Restaurants as Listening Rooms… possibility vs odds

We often get requests from restaurants and cafes who want to be part of what we do, by hosting concerts at their venue. Most often, they haven’t thought it through… they just have a notion that live music might be fun and could enhance their business.

The unique thing about our concerts is the “listening atmosphere.” We like to make a clear distinction that our concerts are not “background music,” so we expect the audience to behave like they would at a movie theater or Broadway musical. We want everyone seated, paying attention. The venue also has to support the performance – limiting or eliminating noises like espresso machines, clinking ice, chatting at the register, etc. Historically, that has been tough to achieve in restaurants, but there are a few that pull it off.
The key is that everyone in the space should be there for the show. If someone walks in for dinner and is not interested in the show, they might start talking and distracting from everyone else.
Small spaces are totally fine. If you’d like to create a “concert night” that would take place at a time where it wouldn’t interfere with your normal business flow, we’d be happy to support that.
Listening Room Network is a fiscally sponsored organization, and we accept donations that help us create meaningful and enjoyable music events around the world. We welcome your support.
Advertisements

Press Release: House Concert workshop during Listening Room Festival

For Immediate Release

A house concert workshop has been scheduled for April 21nd, as part of the Listening Room Festival.

The workshop is led by Fran Snyder, the founder of ConcertsInYourHome.com – the leading resource for house concerts around the world. Anyone interested in hosting house concerts is welcome to attend.

House concerts are an old tradition that has become vital to the careers of independent touring artists. With the shifting sands of technology and the music business, artists have found that the live experience is not easily duplicated (cheapened) and the intimacy of playing in close, homey quarters provides todays best opportunity to sell CDs and merchandise as well.

ConcertsInYourHome educates and inspires music fans to put on concerts in their living rooms, backyards, and other interesting locations. Some of these music fans make house concerts their hobby of choice, hosting 6-12 concerts per year for friends and invited guests.

The workshop takes place during the 6th annual Listening Room Festival – a gathering attended by house concert hosts and fans from around the world. Attendees have 20 house concerts to choose from over 5 days, and the main event is a showcase at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, featuring all 6 festival acts.

Workshop will include Q&A session and handouts for attendees. Topics will include building an audience, collaborating with other hosts, suggested donations, common mistakes, and some breakthrough ideas.

LRFest Meeting and House Concert Workshop.
Saturday, April 21

Marriott Courtyard (meeting room)
300 4th St N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Phone: (727) 450-6200

10am – 11am – coffee and meet/greet
11am – Festival feedback
11:30am – HC workshop, Q&A based on your advance questions
1pm – wrap-up

The workshop is free for those who register in advance at this link. ($5 at the door if not registered.)

Inquiries: Fran Snyder   727-280-6208, fran at ListeningRoomNetwork.com

Press Photos

http://www.ListeningRoomFestival.com, http://www.ConcertsInYourHome.com

 

 

 

Press Release: Listening Room Festival 2018 (#LRFest18)

For Immediate Release

Florida “House Concert” Festival Connects Fans from All Over the World

LRF logo on white

The 7th Annual Listening Room Festival invites house concert presenters, artists and fans to join in this year’s festivities. Music-lovers from around the globe are traveling to St. Petersburg, FL to enjoy the house concerts, showcase, and planned group activities from April 17-22, 2018.

Six international contest winners will play the Main Showcase (April 20) at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, as well as house concerts in the surrounding region. This year’s artists are Big Little Lions, Luke Bulla Trio, Escaping Pavement, Chasing Lovely, John Wort Hannam, and The Novelists. Reserved seats are available ($25adv./$35 day of show) at the festival website http://www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

House concerts, the core of the festival, stem from a tradition that is hundreds of years old, but has seen a resurgence in the past few decades. Music fans volunteer to host living room concerts, and invite friends to attend an up-close-and-personal show by a professional touring artist. Attendees are asked to make a suggested donation of $15-20 per person directly to the performers.

