A house concert is the very best way to enjoy your favourite music with your favourite people. Here’s how to host one.
To make these concerts feasible, a minimum audience of 20 guests is needed. The suggested donation per guest is $20. If you’d prefer to pay Martin’s fee yourself, email us to request a rate sheet. There will also CDs available for purchase.
The host’s main responsibility is to bring the audience. You invite your friends and neighbours, by phone, e-mail, or paper invitations. Make sure to tell everyone they need to call or email you back to reserve their seat, because seating is limited. If you plan to seat 25 people, take up to 30 confirmations. One or two will likely not be able to make it on the night despite their best intentions, and a couple extras can always be squeezed in, right?
A word of caution: Facebook events can be useful for spreading the word, but don’t rely on the responses. People often click ‘attending’ and then don’t show up. They must confirm with a personal message/email/phonecall to you to reserve their seat.
This will be tailored to your needs and Martin’s availability. The most popular schedule is 8-10pm, with two sets of about 40 mins each, and a 40 min break in between for socializing and refreshments. Typically guests are invited to arrive 30-60 mins before the concert is scheduled to start, to allow more time for socializing.
This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Just serving tea and water is fine. Many hosts do a pot-luck and invite all their guests to bring a drink, dessert or snack to share. The choice is yours, just make it clear to your guests what will be happening.
If you don’t have enough seats, ask your neighbours to bring a few over – they’re coming anyway, right? You can also put down some blankets, rugs or cushions for folks to sit on the floor.
Martin will take care of all the sound equipment (minimal) and the entertainment. Just provide a stage space of at least 6’ by 4’ and an attentive, music-loving audience! The concert can be held in whichever room you think would be most enjoyable for your guests. Previous venues have included living rooms, basements, attics and even a garage! If you plan to have the concert outside, make sure you have a backup location ready in case of rain.
You should make clear to your guests whatever standards you expect in your home – ie. shoes on or off, alcohol served or not. There should be no smoking, and children should only be brought if they are true music lovers and will happily sit through the whole concert. There is time before and after the concert for socializing, and everyone is expected to listen respectfully to the concert so all can enjoy it fully.
Need more details? An excellent, comprehensive guide for hosts can be found here.