Hi! First of all, I am so happy that you’re interested in hosting a house concert. I’m excited we have an opportunity to experience this together.
#1: The “House”
You can stage this house concert in a living room, backyard, back patio, small house, big house, condo, apartment (or clubhouse), or at your church. The point is that the “house” can be any space you have access to where your friends can gather, sit, and enjoy a concert.
Pre- and post-concert mingling can of course spill into other rooms or areas of the property, but I ask that for concert time, everyone is gathered close and seated, together, directly in front of where I’ll be set up to perform. I’ve learned that seating around tables for the concert works against the creation of the intimate experience I aim to bring to the audience, so I ask that there be no table seating for the performance.
#2: The Date
I will work with you to pick a date for your house concert. This is fun and exciting, and it’s also a bit hectic on my end, as I am always juggling schedules to make this work. Please provide me with 3 possible weekend dates you might be considering, with #1 being your first choice. Some weeknight house concerts are feasible, so don’t hesitate to host on a weeknight.
#3: The Guests
To create the best possible scenario for a successful show, I ask that you have a minimum of 20-30 adults in attendance.
If you aren’t sure you’ll be able to get 20 adults to come on your own, you might “co-host” the show with a friend who also has a group of people to invite, and increase your overall attendance.
If your space can hold more people and you want to have more, then great, the more the merrier. If you have an idea for something bigger, I can absolutely do it, and I’m eager to hear what you have in mind.
#4: The Invitation
Invite a bunch of your friends! I will provide you with some precise language that I’ll need you to include in your invitations; but besides that, I want you to have fun telling your friends why you want them to come to the awesome event you’re hosting.
I do not specify a suggested donation amount for my house concerts.
Other invitation items
You may want to let your guests know you’ll have drinks and snacks for them if that will be the case, or perhaps you’d like to ask everyone to bring a little something to share. This is entirely up to you, and is not a requirement for hosting a house concert.
#5: The Concert
So you’ve invited everyone, RSVPs are in, and you’re ready for the show – here’s how it goes down!
I will arrive one hour before guests are scheduled to start arriving, in order to set up my equipment and do a soundcheck.
Guests arrive at the time you and I have decided together that the event will begin. This is usually in the evening – but it could also be the afternoon if it’s a weekend. As guests arrive, we all hang out and mingle for about an hour.
Then, after an hour of pre-concert hanging out, everyone gathers in the performance space, people find their seats, the host (that’s you!) gives a brief introduction, and then I perform for about an hour.
As soon as I’ve played the last note of the concert, you get up front next to me with a vase or basket or box of some kind to make the donation announcement. It should go something like this:
After that, we all hang out some more until the guests start heading home.
A note on the flow of the event,
and an example schedule
I believe it’s really important that the pre-show mingling time is really right about an hour. If it’s shorter than an hour, then people don’t have enough time to get comfortable; and if it’s longer than an hour, then the focus of the event starts to get fuzzy.
It’s one of the most fun nights of the year to be sure, but it’s important to remember that fundamentally this isn’t a party; it’s a concert.
Let’s say you want the performance to start at 7:30. In that example, here’s how the schedule would go:
5:30 – I arrive and we do our setup
6:30 – guests arrive
7:30 – concert begins
8:30 – concert ends
And then of course we can all hang out afterward for as long as you’d like!
… and that’s how we will organize an awesome house concert.
I can’t wait to do a house concert with you!
Be sure to download the files for more information on hosting a House Concert.