The main showcase at the Palladium Theater features all six acts.  In addition, this year’s festival includes group activities and workshops to educate and inspire fans to join the growing house concert movement.

2018 Festival Schedule

Schedule is subject to change. Please register for the festival to receive updates and invitations to the private events.

  • April 17-22 — house concerts around the bay area.
  • Friday, April 20 — LRFest Showcase at the Palladium
  • Saturday April 21 — House Concert Workshop, Meet & Greet at Marriott Courtyard Downtown St. Petersburg. Free to attend if you RSVP here. $5 at the door.
  • Sunday April 22 — 10am brunch for festival artists, hosts, and invited guests. Contact fran@listeningroomnetwork.com for details.

The festival is presented by ConcertsInYourHome.com, part of The Listening Room Network. More information and tickets are available through ListeningRoomFestival.com.

About the Listening Room Network:

Listening Room Network (LRN) creates and nurtures opportunities that pay artists to perform in a listening environment while bringing communities together with a renewed passion for live music. LRN and its signature websites (ConcertsInYourHome.com, OfficeConcerts.com) are leading innovators in the live music industry.

Contact/Press Photos: 

Fran Snyder 727-280-6208fran@ListeningRoomNetwork.com

Website: www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

Free house concert guide: Download (PDF)

HighRes Press photos: Office Concerts, House Concerts, Fran Snyder, and Festival Finale.

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 3.42.54 PM

Political music and speech at concerts…

A concert is an agreement between the host/venue and the artist. The booker should research the artist and get the basic vibe. The artist with strong or suggestive material that may not be obvious from their website should say so. If it’s not a fit, you move on.

If you want to be political (this applies to more than music) you will pay a price for it. An activist is someone willing to pay the price. But if you are excellent at political/suggestive music (a la Ani DiFranco, Roy Zimmerman, Eric Schwarz) there are also rewards… including a very loyal audience.

Fran Snyder

CIYH Artists of the Year – 2017

Each year, we recognize three talented acts for their successful use of the site,and the reviews and recommendations we’ve received from our host community. Touring is a difficult sport, and these acts have demonstrated not just talent, but persistence, kindness, and a willingness to go where the opportunities are. Congrats!

2017 Artists of the Year!

Headshot

Daniel Champagne

Headshot

Flagship Romance

Headshot

Dan Frechette & Laurel
Thomsen

Honorable Mentions

These artists had a great year with us as well!

Rupert Wates, Danika & The Jeb, Matt Bednarsky, The Currys, Kelley McRae, Escaping Pavement, Woody Russell, and Brian Keith Wallen.

Note: Artists of the Year are not eligible to win for the following two years.

Examples: Tell us about your venue/series!

When a new host or venue signs up, they often find it hard to describe the intent, vibe, or highlights of their series. So we’ve created this post to give some compelling or helpful examples of what you might say to the public, or to your invitees, about your events.

PRIVATE HOUSE CONCERT

EXAMPLE 1: Ours is an outdoor backyard concert series in the heart of Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood.  We host talented musicians from all over the world in an intimate and rustic setting from April through October. Guests are invited to bring their lawn chair and a favorite beverage to enjoy great music under our giant oak tree.

EXAMPLE 2: Tucked away in a stunning high desert location at the southern end of the Hualapai Mountains of northwest Arizona is the home of Ben & Yrma, where you can see intimate concerts with high quality Folk and Americana musicians. For attendees it’s a great place to spend quality time with friends and neighbors, and to share “once in a lifetime” musical events. For artists, a place to recharge, refresh & have a great time playing music.

EXAMPLE 3: Dedicated to music for me and you by supporting independent, “hand crafted” music. “Behind the storms of daily conflict, crisis and struggle, it is the artist, and the poet and the musician that continues the quiet work of the centuries, building bridges of experience between peoples,  reminding us of the universality of our feelings, desires, and despairs, and reminding us that the forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.” (John F. Kennedy) Our house concerts pull together a diverse group of people with a common interest in music and we have a blast!  Join us for a wonderful evening of handcrafted music….

