Are you applying to the right festivals?

For artists who want to prospect for opportunities at festivals and conferences, there’s a lot of choices out there. When deciding whether or not to apply or attend, costs are often the deciding factor.

So let’s start with the costs of applying and attending.

Festival/Conference Expenses

  • Application Fee
  • Showcase Fee
  • Hotel/Camping Costs
  • Food Costs
  • Booth, Program, Printing/Marketing Costs
  • Travel Costs

Artists often pay $2000 or more to perform at festivals and conferences, going into debt for a chance at getting gigs to recoup over the following years.

Other factors and criteria

A lot of preparation often goes into these trips, and much of that centers around making your act stand out among dozens, hundreds, or maybe thousands of artists. Aside from getting invited, and getting there, you have to put extreme effort to get people to notice you and/or attend your showcase performances.


Results vary greatly. Most artists have to justify the trip with the intangible benefits of a fun and exciting weekend, because the resulting gigs are too few and too small to recoup their investment.

Is there another way?

I’ve been frustrated by this model for a long time, and six years ago I created something very different. Our Listening Room Festival was designed to create a profitable tour in addition to a showcase opportunity, in front of the largest gathering of house concert presenters in the world.

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Here’s how It works.

  • One fee – the application.
  • Bonus for all applicants – Most judges are active house concert presenters – showcase or not, you get seen by people who can book you.

Listening Room Festival Acts get:

  • Bookings – at 2-4 house concerts and a powerful showcase.
  • Lodging – covered by volunteer hosts, some meals included.
  • Extra – free membership to * ($245 value)
  • Travel – not covered, but many acts use CIYH network to book house concerts to and from the festival.

Most importantly, most of the shows require very little promotion, and this may be the only festival or conference where there are more gigs/venues than artists.

We tweak this model every year, but we’re delighted with the results and the amazing talent we’ve attracted and served. Most of them plant enough seeds in one weekend to make Florida one of their favorite states to tour every year.

Now is the time to apply for LRFest18… application deadline is June 30, 2017.

*6 month membership awarded to artists who are not members of CIYH. Acts who are already members of CIYH are awarded 3 extra months to their membership.

LRF17 – Artist Applications Open

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

As we approach our 5th annual festival, we’ve just opened the application process for our next festival which will take place March 17 – 23rd, 2017. This festival helps artists actually make good money, playing house concerts, as they travel to play a showcase for the largest gathering of house concerts in the world. Springtime in Florida!

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.

Learn more and apply at

LRF16, the 5th Annual Listening Room Festival approaches.


Can I tell you a story?

10 years ago I saw that house concerts would save and nurture the touring careers of artists and built a website that now inspires thousands of profitable, enriching, LISTENING concerts around the world.

5 years ago I started an festival to make sure that FLORIDA would become one of the best places in America for artists to tour sustainably and be HEARD. That festival, Listening Room Festival, is coming up in a few weeks, March 28 – April 3rd.

You can support these efforts by buying two tickets to a wonderful concert, or telling your friends about the most unique folk music festival in the world. The music includes acoustic blues, classical, southern folk, and more. The fans LISTEN and pay the artists a living wage.

Buy your tickets to our showcase events and register if you’d like to be invited to a few exclusive, private concerts. Check it out. The music will inspire you.

Fran Snyder, founder.