Yes! It's possible! In fact, it's becoming more and more common!
They're called House concerts. It's an alternative way for professional, touring musicians and entertainers to expand and increase their audience as well as minimize expenses for "off nights" or "Unbooked nights" while on the road. AND you and your friends get to have a private concert, in your home. It's intimate, fun and easy!
Here's how it works /FAQs:
Q: WHO CAN HAVE, or "HOST" A HOUSE CONCERT?
A: ABSOLUTELY ANYONE! You can live anywhere. You don't have to have any Experience, or any involvement of any kind with the music business. You don't have to be a musician. All you need is a place that's suitable, (a house, apartment, living room, deck or patio, etc. Places big enough for a small party, say, 15 or 20 people or more.) You also need a love of music. That's it!
Q: WHAT KIND OF ARTISTS ARE AVAILABLE TO DO HOUSE CONCERTS?
A: PROFESSIONAL, TOURING and RECORDING ARTISTS. People like Dana Cooper, Tom Kimmel, Dave Wilcox, John Flynn, and John M, just to name a few. These are all people with CD's available, who tour regularly, perform in venues of all sizes, have appeared on radio and television, etc.. and who regularly perform house concerts!
Q: WHY WOULD ARTISTS LIKE THESE DO A PRIVATE SHOW AT MY HOUSE?
A: IT'S TO EVERYBODY'S BENEFIT, INCLUDING THEIRS. It's all part of life on the road, for a traveling entertainer. Musicians love to play. Most of them feel that no matter how busy they are, they would like to play more than they do. But traveling, even for those who love it, is tiresome and expensive. On virtually ALL musical tours, there are some "dead" or "Unbooked" nights. Any night an artist is on the road and not performing somewhere, he must find food and lodging, generally at his, the artist's own expense and often has nothing to do on such a night but "hang out at the hotel." A House concert, at a house like yours, provides the artist with a free place to stay for the night and some free food that evening, AND gives him another chance to do what he loves to do.... What he's out traveling for in the first place... to play for an audience! In addition, the artist can sell a few CDs and make a little extra money for traveling expenses. In exchange for helping the artist in these ways, you and your friends get a private, intimate concert. It's a great way to have fun, meet new people and make new friends. Everybody wins!
Q: DOES THE ARTIST GET PAID FOR THIS? DOES HE/SHE PERFORM FOR FREE?
A: Generally, there is a donation collected at the door. You, the host and the artist can decide between you what the suggested donation should be. They can range anywhere from $5.00 to $30.00,.. but $10.00 to $20.00 per person is typical. This donation is usually comparable to what one would normally have to pay at a nightclub to hear the artist. In addition, at a nightclub, they would also have to consider food, drinks, parking, gas, etc., etc. Factor in all these additional expenses and as you know, a typical night out at a club to hear a performer can get expensive! So at $10.00 each, your guests get a more intimate performance, *just for them*, for much less than they would have to spend to see the same artist perform elsewhere. We ask that the host invite at least 20 people to a concert. More, if you have room for them. Most of the touring house concert performers that we know are asking for a guarantee of $200, or more. (20 people, at $10.00 each.) I ONLY ASK YOU TO GUARANTEE $100.00. If you invite 20 people and only 10 people come, that covers our guarantee, you pay NOTHING. If, say, only eight people showed up, out of the 20 invited, that would be $80.00 and you would owe me the difference of $20.00. The donation collected at the door goes to the artist. This and whatever he/she can make for selling CDs plus room and board for the evening, is the artist's pay. What the host gets out of it is a free concert and party in the privacy and comfort of his/her own home.
Q: I AM UNCOMFORTABLE ASKING MY GUESTS TO PAY ANYTHING. DO I HAVE TO? ARE THERE ANY OTHER OPTIONS?
A: YES there are! But before you rule out collecting a donation, keep in mind that the donations are voluntary, and most people agree that it's better to have everybody pay a little bit than to have one or two people pay a lot. ALSO - I've heard people say, "I don't want to charge friends to come to my house." Remember, they're not paying to come to your house! They can do that whenever you and they want, for free. They are paying for a CONCERT. That's different.
OK, so what are the options? There is a way you could put on a concert for your guests for free. It amounts to you hiring the artist, (me,) and paying a fixed, agreed upon price for the evening's entertainment. The fee is negotiable and depends on a number of factors such as travel, how many people are expected, etc. Call 818-599-1617 or email for more info.
Q: WHAT ABOUT FOOD/REFRESHMENTS?
A: 1.- Pot Luck. The house concert can be done on a "Pot luck" basis, where the guests are all encouraged to bring some type of food or refreshment to be shared with the other guests.
2.- Limited food & refreshment provided by the host. The host knows in advance who and how many are coming to the concert. (Guests must phone, or RSVP.) The host can provide a limited amount of soft drinks and/or appetizers, finger foods, etc., or even pizza. This is up to you, the host, to decide. I've been to house concerts where the host provided no food, but typically the host provides some minimal basic snacks and refreshments, (cookies, soda, crackers, etc,) all of which can be done at very little cost, and then the guests can be encouraged to bring something to share.
3.- B.Y.O. This is the simplest and least costly way to handle the question of food and refreshment. There are obvious advantages and disadvantages to handling food this way. Ultimately, it's the host's decision. YOU decide.
Q. WHAT DO I, (the HOST), HAVE TO DO?
A. The host provides the place, invites the guests, collects the donations and provides the artist with a place to sleep for the evening, (a couch, guest room, etc.) and some food. THAT'S IT!
Q. WHAT DOES THE ARTIST HAVE TO DO?
A. The artist performs a private concert for you and your guests, in your home, (generally a two-hour program, with a break.) The artist will assist and advise you in organizing and providing promotional materials, (flyers, pictures, etc.)
HOW CAN I FIND ARTISTS WILLING TO DO HOUSE CONCERTS?
WHAT DO I DO NEXT? WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFO?Email, or call: (818-599-1617)
I can give you all the information you need, help you plan, refer you to other resources and even help you set up your own house concert.
The House Concert Movie