A HOUSE CONCERT WITH WALLY LAWDER
WHAT’S A HOUSE CONCERT?
A house concert is a concert in a living room. They are intimate,
easy to set up, really fun and a great way to see a show! My favorite
thing about house concerts is that I get to connect with the audience in
a special way, with lots of laughter, maybe even a few tears and, for those
so inclined, a little singing along.
If I’m traveling from a distance, I may appreciate being able to stay in
your home. It depends on the situation, but it can make life on the
road a little easier!
When I come to your living room, apartment or back yard to play a house
concert, I will bring an acoustic amp and mic or a small PA system--sometimes
this is not needed but I like to have it on hand. It’s just like a
regular concert--I play 2 sets with an intermission in between, and then
hang out afterward to sign CDs and socialize. All I need from you is
to gather at least 20 of your friends, family or co-workers together at your
house for a fabulous show!
THE CONCERT FEE:
A $10. fee is recommended, but a scale of $8. to $15. is possible, depending
on where you live and how far I have to travel. Typically, at a fee
of $10. there needs to be a minimum of 20 people.
TIPS FOR THE BEST POSSIBLE HOUSE CONCERT:
Many hosts send out emails to friends as invitations rather than postal
mailings. You can even include a link for invitees to hear my music
(we can send you a suggested link once a booking is confirmed).
REMEMBER: THIS IS NOT A “PARTY” WITH BACKGROUND MUSIC--IT’S A CONCERT AND
THE MUSIC IS THE FOCUS OF THE EVENING!
The more people the merrier! 20 is the suggested minimum, although
15 (but no fewer) is possible. If the audience is too small, people
tend to get a bit self conscious and are less likely to cut loose! You’d
be amazed at how many people you can fit into your living room (see chart
below). It’s a good idea to invite everyone from co-workers to good
friends to neighbors, even people you don’t talk to often but you know would
appreciate good music.
It is easier, in the long run, to collect the $10. (or other) donation before
the evening of the show. Many hosts ask for checks to be mailed to their
house. It’s much easier to get advance reservations than to collect
money the night of the show--for those who haven’t paid in advance, you can
count on some “no shows,” so allow that in your planning. (Note: most hosts
“charge” their guests the ticket price, while a few choose to make it free
to their guests and pay the performer directly--another possibility is to
charge less per ticket and make up the difference as the host. Any of
these arrangements works great!)
In general, the more “concert-like” the environment the better. I
suggest renting or borrowing folding chairs to augment your dining room/office
chairs and to create rows with aisles that face the “stage.” They cost
about $1. each (try to get the slightly padded ones) and make the audience
feel like they’re at a fabulous venue. You can always ask people to
bring chairs or pillows.
You will want to have some simple snacks and beverages available.
If you want to get more elaborate, you can suggest that people bring their
own--while you want to provide something for folks, you don’t have to set
out a smorgasbord! BYOB is fine--a glass of wine can go quite nicely
with a house concert.
A little special decoration (such as 10 small candles) goes a long way to
creating the perfect show ambience in your living room.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL FIT INTO YOUR LIVING ROOM?
I take up approximately a 4’ deep x 6’ wide space, so the first row of chairs
should be beyond that.
A 14 x 14 room can fit 20-25 people and me!
A 12 x 20 room can fit 30-35 people and me!
A 20 x 18 room can fit 40-45 people and me!
A 20 x 25 room can fit 55-60 people and me!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A HOUSE CONCERT:
If I’m traveling from a distance, I arrive in the late afternoon and we
meet and greet!
5:00 pm: I set up my equipment and sound check; I have
a light bite to eat (thank you!).
7:00 pm: I disappear into a back room and prepare for
7:00 pm: The audience arrives (food, drink and social
7:30 pm: You make your stellar introduction and I play
my first set of music.
8:15 pm: Intermission
8:30 pm: I play a gut wrenching 2nd set.
9:15 pm: I sign CDs and we all hang out a bit.
Here’s a good website to find out more: www.houseconcerts.org/hc.html
THANKS FOR SUPPORTING INDEPENDENT ARTISTS!
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