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.
Each year, we do a study to check what it takes to be successful with an artist membership at Listening Room Network. We always see a direct correlation with the number of inquiries made (effort) and the number of concerts booked (results).
We’ve grouped our acts into cohorts according to their concerts booked, and measured how many inquiries they made throughout the year. Here is what we found.
Acts who get 10+ gigs per year make 12 inquiries per month (on average.)
Acts who get 5-9 gigs per year make 5 inquiries per month.
Acts who get 1-4 gigs per year make 2 inquiries per month.
Acts who get 0 gigs per year make .2 inquiries per month.
Booking is challenging work, and it takes more than just making inquiries to successfully book shows. This study, however, points out that just making 12 inquiries per month (an hour’s worth of work) can lead to 10+ shows, or roughly $5000 worth of income*.
*Although results vary, $500 per show is a fair estimate.
Your thoughts about restaurants as listening rooms… have you seen any that work? Here’s my response to a restaurant wanting to join LRN.
Nice to hear from you. Can you tell me more about the venue? Restaurants are rarely a good fit for our network, but we have seen some exceptions.
One of the core values of our site is putting talented artists in front of a listening audience that is primarily there for the music. We emphasize a concert atmosphere and always try to avoid situations where our artists might become background music.
In most restaurants, the food is the main event, and artists are expected to play quietly so people can order, patrons and staff are constantly walking in between the artist and the audience, and many people choose to watch televisions or carry on conversations during the show. This is not a suitable environment for artists who expect an attentive audience.
Another core value is that we want artists to earn a living wage. For a touring artist, that would be a minimum of $250, and most of our venues exceed that standard. A lot of our venues also offer room and board for traveling artists.
If that makes sense to you, and feel you can meet the standards of what we call a “listening room,” then we’d be glad to support your restaurant, and connect you with our diverse and talented roster of touring artists. You can just go to Listening Room Network and join as a venue.
founder, Listening Room Network
by Fran Snyder
Music is fantastic at supporting other activities. Put on your headphones and go jogging. Turn on the car stereo and drive across town. Watch a movie and feel how the music score transforms the experience.
But in each of those cases, music is not the primary goal. We use music to enhance other activities.
Let me take you back in time.
When I was a kid in the 1970’s, buying an album was part of a ritual centered around listening to music. I would run home, close my door, tear off the shrink wrap, and carefully place my new treasure on the turntable. A satisfying record would get 3-5 plays all the way through. The album would consume most of my day.
It kept me in my room. If I started looking at baseball cards or hanging up my clothes, these were secondary activities to consume my adolescent energy. I didn’t play the record to help me clean my room. I hung my shirts up because I was stuck in my room – the only place my record was playing.
So when you listen to music, is it the primary activity, or the background to something else?
No one can avoid “secondary listening” in the modern world. Even if your car stereo is off, chances are you’ll hear someone else’s every time you stop at a traffic signal. Music is piped into our ears at the bank, at the grocery store, and through the ever-present din of televisions that hang from every vertical surface of society.
So the better question is, “do you ever choose music as your primary activity?” Of course, musicians do this all the time. But who else?
Concerts are a classic opportunity for us to make music our primary activity. If we can watch the musicians, and focus on the connection with the songs, then it’s clear why we are there – for the music.
Yet, it’s all too common to go to concerts to find ourselves surrounded by people who are distracted and or distracting. Maybe they don’t like the band. Maybe they are there to be with their friend. Or maybe, they’ve lost all ability to focus on anything that doesn’t glow in the palm of their hand.
But if you interrupt their conversation, and ask them, “are you a music fan?” they will finish their selfie and tell you “absolutely, yes!”
What is a music fan?
I would argue that a music fan pays for music with their attention as well as their money.
A lot of people who think they are music fans are really “going out” fans. For them, music is meant to support what they really want. They want to dance, they want to feed off the kinetic energy created by the band onstage. If the music doesn’t fit what they really want to do (talk, dance, eat) there’s a good chance they won’t stick around.
If only that was always the case. Unfortunately, many of them do stick around. If the music is too loud, they’ll just talk louder. They won’t even notice that their behavior is ruining the experience for you.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of places where true music fans can go. These listening rooms can be dedicated clubs, theaters, and even the living rooms of other music fans. There is a growing worldwide community of people who (sometimes!) choose to be in a place where music is the main event. Listening rooms and house concerts provide that atmosphere, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the finest independent touring artists today.
And here’s the best news. You don’t have to be a music fan all the time. Dance your heart out at a party. Work that hula hoop at the festival. Music can be a wonderful background, and there are millions of places where you can talk over the music.
Just not in my listening room.
Fran Snyder is an artist, house concert host, and the founder of ListeningRoomNetwork.com
Here is the lineup for 2019!
Spend your day with it.
Of course, you should support live music. But that’s like saying you should eat. It’s not very inspiring.
For several years, I’ve been wondering why it always irks me to see “support live music,” and “support local this or that.” For some reason, support doesn’t inspire me. It’s like giving someone on the street some spare change and wondering if I’m actually helping their day or just getting them to another momentary fix.
I need to be inspired. I want to make a difference that is noticeable. I want to contribute more than a token, more than the ante, and more than the suggested donation.
- Will $5 more be noticed by anyone but me? Maybe. Maybe not. But I’ll know it.
- Will bringing 2-4 friends to the show make a difference? At a house concert… very likely!
- Will learning a few choruses of the upcoming show make a difference? If I sit up front and sing or mouth the words… you can bet the artist will notice, and be thrilled.
Support live music if that’s all you are inspired to do. But here’s your opportunity to take it up a notch. See you at a show.