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What is a House Concert?

Denny Diamond house concert
House Concert Flyer

Simply put, a house concert is an invitation-only music performance in someone’s home, presented by a host who does not profit from the event. Traditionally, artists are paid by a suggested donation ($10-20) requested of each attendee.

Most house concerts are:

  • held indoors
  • attended by 15-50 people
  • put on inexpensively. Hosts spend from $50 – $125 on food and beverage. Attendee donations pay the performer.
  • known to include light snacks, beverages or a pot-luck dinner
  • attended by the host’s friends, neighbors, co-workers, and maybe a few fans of the artist
  • performed by solo acts, duos and small groups
  • performed with a very small sound system or no amplification. Artists usually bring what they need.
  • intimate — audiences sit close and are attentive
  • stronger for artist merchandise sales than traditional venues
  • willing to house and feed the artist for the night

Why are House Concerts so much fun?

For fans, it’s an opportunity to hear music in a super-intimate, and often remarkable setting. People are friendly, artists are engaging and accessible, and sometimes the food and ambience are sublime.

For musicians, it’s a night away from the bars, or a chance to get up close to the audience – to see and hear the reactions that are often obscured by big stages and blinding spotlights.

Why host a House Concert?

Everyone hosts for their own reasons. Chances are you already have enough reason to get started. However, you might be inspired by some of the other ways that hosts benefit from hosting house concerts.

Love of music and artists

Some music fans feel a deep connection to the touring artist. These fans often have a music background, and have profound admiration for people willing to make the sacrifices necessary for a life on the road. Artists delay (or abandon) financial security, dreams of family and a modest home, and the powerful luxury of a stable career routine – weekly outings with friends, dance lessons with your spouse, and more. Yes, there is plenty of magic in return, but the sacrifices are real. For these reasons and more, music fans feel blessed to be able to contribute to a musical dream, and to often see it happen in their home.

Love of community

House concerts are a powerful way to unite friends and build community. They enhance friendships, foster new ones, and create sublime moments that allow us to weave our memories together. House concert hosts often become tastemakers in their community, and even inspire music scenes to develop in their town. Neighbors and friends rediscover their love the arts and start to divorce their televisions a few times per week.

Love of entertaining

Despite the multiplex-sized television screens in people’s homes, very few people actually entertain in their home on a regular basis. It seems like the dinner party is a myth of the wealthy past. House concerts provide an inspiring reason to clean the house and make good use of the sprawling spaces we inhabit. Consider the fact that many apartments today are bigger than the homes of just a few generations ago. Did your grandparents have a guest room? Probably not.

Love of a cause

One of the novel applications of house concerts is to honor and support a cause. Many fundraising events require large teams of volunteers, whereas a monthly house concert series can be organized by one or two people. Furthermore, artists typically have affinity for several causes, and often have a song related to those causes. Imagine a wonderful artist inspiring your audience with a personal story or song that is on-message for your favorite charity.

Being the change you want to see in the world.

One of the best ways for artists to create house concert opportunities where they live is to start their own series. The generous act of shining the light on someone else can be the catalyst for others to start hosting. With a healthy house concert scene, that artist may find their own opportunities to play at someone else’s home.

Building an audience to fulfill your dream of owning a commercial venue.

We’ve seen house concerts graduate to promoting bigger events in their town, and some eventually open their own commercial venue. Starting any new business involves risk, but the entertainment venue is especially risky. Wouldn’t it make sense to build an audience and a great reputation before creating the massive overhead (rent, employees, licenses, etc.) of a commercial venue?

The list of potential reasons to host house concerts could certainly go on, but these are some of the most common ones. Most of us can relate to more than one, and that provides a strong enough “why” to do the work of putting on the first few events. After a few great shows, your own list will certainly grow.

Online Streaming Live

It’s basically the same as a House Concert but no one leaves their home.

If you have a group of folks who can’t get out, let’s say “quarantined”, but you want to get together and listen to some music.  Well let’s do that.  There are several platforms available to do just this. 

Let’s look at Facebook.
  1. Set up your concert by calling or writing.  Some shows can be the same day!
  2. We decide how to fund the show.  By tips or a set amount.
  3. Create a group and all sign in.
  4. We start the show that can last as much as 60 minutes.
  5. We all have a great time and forget what’s going on in the world.
Find out about how to book your House Concert w/Denny

House Concert information