or a good old fashioned phone call. With your invitation, be sure to ask your potential guests to RSVP by a certain date (mainly to help your planning).
- If desired, Rob will be happy to create a Facebook event with all the info for you to use as a tool to add guests and share with your friends.
TIP: It's a good idea to over-invite (meaning, invite more people than you think your home can accommodate). If you want 20 to attend, you may need to invite 50-60 people. Why? Not everyone will come and even some folks who RSVP may have a change of plans or may not show at all. That's perfectly normal. You could invite a large group, then limit it to the first 20-25 who RSVP.
ANOTHER TIP: Be aware of local events and celebrations in your area that could interfere with the audience turnout of your event. Sporting events (especially playoffs) can wreak havoc on concert attendance. It’s also a good idea to avoid combining your house concerts with other occasions, such as birthday celebrations.
3. Provide food and drinks (optional)
If you, as the host, choose to provide food and drinks, the options are varied.
- It doesn't have to be anything fancy
- Some hosts choose simple finger foods (cheese and crackers, appetizers, veggie tray, finger sandwiches, etc.)
- Some hosts go "all out" and offer a full meal (BBQ, side dishes, etc.)
- Some hosts offer only desserts and coffee
- And some hosts choose not to offer any kind of food/drink. It's entirely up to you! It can be as simple or as elaborate as you wish!
TIP: If you'd like to offer food but don't want to bear the burden alone...once your guests have RSVP’d, invite each of them to bring a drink and a snack to share. You might also want to specifically ask some guests to bring plates, cups, napkins and ice.
Additional Host Responsibilities:
- Introduce the Artist. Once you’ve allowed your guests to mingle for the first half hour or so, it’s important to set the tone for the concert. Encourage folks to find seats and settle in. hen give the artist a simple introduction. There is no penalty for being brief. “Hi Everyone, thanks so much for joining us at our (first?) house concert. Tonight we’re pleased to bring you, from Nashville, TN – Singer/Songwriter, Rob Harris!” It's really that simple.
- Encourage CD Sales and Mailing List Signatures. It's always helpful when a host helps steer guests to the artists' merchandise table at the end of the concert.
How Much Does it Cost?
- There is no cost to the host, unless they choose to offer food/drinks.
- Technically, house concerts are free. You are not selling tickets or running a business. And the best way to make that point (to those who would be concerned) is to have a “suggested donation.” However, please make it clear to your guests that their donations are how the artist is being paid. You may also want to let them know in advance that CD's will be for sale.
- How much do you suggest for a donation? $15-$20 per person is the usual range (which is about what they would pay if they went out to hear live music at a local venue).
Quotes From Previous Hosts:
"Rob Harris played a super sold-out show to our listening room audience. He proved to be a masterful musician and a true musical storyteller. His fresh and folky songs featured a pinch of pop and a kick of country, and kept the crowd engaged and entertained all evening. Plus, he was a pleasure to present with his great professionalism and positive interaction with us and our guests. We would not hesitate to have him back again. In fact, we look forward to it." -- Scott Skeabeck, The DownTowne Listening Room (Cincinnati, OH)
"I've had a lot of gatherings at my home. It's my favorite thing to do. But, I have never had a gathering that was as much fun and as relaxing as this one. My friends were overwhelmed by Rob and his music. The main statement made afterwards was, 'When is he coming back'? Thank you, Rob, for a wonderful evening!" Kelly Brock (South Point, OH)
"We had Rob for a neighborhood house party, it was a casual laid back good time. It isn't very often you get a super talented musician like Rob in your own home for a personal up close concert. Our friends can't wait for us to have him back." Kenny White (Cincinnati, OH)
"What a great excuse to get together with old friends. It was a blessing to catch up, fellowship, share good food and listen to first class music from a great performer. Everyone had a great time. Thank you for a great night!" Kelvin Machal (Danville, KY)
"Just hosted our first house concert with Rob Harris. What an amazing night of fun and building community with our neighbors. Can't wait to do it again!" Mitch Todd (Orlando, FL)
Rob's music is best described as "Singer/Songwriter with a splash of Country and Pop". His songs are family-friendly, filled with real life and sprinkled with humor.
If you are interested in hosting a house concert, contact Rob at: email@example.com
Visit Rob on:
Visit his website Here. Feel free to include this link with any invitations you send out. It contains Rob’s bio and demos of his music.