Great to hear from you. The typical questions we get about insurance have to do with liability e.g. if someone slips and falls on your property. I’ve never had someone ask about insurance that would be specifically about recouping damage to the home itself.
We have always discouraged hosts from keeping a percentage of donations, for a couple of reasons. One, to protect the culture of house concerts, which are an act of generosity. Enabling hosts to “cover expenses” is a slippery slope to acting like a commercial venue. We believe that house concert expenses are voluntary – you don’t have to provide booze, sound system, and catering… you can potluck, byob, and have artists bring what they need.
The second reason is legal. While there’s no case law on the matter*, we believe a host is on much firmer ground if 100% of donations go the artist. Anything else could suggest commercial activity in the home – which can violate homeowner’s insurance, zoning, and more.
On Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 12:35 PM, Beth Fizell-Jenkins wrote:
Begin forwarded message:
I’ve been working with a friend to do some house concerts at her home. She had a problem with the last show we did – she had a faulty faucet that someone accidentaly left on, and the sink overflowed and caused about $10K worth of damage to her house. Unfortunately she had an issue with her homeowners – didn’t realize that her deductible was outrageously high, but she just renegotiated and now it’s just $1000 which is much more reasonable.
She’d like to continue doing concerts, but she wants to make sure she’s protected, and she doesn’t want to pay out of pocket for supplies. Is there any kind of protocol – any way to get affordable insurance for the shows? Alternatively, I was thinking the host takes like 5 or 10% from the door of each show to fund an escrow account that the host can use to cover supplies, to cover damage or insurance, or to help pay expenses related to the concert series, that aren’t necessarily directly related to that night’s performance. Do you know anybody doing something like that?
When I ran shows, we always just paid the expenses out of pocket, but she’s a little concerned, and after the water damage issue she’s even more concerned. Wanted to get your thoughts on it.
Do you have a concert photo that shows the warmth and appeal of house concerts? Does it have these basic qualities?
We want to show the joy of house concerts through our growing worldwide community. Over the next few weeks, we’ll like, love, and share your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if they include the following two tags: #CIYH #HCpic
For our favorite pics, we may also offer you a social media shoutout and $5 for a fancy coffee or whatever! Upload, tag and share… as many photos as you like. Promotion ends June 30.
Thanks for being part of it! — Fran Snyder
Photo etiquette: Don’t make your camera annoying to people behind you! Sit near the back if you want to take pictures.
Every month, we look at the stats from our monthly newsletter, to see what is of most interest to our 6000 subscribers. And every month one of the most clicked links is our “avails button.” In the section where we list our new and renewing artists, there’s a blue button that says “who is looking to tour in your area?”
Are you showing up in these pages where people are looking?
Over the past six years, we’ve continued to create more activity around avails, so how exactly to they work?
Artists login to their profile, and go to their Avails tab. There are five avails* that allow you to list key states, provinces or countries that you are looking to play. For example, you could select FL, GA, and SC (3 states), the key month/date, and add a short phrase to describe what you are looking for, like “Playing southeast this fall, looking for Atlanta show in mid Oct.”
This (and your other 4 avails) will show up in several places at CIYH and LRN – your artist profile, and the avails pages for each state, province or country that you list.
The avails pages (one for each state, province, and country) list avails by month, which makes it easy for someone to find artists looking to play in their region on a particular month. On that page, they’ll see your picture, sample track, and a link to your full page profile, which also has a button for them to contact you.
Who sees the avails?
New hosts and venues: Many new hosts and venues are curious about the artists in our network, especially if they aren’t deeply connected to their local or regional scene.
Pro-active hosts and venues: There are a number of hosts who like to see their options rather than waiting for individual artists to find them and reach out.
Bookers outside our network: Since the avails are publicly viewable, artists sometimes get inquiries from outside our membership.
Login and make sure your avails are up to date.
Many pages on the website guide users to have a look at avails, and if you aren’t listing yours, you are likely to be missing some opportunities. Avails are a great way to make the site work for you when you are away from your computer. Use them.
*all artists are given 5 updatable avails with their membership. More can be purchased for acts who want to appear in more places on the site.