Do House Concert Hosts get a Free CD?

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Photo by Jess Phillips. Listening Room Festival 2019.

A gratitude mindset has served me well over the years. One of the things that I’ve always found odd is that some artists get hung up about giving their house concert host a free CD.

Yes. An artist’s work has value and they shouldn’t be compelled by someone else to give it away for free. But the act of volunteering a gift to someone can often have a lovely effect.

Who should be grateful? The host who gets a personalized performance from a national touring artist in their home? Or the artist who’s been given a captive audience and a warm reception?

Of course, the answer is both.

Sometimes the host will take the lead and offer to buy a CD. Sometimes the artist can take the lead and offer a free keepsake or memento.

Here’s a scenario that’s played out for me (as an artist) many times after a house concert.

ME: (Presenting a signed CD.) I’d like you to have this. Thanks for putting this event together.

HOST: Oh. I want to pay for it.

ME: I’d like to give it to you.

HOST: No. I insist on paying for it. I always buy a CD from the artists. You need the money.

ME: Thank you. That’s very kind. (Taking the money, and presenting something else – another CD, a shirt, or something.) OK. Now you have to accept this gift from me.  8^)

Host then offers – come back and stay with us anytime you’re in this region… here’s some food for the road… marry my daughter… etc.

Lesson: If it’s a point of pride for the host to purchase something… let them. And THEN give them something else as a thank you. [hint: you should have more than one thing for sale.]

Gratitude. It’s so inexpensive in the long run.

 

 

LRN Artists, Musicians and Bitcoin

Subject: Artists, Musicians and Bitcoin

Hi Friends,

Over the past 25 years I have watched musicians lose financial ground. It’s not just the value of recorded music that is decreasing, but the very dollars that we earn are being devalued in order to prop up stock markets and the rest of the economy.

In the next ten years, there’s going to be a massive transfer of wealth due to the increasing pace of technological and social change.

I want to see artists on the upside of those changes.

I am NOT a financial advisor. That said, I want to make it fun and worthwhile for you to explore Bitcoin, and there’s a very strong chance that you will financially benefit from your newfound interest.

Here’s all you do.

  1. Download the CashApp from Square. Most musicians already trust Square, and won’t mind connecting a bank account to the CashApp. This is the absolute easiest way to buy Bitcoin.
  2. Fund your App with $50, and buy $50 of Bitcoin from the App.
  3. Reply to this email and tell me you did it – I’ll give you $50 off your next LRN renewal. (This offer is only for LRN artist members.)
Disclaimers: 
  • I’m only recommending a $50 purchase. Don’t neglect your important bills for this!
  • I don’t receive any direct benefit from  your purchase. I simply want to introduce people I care about (friends and customers) to a very important force. The value will go up and down… hold it for at least a year.
  • I’ve made small investments in Bitcoin since 2017 and it has introduced me to profound concepts and people. I hope it does for you too.
  • I cannot be your tech guy for this – if you are not good with phone apps… please ignore this entire message.  8^)
More Info on Bitcoin

 

Fan Memberships – Message for LRN Artists

Photo by Jess Phillips.
A few months ago we created Fan Memberships for our network. Our existing reputation is for helping new hosts get started, and helping them find talent for their shows. However, the biggest challenge that hosts (and artists) face is developing a steady audience – one large enough to fulfill the expectations for each show.
Over the next few months you’ll see our ads on Facebook (the social media where most of our hosts and fans live) as well as a few other places. We want to inspire new people to attend shows and to get them hooked on our culture.  They’ll meet like-minded people and stay connected via their membership.
We also know that the best source of new hosts are people who have attended at least a few house concerts. They have clearer expectations, and often have ideas of what they’d like to do differently or better. Fan memberships will also encourage and inspire some of these new fans to host shows.
Fans are now a third and equal partner in our network. Their participation is vital for our success. We aim to increase turnout and make a deeper cultural change in the world. A change that serves the art and the people.
More on this subject soon.
Thanks for being part of it.

When you don’t trust a “no.”

An artist asks, “The host said ‘no – not right for us’ to my inquiry, even though my genres seem to be exactly what they are into. Am I doing something wrong?”

[Coffee is made. Cream and agave are added and stirred. Team Fran investigates and responds.]

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Nice to hear from you. Looking at your inquiries, the main thing I’d like to see you improve is personalizing your requests. They seem very cut/paste, but more importantly, they fail to point out why you think they might be a good fit for the hosts. Are they showing an eclectic track record? Have they hosted some of your friends? Do they have a Golden Retriever, your favorite breed of dog? 8^)

Some hosts like to see a signal that you’ve read their profile, and it often helps if you find something to connect with besides genres and geography.

Other than that, I wouldn’t worry about the wording of their “No” response too much.

Keep in mind the investment of time and effort that a host puts in on behalf of artists they don’t even know – it’s not simply about whether they like your music or not. Do they LOVE it? Are they inspired? Does it connect them with something they deeply miss?
It’s a high standard to reach, but reach we must.
Glad you are finding interest and gigs in our network! Keep it up.

2018 LRN Artists of the Year

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!

LRN_AWARD_Artist

 

Big Little Lions

Sara & Kenny

Escaping Pavement

 

Honorable Mentions

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.

2018 Artist Success Stats with LRN

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.

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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.

Restaurants as Listening Rooms – have you seen it work?

Your thoughts about restaurants as listening rooms… have you seen any that work? Here’s my response to a restaurant wanting to join LRN.

Dear Paul,

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.

Fran Snyder,

founder, Listening Room Network