Even the most experienced pilots have a checklist they use to make sure they take all necessary steps for a safe trip. The checklist not only makes clear what needs to be done, but also describes the best order or timing for effectiveness and efficiency. Use this checklist to save yourself time and to help your house concert series take off!
[PS – this is a first draft, to be revised for Fran Snyder’s upcoming book on house concerts. Send suggestions for improvement to email@example.com
House Concert Checklist for Hosts
- Are there other house concerts or events that compete with your proposed/tentative date? Sports playoffs, music festivals, birthdays, holidays, spring breaks, etc.
- Format – TenTen, traditional – which is best house concert format for this day of the week, this artist/act, and your schedule?
- Suggested donation, lodging, meal, guarantee, cancelation – all terms agreed?
- Confirmation Email sent? Address, Numbers, Arrival Time Window, Lodging, Pets, etc.
- Food and Smoking Allergies?
- Optional Info to Include: 1. Local resources: nearby restaurants, grocery and music stores 2. Regional resources: music venues/contacts that might help them find other concerts.
- Use date and day, choose time to open doors and show time.
- Food and beverage… basic plan and suggestion for invitees.
- Webflyer and email look great? Spell check? test send and proofread twice. (resources?)
- Mailing list updated? (Bounced emails and notes from last time?)
Volunteers and backup plans
- Do you have at least one volunteer to help with the door, setup, food/beverage, etc, so that you can be a gracious host?
- Do you have a plan for what to do if the weather goes bad or if you get horrendously ill?
- Update and increase mailing list
- Schedule invitation emails… 4 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week.
- Send confirmation emails with address as guests RSVP.
- Send 3 day reminder to RSVP list.
- Waiting list needed?
- Additional efforts if needed to fill room – charity, VIPs
Setting Up, Day(s) Before
- Basic cleaning inside and out… think safety and visibility from the road.
- Print signage (donation, entry, food, etc.)
- Confirm artist arrival time, dinner plans, sound system, extension cord?
Setting Up, Day of Show
- Spruce up cleaning if necessary.
- Donations Jar with Sign
- Guest List Printed
- Green room
- Concert room
- Merch Table
- Kitchen/Food area
- Keep back row handy but not set up (or reserved)
- Where to load in, park, put merch and gear?
- Where to relax and warm up?
- Snacks or beverages?
- Outlets/extension available?
- Expectations of access – is artist expected to mingle before the show? (some like this, some don’t, timing is also issue)
- Volunteer/greeter in place
- Encourage folks to pick their seats, especially down front.
- Give 5-10 minute warning for everyone to use restrooms and find their seats.
- Take the stage and welcome folks.
- Make short announcements.
- Describe format… encourage folks to stay in their seats during the show. Try to wait for a break or the end of the show.
- Introduce artist. Short, warm, personal.
- Praise artist, encourage CD/merch purchases.
- Remind about suggested donations if any were missed.
- Check restrooms if possible.
- Give 5 minute warning
- Announce beginning of next set. Please welcome back…name!
- Rave about show.
- Encourage CD sales
- Check for over-drinkers
- Settle up with artist money… donations on-target?
Thank you email, promo next show.
Again, your feedback is welcome!
2 thoughts on “House Concert Checklist for Hosts”
thank you a lot for this very comprehensive list. I’ll take it into account for next time
Great list, Fran!
Also have change (5s, 10s, 20s) on hand to break large bills for donations.