The concept of the House Concert developed almost 20 years ago when a growing number of people decided that the music they really wanted to hear was not available to them in most public venues. Even if the music was out there, the atmosphere (rowdy bars, pool tables, video games, smoke, sports on TV, etc) was less than ideal. The idea of hosting a concert in a private home (living room, club house, backyard, basement) was born of this.
The host or hostess, along with the performing musician, determines the format of the concert. Usually the afternoon or evening begins with a pot luck dinner followed by the concert. Often, only minimal sound and lighting is needed.
The musician performs for a suggested donation. Tickets may be sold in advance for special situations. Most often it is very casual utilizing the honor system; a basket placed on a table by the door (or some other easily accessible location) with a predetermined suggested donation (usually $10-$20 per person, depending on the specifics of a given concert). Also available, and again on the honor system, is a table displaying the artist’s merchandise; CD’s, t-shirts, posters, novelties, etc.
In some situations, the host or hostess may choose to pay the fee for the guests upfront and this becomes a Private Concert as opposed to a traditional House Concert.
The advantages of a House Concert include that you know the guests who will be invited into your home, (thus you can legally take the life of anyone who yells, “Freebird!”), the privilege of listening to your favorite music in a comfortable atmosphere, and being able to provide a unique environment that allows the audience to be closer to and sometimes a part of the performance. The intimate atmosphere even allows them to converse with the performer and learn more about the background of the music. Some house concerts are a one time event; others may be part of a regular series developed over a period of time through networking and building of invitation lists.
Just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful time last night. We all really enjoyed your music. You gave me much more than I bargained for. Have I said yet how great you were?
If you would like to know more about hosting a house concert, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.