EXAMPLE 4: We do our concerts outdoors whenever possible (weather permitting), on the screened patio by the pool, in the evenings under the moon and stars, often with soft candlelight setting the mood and the scent of night blooming jasmine permeating the air. 

We ask for RSVP’s in advance so that we can be adequately prepared.  We no longer do pot luck dinners… they require extra room, and we’d rather use that space to squeeze in a few additional guests.  However, we ask guests to bring a light snack or dessert item (finger food only) to share, and we provide plenty of soft drinks and beverages.  (The coffee pot is always going.)  There is always time to socialize and chat (with other guests as well as with the artist) before the concert begins and during the break.  For the safety and comfort of all guests, our concerts are smoke and alcohol free.

Occasionally, depending on the artist preference, folks will stay after the concert is over, and there will be jamming.  We love having company, and Sunday mornings after a concert generally means lox and bagels on the patio.  Each concert is unique, as each artist is unique… so we never fully know what to expect.  But concert weekends are always an incredible experience.

 

PUBLIC VENUES

EXAMPLE 1: Our Vineyard & Winery is a brand new venue created for live acoustical music. Indoor and outdoor stages designed by a sound engineer to provide intimate acoustical performances in a creative, artistic and inspiring atmosphere. We want to support and encourage original music from all genres. We have housing to accommodate four artists and are near Amish country and many other enriching destinations.

EXAMPLE 2: Ours is not a traditional “house concert,” because we have a permanent venue at a local UU Church. We have been around since 1993, and at this venue since 1996. <p>We are non-profit, and 100% volunteer-run. Our unofficial motto is “We’re a great place to play on your way to somewhere else,” but that philosophy has helped us host an impressive list of performers over the years.

EXAMPLE 3: Our Coffeehouse is a non-profit, volunteer-run venue. We encourage local and regional performers who play both cover and original material. We’re open every Friday evening from 7:00-10:00PM, pass the hat for donations, and there’s no cover charge. We have an opening and a feature act.If you’re just starting out or you don’t want to play a full show, we also offer an open mic night on the third Thursday, and a song circle on the first Thursday of each month.

 

 

 

What change are we trying to make?

change

I’ve begun The Marketing Seminar, taught by Seth Godin. In it, he asks some poignant questions, making sure that we unearth our core values before piling on tactics and advice on how to reach the right people for our community. Here was the first question.

What change are you trying to make?

For artists, I want to teach them that performing in noisy places and hoping to be discovered is only one way to make it in the music business, and that’s it’s probably not the best way. For some artists, playing small, intimate concerts is the best way to hone your craft, make a living, make new fans, and to reach them more profoundly.

For music fans, I want to teach them that music is as beautiful and promising as it ever has been, and the experience of hearing a small, independent artist or group in the right atmosphere can be sublime. For some fans, the ones who are generous, and inspired by the possibility of helping artists grow, I want to teach them how they can participate, by hosting concerts – in their living rooms, gardens, or other remarkable spaces.

I want these two groups to form a growing community called the Listening Room Network. It’s already started, but there’s a long way to go.

Booking System Updates at LRN

Our Goals:

  • make booking easier for hosts and artists.
  • improve host response rates.
  • decrease artist errors in reaching out to hosts.
  • allow members to track results and learn how we can best improve this process.

Artist Inquiries

  • automatically attach artist profile links
  • feature most important information
  • restrict emails to a length that hosts are more likely to read.
  • give hosts easy decision choices and room to add details.
  • allow us to track how things are going.
  • copy the artist for easy record keeping, and the history is downloadable if you misplace your emails.

