BEN RABB CONCERTS
Thank you for your interest in hosting a house concert!
Here's some Info on how they generally work.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch.
What are House Concerts?
House Concerts have been around a long time, but have been gaining popularity in the past few years, as many dedicated listening room concert halls lost economic viability and shut down, leaving a huge void of venues in the intimate and subtle acoustic music realm. House concerts have risen to fill this void, and are now an essential staple of every songwriter’s tour schedule. They can vary quite a bit from one another, from very intimate and unplugged living room affairs (no sound system) with 30-40 people, to large outdoor deck mini-festivals with 200 people.
Sometimes people serve dinner and drinks before the show or dessert after or at intermission. Some shows are "foodie" catered and some are KFC and PBR, depends on your vibe and isn't required. These shows are typically acoustic performances and if the crowd is small, no amplification is needed. But no matter how big the audience, some promotion and a proper invitation will be needed.
How many guests should attend?
For an intimate and unplugged living room show, 30-40 people is a good number to shoot for. There’s also the option of doing an outdoor show during the warmer months and inviting more guests.
How much space do I need to have to host an indoor house concert?
The area you choose for the concert space should be able to fit 20+ people. For many that's the living room, but it can also be a porch, garden, etc. Couches, folding chairs, pillows and blankets (or any combination of these) work great for seating.
Inviting your friends!
House concerts work best when there are 20 or more people and I'd suggest you send an email invite out to your friends and post the show as an event on Facebook as well. I can provide you with a few videos to link to as well as a song that your potential guests can download. I'm happy to put together an email invite template that you can customize and send. Just let me know!
THE MATTER OF MONEY
One of the great virtues of house concerts, is that those costs can be defrayed among a wide group of people in a way that makes it an easily affordable event for everyone. Generally speaking, the host requests that each guest contribute a suggested donation at the door, typically $10-$15 per guest. It’s important that the host make it clear in any invitations that there will be this expectation of a suggested donation. It saves everyone from the awkwardness of having their guests arrive only to be confronted with a donation basket they didn’t expect. I’ve found that rather than feeling resentful or put upon, guests respond well to the transparent explanation that their contribution is what supports my music and that house concerts are a grassroots way for the community to support an artist directly.
In your invites, you can set a “doors open’ time. Say, 6:30 doors open. 7-8 mingle, potluck, 8-10 concert, with a break for coffee and dessert.
The Host can flick the lights or ding a bell or something like this at about 7:45, signaling the guests it’s time to settle into their seats for the concert. And usually, the host provides a brief welcome/intro, welcoming their guests, pointing out bathrooms (for those that aren’t familiar with the space), asking the guests to silence cell phones and explains that Ben will perform 2 sets with an intermission for mingling, CD sales (20 minutes usually works).
All this was meant as a template to help you envision how a house concert might look at your place, and to make sure the important issues were touched upon. But please understand this is your event, and it will take on a reflection of your own personal style. Within the general context of these basic guidelines, I'm open to all kinds of shows for all kinds of people.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns generated from what you’ve just read, and we can discuss it.