Ever Thought About Hosting A House Concert?...
Your Questions Answered.
What is a house concert?
A house concert is exactly what the name suggests; a concert in a private house. It is a get-together of friends in your living room, on your patio, or garden, with live music and often food, drinks and conversation.
I actually prefer to play at these events rather than public concerts because they are more intimate and allow me to really get to see the audience and their reactions to my music.
Also these are probably people who have never seen me perform before so I am exposing my music to new ears – your group of friends!
What do I get out of it?
You will get the chance to invite your friends to a social gathering of a very different sort. Not many people will have experienced live music in an "up-close-and-personal" setting. They won't just get to see and hear the performance, they will be able to connect with the performer, before, during and after the concert. Your friends will be impressed with your novel and imaginative approach to throwing a party.
What do you get out of it Stan?
The beauty of a house concert is that it is much more intimate and focuses on the audience as individuals rather than as a crowd. Traditional venues rely solely on numbers, making public shows more about quantity than quality. That gets tiresome. I like to draw people in to my performances - not just sing at them.
At this point it is probably best to point out that I would not be providing "background music". I have played in all sorts of venues and at all types of events and my least enjoyable experiences have involved playing in noisy rooms where there is no connection with the audience and the music takes a backseat role. There is nothing wrong with using music as a background to set the mood, but that's not what I provide.
I encourage (and help) my hosts to provide a setting where the audience's attention is focussed on the performance. That gives us both the best chance of putting on a truly unforgettable show
I don't have a big house. Can I still host a house concert?
Yes! The cosier the better. You don’t need a gigantic living room although space for a minimum of twenty people, seated, is ideal. I’ve performed house shows with as few as 20 people, and as many as 50.
If you really are pushed for space perhaps you could hire a private room in a pub or club or a small hall. Ideally though, it works best if the audience can fill the space available. Just 30 people in a huge echoey village hall is nowhere near "intimate".
What would it cost me?
Well that depends. You can host a concert for absolutely nothing. I don't charge a fee. Instead your invited audience is asked to expect to make a donation to the artist (me). We don't even suggest a figure for the amount of the donation - that is left entirely up to your guests. Please get in touch for more details about how that works.
If you don't feel that you can ask your guests for donations you can instead pay me a set fee. We can negotiate a price. Again, just let me know.
Of course if you want to lay on food and drink that is entirely up to you and what you arrange with your guests. I have played concerts where the guests have been asked to bring along some home-made snacks and a bottle of wine to contribute to a buffet - that works well.
Do you bring along a band and a sound system?
Absolutely not! It is just me and my acoustic guitar.
Usually the room is small enough for me to play and sing with no sound system at all. In fact that is my favourite set-up. That means there is nothing between me and the audience - not even a microphone. Perhaps in a larger room or a garden it may be necessary to set up some sound reinforcement - but it would be minimal.
I have never organised anything like this before. How do I plan this thing?
Don't worry, I will guide you every step of the way - right from how you word your invitations to the timetable on the day of the concert.
House concerts really are low stress. Whatever happens, there is no need to get anxious! Its just like hanging out with your friends! You can run the vacuum cleaner round a bit though if you really want to! :o)
But I really don’t want strangers turning up.
Fair enough - it's your house and this is usually a homeowner’s main worry. I list house concerts on the "Upcoming Gigs" page on my web-site with just the date and the town that I am playing in. Your address and any other personal details will never be published.
Sometimes a fan will ask me if they can attend the show. In this case I will take their contact details and pass them on to you so you can decide if you would like to invite them. If you’d rather keep it a closed event, then no problem, just ignore the request.
Okay, I would like to find out more - what do I do now?
Okay, next you need to get you hands on the Stan Harvey House Concert Guide For Hosts. All you need to do is enter your name and email address in the form below and I will send a copy to you. It will arrive as a PDF document attached to an email.
Alternatively you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the "Contact" page and send me a message from there. I will then send you a comprehensive guide that will tell you everything that you need to know about what happens next.
I look forward to hearing from you and playing a concert at your house very soon!