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GIGSALAD: HOW TO GET BOOKED FOR HOUSE CONCERTS

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Original article by Matt Holland for gigsalad.com
Photos by Anna Selle

Different than the typical house party, a house concert features you, the musician, as the focal point. Actively listening to your music is the main goal. As a result, they are truly a remarkable experience for musicians. Imagine an audience who is there is listen to every note you play and every word you sing. Sounds like the dream, doesn’t it? Well, performing a house concert is not an unrealistic goal and we want to help you make it a reality!

Finding The Host

At a house concert, the venue, stage, promotion, and even the audience are provided by the host. Because of the work involved, you need to find a host that is passionate about live music, particularly your live music, and who will be committed wholeheartedly. Obviously, there’s no better place to start than with your fans! Here are a few ways you can find the perfect person.

Take advantage of  social media.

Shout it from the mountaintop! Share your big idea with all of your followers and fans on every social media platform that you use. Many fans will jump on the opportunity to host you. Statistically, posts with video and images receive more views, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

 Use your email list.

Put that mailing list to good use and reach out to your fans via an e-mail blast. Tell them your dream of playing an intimate concert and ask them if they would help make it happen by hosting you. Include instructions for hosting a house concert to help ease their mind and explain the process.

Ask friends & family to host.

If you do not have a large fan base, then contact your friends and family! There’s no shame in asking family and friends to host you. They are often your biggest fans and are a great foundation from which to build a solid fan base. Playing a house concert for a non-judgemental audience may also be a good idea for breaking into this new type of intimate performing.

Preparation & Setup

The majority of house concerts take place in living rooms or backyards. So, unless the host’s home is in the middle of a field, your music needs to be more reserved. Communicate with the host about the stage placement, expected audience size, and location. Once you have the details, tailor your equipment and customize your setlist accordingly.

Make sure you don’t forget to pack your merch! Selling your music, shirts, and other wares at house concerts is a great revenue stream. Bring a table or ask the host to provide an area for you to display it. At these private performances, the audience consists of committed fans and music lovers who will, no doubt, love to walk away with a souvenir from the special night.

Payment & Booking

Traditional payment for house concerts comes from donations that the host collects. The host will ask all guests upon arrival to make a minimum donation and at the end of the concert, this money is given directly to you. Because of the unique payment method of house concerts, we’ve outlined the process for you.

 Use a booking agreement to confirm.

We recommend using a Booking Agreement and securing a deposit for all performances, even for house concerts. The booking agreement assures the host of your commitment and a deposit offers a guarantee for you.

The host will be working hard setting up the venue and inviting guests, so we recommend keeping the deposit at a minimum amount. Set your total fee to match the deposit but write into your Booking Agreement that all donations collected at the concert will be given to you.

If you’re using the GigSalad Online Booking System, your Quote will look something like this:

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After the Concert

Take a moment to hang out with your audience and your gracious host after you play. One of the most incredible benefits of a house concert is getting to know your fans on a personal level. This is also a perfect opportunity for you to collect emails for your mailing list, especially from those who seem interested in hosting you themselves.

A house concert is a truly unique experience for both the musician and the audience. This kind of intimate performance allows for true listening and is a great way to create long term fans and lasting connections. After a few house concerts, you may never return to those typical gigs!

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