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HOUSE CONCERTS : When did you last have live music in your home?If you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is a talented musician play a song or two for you in your living room, you'll know how thrilling it is to catch every tiny nuance of a song performed just for you. Most of us aren't so lucky but … we can change that!
Randall Williams at True Wind House Concerts, California
In the USA, ‘House Concerts’ are a growing trend where enthusiasts invite musicians to their homes, to play an exclusive show for themselves, their friends and their neighbours. The hosts love it, the audiences love it, and the performers love it too. The time is ripe to build a similar community of music lovers and artists in the UK! This co-operating network will provide an increasing number of venues for travelling acoustic and folk musicians from home and abroad. Just as importantly, people will build communities by opening their homes to their friends and neighbours.
So what happens at a house concert?
On the day of the house concert, the performance space (usually a living room) is cleared of everything except seating. An audience of twenty or thirty is the norm. The performers arrive in the afternoon to set up and get to know the host.
At the house concert, hosts provide food and drink or ask their guests to bring a pot-luck. Everyone has a chance to eat and drink, meet the musicians and catch up with their friends before the concert. The show usually consists of two 45 minute sets. In the interval and aftewards, the artists chat with the guests, and sell and sign CDs.
The performance itself is very intimate. This isn't a bar or club, and there's no stage or noisy PA separating the artist from the audience. It's just you and your friends listening to a private concert performed exclusively for you.
Performing is a musician's livelihood, so house concerts aren't free. In the USA, there's always a 'suggested donation' in the region of $10-15 per head. All of this money goes directly to the performer. In this way, music lovers can support artists directly; there are no middlemen taking their cut.
Cosy Sheridan and TR Richie at Notes From Home, New Jersey.
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? FIND OUT ABOUT HOUSE CONCERTS NEAR YOU AND GET YOURSELF INVITED. OR START HOSTING YOURSELF! BE A PART OF THE NEW MUSICAL COMMUNITY!