Once in a while, we get a report that a house concert has had trouble with zoning violations. Zoning laws can cite various reasons why a house concert could be in violation – parking, noise, and commercial activity are the most common.
In the case of Crib Concerts, the complaint is about “Indoor Entertainment,” and specifically because it has been deemed a commercial activity by the local zoning Community Inspector. Unfortunately for Chris Devine, he lives and operates his concerts in a redevelopment district of Herndon that has even more restrictions than the city on property use.
The host is appealing to the city, and we have to give serious kudos to him for honoring the next 5 booked concerts. Since the issue will take months to resolve, Chris created a GoFundMe to cover the cost of the fines. That’s a fine example of commitment to artists, and engaging your community to rally for your cause.
One has to wonder how the complaint originated, but my money is always on someone like this guy.
I’m guessing Mr. Morningwood has never been to a house concert. What do you think?
House concerts need to be privately promoted. LRN provides exactly that.
Although we offer public listings for public venues, LRN has been rebuilt to enable better privacy for house concerts. Since house concerts typically take place in residences, it is important (for legal, safety, zoning, and insurance reasons) that they be private.
Previously, as we also did at ConcertsInYourHome, we offered the public the opportunity to “introduce themselves” to our hosts via our event calendars. This was to encourage conversation and connection instead of automatic, impersonal confirmations. We found that busy hosts found it tempting to just say “yes, please join us, here’s my address!”
Despite very few bad experiences, we know that casually inviting a lot of strangers into your home isn’t safe practice. We also know that getting to know your audience can provide great new friendships and opportunities.
You might think that our increased privacy would be detrimental to the promotion of house concerts, but here’s a surprising opportunity. Now that our network is truly private, we can promote more effectively to the people who care. In order to do this, at long last, we created FAN memberships!
Fan memberships are designed to increase engagement and attendance. People who attend a few house concerts per year will be able to attend a few house concerts per month. They’ll be able to spread the word more effectively by promoting our whole network to their friends and families.
And house concert hosts will be able to see the track record of these fans. Do they show up after they RSVP? Are they spreading the word in ways that should be rewarded? This is information that can be vital to growing a house concert audience.
We’re excited to finally have a space for people who LOVE house concerts and listening rooms, but don’t have the ability to host concerts in their own spaces.
Fan memberships are free for LRN members who are active hosts and listening rooms. Just login and click the button to create it.
New memberships for fans are only $10/year for a limited time.
LRN Fans get:
- Access to house concerts and private events on our calendars.
- Twice-monthly email with upcoming shows and links.
- A chat space to connect with other fans.
- More features will be announced soon!
Fan memberships will help you discover and attend more shows. You’ll also be part of our effort to change the music culture – let’s inspire people to care about live music!
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!
These artists had a great year with us as well!
Rupert Wates, Danika & The Jeb, Daniel Champagne, Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen,
Heidi Burson, Jackie Bristow, The Rough & Tumble, and 5j Barrow.
Note: Artists of the Year are not eligible to win for the following three years.
In 2018, we rebuilt our entire platform for you. Here are the improvements we are most happy to share:
- Fan memberships launched to attract a growing audience well-fit for our events.
- Twice-monthly fan newsletter to announce upcoming shows and trigger RSVPs to your events.
- Updated webflyers that are more attractive and mobile friendly.
- Improved concert calendars.
- … and the launch of our brand new RSVP system.
The RSVP system is very basic, and this is your opportunity to give us feedback as we build out more robust features. What would you like to see.. auto-reminders? Wait list options?
We also addressed issues of safety and privacy this year. Our network is now private, and memberships are required for people to see any details about your events. This is also a buffer to allow private concerts to be truly private, and to minimize the chances that PRO organizations will solicit our members for licensing fees. We also believe that the small $10 fee for fan memberships is a good filter to make sure we attract people who care.
What is truly exciting for us is that 90% of the work/investment we made in 2018 was invisible. It was infrastructure investment to create a solid platform for future development. In 2019, we expect a lot of our work to really shine and create noticeable value for you.
Thanks for being part of this.
Each year, we do a study to check what it takes to be successful with an artist membership at Listening Room Network. We always see a direct correlation with the number of inquiries made (effort) and the number of concerts booked (results).
We’ve grouped our acts into cohorts according to their concerts booked, and measured how many inquiries they made throughout the year. Here is what we found.
Acts who get 10+ gigs per year make 12 inquiries per month (on average.)
Acts who get 5-9 gigs per year make 5 inquiries per month.
Acts who get 1-4 gigs per year make 2 inquiries per month.
Acts who get 0 gigs per year make .2 inquiries per month.
Booking is challenging work, and it takes more than just making inquiries to successfully book shows. This study, however, points out that just making 12 inquiries per month (an hour’s worth of work) can lead to 10+ shows, or roughly $5000 worth of income*.
*Although results vary, $500 per show is a fair estimate.
An idea for House Concert Hosts and Listening Rooms
One of the challenges of booking talent is staying on top of artist inquiries. If you are open to inquiries all year long, it can create periods of frustration when you feel you don’t have time to give artists a good listen. On the other hand, closing off your booking channel (red booking light) can make you feel like you might miss out on a great opportunity.
One great solution is to book a season at a time. That can be once, twice, or up to 4 times per year, depending on how many shows you do. Here’s an example to illustrate.
Booking Quarterly Seasons – Once per quarter, we listen to all our inquiries and choose the next 2-3 shows, 6 months out or more.
- In January, we book July, August, and September shows.
- In April, we book October, November and December shows.
Of course, you can adapt this to your preferences. Maybe you prefer to book 8+ months out. Maybe you prefer to book 4 months at a time, like this:
Booking Three Times per Year
- In January, we book September, October, November, (December optional)
- In May, we book January, February, March, April of next year.
- In September, we book May, June, July (August optional!)
Some hosts and venues like to book their entire year in one shot.
What are the benefits?
- You can let artists know AHEAD of time that you won’t be responding until your next booking window, so you don’t have the constant pressure to answer inquiries as they come in.
- You can compare and listen to a full menu of options, and feel great about choosing your best options for the season ahead. You can get a real sense of which artists you want to keep in touch with, say, if dates don’t line up this time.
- You have flexibility. If your dream act reaches out for a show outside of your current booking window… book her! If there’s so much talent that you want to book an extra show, do it! List the show, and artists will see the dates/months that are no longer available.
- Promotion becomes easier and more effective when you can promote a whole season as well as individual shows. LRN webflyers contain links to your next 6 upcoming concerts.
Will this work for all hosts and venues? Of course not. But if a booking schedule or season appeals to you… try it!
How to adjust your profile at LRN for seasonal booking.
- Put up a yellow booking light.
- At the top of your booking info, describe your basic process in as few words as possible. “We book seasonally! In January, we will decide on our bookings for July, August and September.
- Choose the first month (July) of your booking window as your Target Month.
- Then follow your plan!
Booking seasonally? If you’d like to suspend the weekly reminders for pending inquiries, just let us know.
If enough of our hosts/venues adopt this type of plan, we can update the site to make it even easier. Thank you!
Visit http://www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com to join as a house concert host or listening room venue.