After each concert listed at CIYH, the host and artist receive an email asking for feedback about the show. They login and see two boxes. The first box is for a recommendation – only if they sincerely would recommend this act/host. The second box is for a review, usually constructive criticism about the show, which will only be seen by CIYH staff. This is how we take care of each other.
A few years ago, I received a call from a disappointed act. They had driven some distance to go play a house concert. When they arrived, the host told them
- they didn’t know if anybody was coming, and
- it would be best to set up in the driveway, next to the big pile of dirt.
The act decided to pass on that opportunity, packed up and left. Once they told me the story, I checked with the artists who had played this house before. Turns out, the previous act had the same. exact. story. For some reason, they never felt it was important to tell us about it, so they failed to help us prevent an easily avoidable failure.
Sincere feedback benefits everyone in our community.
While the above case is obvious and rare, what is equally damaging is the number of cases where things don’t go well, and the artist/host fails to provide constructive feedback to CIYH. Or cases where “recommendations are exchanged” even if one of the participants would not make that recommendation if asked discreetly.
There is an understandable “fear of burning bridges,” especially among artists. After all, the hosts are volunteers, and sometimes put significant effort into their events even when they don’t go well. It can be a challenge for grateful artists to offer constructive criticism of a volunteer. But how else can a host learn and improve? Your feedback can also help CIYH develop better coaching for new members!
Similarly, hosts are sometimes asked by artists for their recommendations, unaware that the host was not that impressed with the show. Even the best acts can turn in a lackluster performance from time to time, and it can be damaging to their career to have everyone saying the show is great when it isn’t.
Reviews and recommendations are not social currency. The nicest thing is to tell the truth, and here’s how we make it easy for you at CIYH.
- You can offer both a recommendation and a review if you feel the show was great except for that one thing.
- Your review is only seen by CIYH staff, and if action is necessary, we will not act in a way that reveals you as the source without checking with you first. Most complaints are about one-time slip-ups and we tend to look for patterns of mistakes before contacting the host/artist.
If we want to have a great and safe community, we have to participate in the review/recommendation process. Of course, recommendations are great to have and fun to give. More importantly, they provide guidance for people who need reassurance to book a certain house concert or artist. Your recommendations actually help create more great shows.
Please help us maintain great standards for our community, and help us prevent future problems for your hosting or performing peers.