Do You Have to Cancel the House Concert at your place?

A host asks…

Artists are willing to book fairly far out ahead of a date for a show. In the event of a modest life event such as a job change necessitating a move of a few hundred miles… what’s a reasonable duration ahead of time to cancel? I would certainly work to reschedule but might not have enough friends in the new area for some time.

The important thing is to create a few worthwhile or helpful options for the artist/group you have scheduled. Forced travel or relocations can happen to many hosts, so it can be helpful to plant seeds well in advance of this kind of rain. It’s never too early to get people involved in your series, especially as volunteers.

Consider some creative backup measures:

Is there an attendee of your shows that could be inspired to step up to help honor the show? Can the show be saved by scaling it down to a TenTen (ten songs for ten or more guests) if one of your friends would like to do it but can’t likely fit or get the numbers you anticipated?

Is there another host in your region that might consider taking over the show if you’ll help them promote it?

Can you supplement the alternative with a donation even if you’ve done your best to move/replace the show? Even if you didn’t promise a guarantee, you still have the option to make a generous gesture.

We count on you to do better than “Sorry guys, can’t do the show. Good luck.” We hope you care more than that.

What about beyond this show?

Since you are moving a few hundred miles away… what will happen to your audience? Do your people have another series in town that you’ll recommend they attend? You’ve spent considerable time and effort building an audience and community for music… please find a way to keep the torch lit in your area!

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LRFest 19 – Artist Applications Open for Listening Room Festival.

For Immediate Release

Artist Applications for (8th Annual) Listening Room Festival 2019 are open until June 30th, but only 200 applications will be accepted, so artists are encouraged not to wait until the deadline.

This festival helps artists make money playing house concerts, as they travel to play a showcase for the largest gathering of house concerts in the world. Several dozen house concerts will be scheduled over 5 nights.

Another unique twist is that the contest judges are active house concert presenters, so any artist in the contest has the potential to get a booking or two even if they don’t get selected as a festival performer. 60-70 judges are expected this year.

The festival takes place March 26 – 31, 2019, in and around the Tampa Bay region. The festival showcase is March 29th at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg.

Music fans interested in hosting a show in their home or office are invited to contact the festival as well.

Contact Fran Snyder, fran@listeningroomnetwork.com, 727-280-6208

Listening Room Festival was a great introduction into the community in St Pete and all of our hosts did a fantastic job at setting up the space and making us feel right at home. The money was great and we made lasting fans and friendships. I would recommend the Listening Room Festival to any artist who appreciates performing in front attentive, supportive audiences that appreciate the gift of good music and connection. – Rory, Quiles and Cloud

Learn more and apply at ListeningRoomFestival.com.

Can the opener’s guest attend for free?

A performer asks,

“I am playing an opener set soon for a smallish long-established house concert series. We have been told the host “prefers” not to do any comped admission. I will be traveling with my partner, and I ain’t about to ask her to stand outside while I play. Nor do I find it appropriate to fork over a twenty out of my minimal fee so she can have a chair. ”

How do other hosts handle the occasional “guest of the performer” or comp requests; ie. what is reasonable to expect?”

 

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House concerts with opening acts tend to be the exception rather than the rule. The general feeling I have (and many agree) is that it usually creates a 3rd set and a second intermission, and stretches the night too long, even if it’s just 3-4 songs. If the main act is only playing one set, then openers makes more sense, but we find that to be unusual too.

Well established hosts are often deeply committed to maximizing revenue for the main act (that’s why they are so in demand). They also might be stretching themselves with a guarantee they might not fully cover with donations… in those cases, it would make sense to have a “no freebie” policy, since any unpaid guest might come out of their own pocket – especially if there’s an agent counting heads.

If the show will be completely full, then a freebie admission is either costing the main artist or the host. If there are plenty of open seats, then it comes down to principles.

  • If you feel honored to open this show, you have the opportunity to be gracious and pay (or offer to pay) for your spouse/guest.
  • If you don’t feel honored enough, you can always ask to “confirm if your spouse or +1” can attend as your free guest.
  • The third option is to buy her a shirt that says “crew,” “roadie,” or “guitar technician” and teach him/her how to tune guitars!

Gratitude seems to be a great way to approach things, especially if the relationship with the host is one you want to keep or improve.