When we started LRFest in 2012, it felt like a moonshot. I wanted to create a gathering to celebrate house concerts, and to create a music showcase opportunity in the middle of a profitable tour. This year, our six acts earned a total of $19,500 over 24 house concerts and a beautiful showcase. Most importantly, they created a base of friends, fans and potential gigs in Florida that will pay dividends for years to come.
As is the case with house concerts, the sweet, listening vibe and profitability are the obvious rewards that mask the more important developments of community and connection. On this front, each year, we see more hosts and fans travel to Tampa Bay area to attend shows and make new friendships. We see them cooperate for routing, lodging, and even for volunteer help at each other’s events. The festival community is creating a rich, cultural tapestry of music support in our region.
Our volunteer crew doubled this year, another sign of the health and impact of our festival. For me, the biggest thrill is the growing number of hosts and fans who travel to St. Petersburg for this event. They come from different cities, different states, and even different countries – to take in a music vacation filled with house concerts and time with their tribe.
We hope you’ll join us for this one-of-a-kind festival.
Will you apply as a performer? (Deadline May 15th, 2019)
Will you host a show in Florida or the southeast?
Will you join your music tribe for a music vacation?
Have you ever lost an attendee or two, because
- you didn’t reply to their RSVP soon enough or at all?
- you forgot to send them a reminder email, and they forgot about their commitment to you?
Or maybe you get it done every time, but would enjoy a little automation?
We’ve made substantial improvements for hosts and venues in our network, to solve these problems for you.
Our new RSVP system now has the following:
- Auto-confirmations – RSVPs can receive an automatic reply saying “confirmed!” with instructions, directions, etc.
- Customized confirmation/reminder messages – use the prepared template, and/or add anything you wish.
- Auto-reminders – 2 days before your show, confirmed RSVPs get a reminder message.
- FULL – setting if you’d like to stop getting RSVPs for a particular event.
We have a lot more planned as well, including a “wait list” setting and guest list printout.
In the next few months we’ll also be promoting our new fan memberships, to help boost attendance at your shows.
So take a minute to list your upcoming shows, try out the new stuff, and maybe connect with some new people!
Notice the RSVPs (30) and the (auto) confirmation setting in the image below!
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.