Host responses include

  • clear subject headers for artists to sort and keep track in their email folders, and a link to the host’s profile
  • the original request so that artists see what the host is actually responding to.
  • the host email address if the answer is Yes, Maybe, or Not Now so that communication
  • can continue independently. A reply of “No” prevents artists from persisting or challenging the host decisions.

This system creates tabs for hosts to organize the artists they’ve looked at. Artists with a Yes or Maybe status allow the host to share a “potential artists” page with their mailing list so that they can book shows with more interest, advance RSVPs, and better turnouts.

Please remember that some hosts actively look at the avails pages to find artists. Be sure to update your profile regularly to make sure that your avails are current and the right hosts can find you.

Your fans,

CIYH

LRN kickSMARTER campaign…

We started this fundraising campaign at Kickstarter, which became too limiting. You can now contribute two ways:

About

Let’s create a remarkable place for music fans and a support system for the listening rooms that we love. 

We started back when the internet was made of wool and sticks. It’s amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish with squirrel-powered computers and an etch-a-sketch.

But it’s time to rebuild!

In order to launch some wonderful new features and tools for our treasured artists and music fans, we’re totally revamping our websites. We’re making them mobile friendly, and paving the way for a brighter future.

We’re also launching fan memberships, allowing more people to connect and enjoy what we do, even if they don’t host concerts or perform.

In the video, I’m wearing a Concerts In Your Home t-shirt. That was our first website, and it’s still going strong today, with thousands of events each year. But all these events are part of a larger ecosystem of musical goodness. Great, intimate concerts don’t have to happen in a living room! They can happen almost anywhere, provided the right people show up.

That’s why we created the Listening Room Network, to support public venues as well as private ones, and to create lots of new opportunities for artists to find a listening audience and a living wage. You, the fan, get more opportunities to get up close and personal.

Replacing and upgrading 10 years of work is a massive investment of time and money, and your participation will help us do it quickly and do it right.

The internet was designed to help us connect… and so was music! Listening Room Network is about making those connections last. 

We’re excited to include you in our journey. As a supporter, you’ll be among the first fan memberships, and be able to help us in the creation of perks and benefits we’ll provide for our members. You’ll be able to see our updated designs and features before we roll them out.

Finally, we hope to inspire you to join your fellow fans and contributors at our Listening Room Festival, the largest annual gathering of house concert fans. We think you need a music vacation every year – Florida is beautiful in April, and this one-of-a-kind festival is so charming. Join us if you can!

Some of our Rewards!

kickstarter_banner (1)

 

You can now contribute two ways:

LRN Kickstarter – Impact on artists

You might know that I started as a singer-songwriter, and ConcertsInYourHome grew out of the challenges I had trying to find house concerts and inspire new ones. I decided that if the resource was good enough, I could share it with other artists and it would pay for itself.

We’ve launched a Kickstarter to take these efforts to the next level. I’m asking you to check it out, and consider sharing.

Here’s why a successful campaign will help you, as a member of CIYH and LRN.

1. Our sites will attract more hosts and fans. Let’s face it… our sites are ugly. They are built on a 10 year old framework, and they are not mobile friendly at all – 30% of our traffic is mobile and we are losing all of them. This campaign will help us rebuild our sprawling websites into attractive, mobile-friendly resources to inspire more people to join up and see you at a show.

2. Fan memberships will engage more attendees, and allow hosts and venues to plug into a growing ecosystem of people who adore the listening room experience. When a host stops booking shows, those music fans are lost, because we haven’t connected them to the network. In the future, a new host could pop up and have instant support from area fans who feel underserved by the amount of activity in their area.

3. Hosts will be able to collaborate on bookings, potentially turning one show into two or three for you.

More hosts and venues

More fans more attendance

More activity and connections

Please check out the campaign, the fun video, and consider sharing our inspirational message with your friends.

Your fan,

Fran Snyder

founder, CIYH and LRN

Click and visit our Kickstarter!

Kickstarter LRN shirt