Over the last few years I have done lots of really fun house concerts, both in the UK and Europe as well as the USA. I love the intimate performance environment and meeting new friends and so many people have asked how to put a house concert on that I have drafted this little overview of how it all works…
If you would like an exclusive ILONA performance, just read below and get in touch !
Email me at email@example.com
How do I host a House Concert?
It’s really easy, in brief – you just need some good friends, a largish indoor space, lots of chairs, bean bags and cushions etc, some space for BYO snacks/drinks (plus anything you may like to cook for the evening) and the ‘Merch Table’.
If you have a decent sized living room that can snugly seats, beanbags, a couch or laze 15+ people then you have all you need to host a fantastic night of music.
Also, hosts usually accommodate touring musicians overnight (or arrange somewhere for them to stay with other friends if space is an issue). If the show is close to home then an overnight stay may not be needed.
What about sound equipment?
In the UK, you won’t need to hire a PA system or audio set up, as we will provide whatever amplification may be needed however in Europe or the USA (depending on size and numbers of people) you will probably need to have access to a sound system.
The performance room should be arranged so your guests can enjoy the concert space as you would a small “theatre” with full attention and few distractions.
But won’t everyone be drinking and talking?
Bear in mind that these performances are ‘house concerts’ not ‘house parties’. This is an important distinction. House concerts often turn into parties when the show is finished, but the actual concert is attended with the same intention that would be had when going to a theatre.
Can kids come?
Kids are most welcome, but consider that they may need something to keep them occupied while you are focussed on the music.
What happens before and after the concert?
Hosts should organise another space or large kitchen where guests can put their BYO snacks/treats/drinks and chat with the musicians during the course of the evening.
Hosts also need to have another table or suitable space available where the artists can lay out their CD’s and any other merchandise for sale: The Merch Booth! Please let your guests know that artists will be selling their CD’s at your show.
How does the evening run?
This is flexible and up to the discretion and convenience of the host, but a typical house concert opens it’s ‘doors’ for friends and fans at say 7pm, when people arrive with their BYO, mingle, munch and drink with the artists and get comfy in the performance space.
There are usually 2 sets of music, each running for about 35-45 minutes. During the intermission and after the show everyone gets to enjoy the musical company of friends and strangers as well as time with the host and artists.
How much will it cost?
This is generally made up of donations from guests usually starting from a suggested £10 ($15) but people can be as generous as they wish (sometimes the Host is happy to arrange a single payment or guarantee a minimum, we can arrange that when you get in touch) . These nights are very much in the spirit of the “soiree’s” of yesteryear when musicians performed in intimate home surroundings under the patronage of members of society who wished to support and share great art and performance from independent artists.
A house concert is a fantastic way to strengthen family, friend and community ties through music. When embraced in the spirit of supporting touring independent artists and original music such events make for an extraordinary and unforgettable evening.
Afterwards, people often come up to me and ask “how do we throw a house concert for next time you tour?” and there starts the beginnings of the grass-roots network of touring musicians, hosts and music lovers that’s called the house concert circuit.
If you would like to book ILONA for a house concert the lineup can go from duo up to 4 piece band depending on the size of the night and what you would like to accommodate – for more information write to firstname.lastname@example.org