Virginia Dare

 
 

House Concerts

                                     HOW TO PUT ON A HOUSE CONCERT                                   

House concerts are an elegant and viable solution for the not so well known, yet accomplished musician to get seen and heard.  They are also an inexpensive way for you to enjoy top notch entertainment in your own living room and create a unique evening for friends.

They are simple to organize, cheap to produce and virtually fail-safe.  You are pretty guaranteed a packed house, a convivial atmosphere, and, for the performer, a decent wage.  What you provide:

       1.   Help Virginia with carrying her musical gear

       2.  Give her access to the performing space at least 90 minutes prior to show time

       3.  Collect at least $10 to $15 from each person  

       4.  Provide a table for Virginia's saleable items

       5.  Guarantee of at least 20 to 25 people or the financial equivalent
       6.  Provide her with a place to stay

What Virginia provides:
        1.   A professional concert
        2.  Press materials

        3.  A fun and edifying event to be fondly remembered

Some notes on successfully arranging a House Concert:

People will come to a house concert for the following reasons:

         1.  They are happy to accept an invitation from a friend

         2.  It’s sounds like a fun way to party with friends
         3.  It is fresh, new kind of thing to do
         4.  It is good for a cause ( If it is for a cause )
         5.  They want to hear Virginia 

It is essential to “promote” the event in the same personal way you would any kind of event that you have decided to host at your home.  Whether you phone people or send written invitations, the personal contact is crucial.  If in addition, you want to advertise, that is a good thing, but the friends you invite yourself will fill most of the seats.   The actual size of your living room will dictate the size of the potential audience.  A good rule of thumb is 5 square feet per person.    Remember that if your living room is too small – the sponsor and the host need not be the same person.  And having a house concert in a public hall where you invite the public is also a possibility but remember some expenses might escalate as a result.

Ticket sales:  Should there be printed tickets? A reservation list?  RSVP’s?  This is a judgement for the sponsor to make.  I recommend the advance ticket route or prepaid  reservations.  For several reasons:

         1.  People with already bought tickets don’t change their minds at the last minute
         2.  Often an RSVP-ed (non ticketed) full house evaporates because of a storm  
         3.  The best advertisement is someone who has already bought a ticket

You know what best price is suitable for your friends.  Don’t skimp.  Having people pay early works best.   You might have an early bird price of $12 for example, and $15 after that.  

A trick for having enough comfortable seating : ask everyone to bring a folding chair or a cushion;  borrow stacking chairs from a church or union hall.  Another suggestion is considering making it a potluck event.   

Remember house concerts make good fundraising events especially if they are coupled with a Goods and Services Auction.