House Concerts Safer Outside?

It’s never too early to plan. There is plenty of evidence that viruses are less contagious outdoors, and that small gatherings are safer than large gatherings.

At some point, we’ll make the decision that the joy of musical gatherings is greater than the diminishing risks of Covid-19. That time is not now, but it will come.

I believe house concerts are a great opportunity for us to slowly emerge from isolation, and to create small, safe events to re-engage with live music. If you have a house concert series, take a moment to consider the following.

1. How could you have your events outside?
2. How would you minimize contact points (no pot-luck, etc)?
3. How would you make necessary contact points (bathrooms) safer/cleaner?
4. How would you limit audience size (what #) to allow more space between guests.

Remember, this is about starting small and safe. Artists WILL adjust to smaller audiences for a while.

If you have other suggestions or questions to add, please email fran@listeningroomnetwork.com to help improve this post.

LRN Launches Livestream Fund to Support Artists.

We’re building a Livestream Fund – your input please!

Since livestreamed shows will be the primary income of many artists for an extended period of time, we want to help LRN artists by subsidizing and promoting their livestreams.
Within a few days, I’d like to announce a list of private and corporate sponsors who will support a package of livestreamed shows. For example, $250 could give $50 to five performances.
You may have already noticed this page, which is growing by the day. https://my.listeningroomnetwork.com/events/stream
Artists typically post donate/payment links with their streams, so we are looking to supplement, not replace, that income.

Questions:

  1. I’d prefer not to take a percentage of this fund, but administering this program will cost money (web development, accounting, cc fees.) So I’m curious if you’d prefer to see me do a separate ask for these funds, or if I should take a small percentage (less than 5%) to make things simpler.
  2. We have one committed donor so far ($2000) and that would help us start by subsidizing 40 shows at $50 each. Would you rather see us promote fewer shows and subsidize at $100 each?
  3. If you are interested in supporting this, please PM me privately if you wish. fran@listeningroomnetwork.com
I understand that many hosts are affected by the economic situation, so please make sure you and your family are safe and secure before taking on additional responsibility like this.
Grateful for all of you. Please share any thoughts on how we could improve this idea.

Small events will lead the music recovery.

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I want to share some of my thoughts regarding the future of LRN, and our independent artists who embrace house concerts and small events as vital to their careers. Of course, at this moment, all events, public and private have been severely hampered or stopped.

In the near term, many commercial venues are likely to go out of business – venues that are unable to weather the drastic and sustained interruption of their business. The ones that go under are unlikely to come back quickly.

However, as covid-19 gets under control, as a large percentage of people become immune to it, music events will make a resurgence. The venues that manage to survive will find themselves with a bit less competition, and a thrilled clientele eager to celebrate and participate in the live music experience again.

House concerts, due to their volunteer nature, don’t become business failures. Although many hosts will suffer financial set-backs, the reality is that house concerts don’t require more than a space, an audience, and a musician. These personal, home-based events will become more vital than ever to re-start the touring careers of independent artists.

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It’s also likely that small events will be the most advisable, due to lesser chance of viral transmission. Consequently, potluck dinners may need to stay off the music menu for a while. Hand-washing, elbow bumps, and electronic donations may also cement their place in our live music culture. I’d also bet that live-streaming these events will become the norm… pay little more to be there, chip in a bit less to watch online.

My message, of course, is that music isn’t going away. It’ll float online for a while, it’ll bring us together in small groups eventually, and house concerts will lead the way.

Stay tuned. Join us.We plan to be out front.

Fran Snyder

ListeningRoomNetwork.com

 

Listening Room Festival postponed to November 11-15, 2020

After much research and reflection, I’ve decided to postpone LRFest 2020 until November. (Showcase will be November 13th.)

Reasons:
1. Our audience demographic is the most at risk population for Covid-19.
2. Though there are few reported cases in FL, the severe shortage of tests means we really don’t know where it is at this point.
3. We don’t want to endanger anyone. Music is meant to heal us.
4. We can create an even better festival for November. We hope our snowbird fans will elect to start their Florida season a little early with us.

Tickets:
We’d be grateful and relieved if you’d keep them for the November event, even if you’re not sure yet. The next few months will be incredibly difficult for us and members of our network. If you would like to donate to help us, it would be immensely helpful and appreciated.

If you need a refund:

I’ll be reaching out to all our hosts, fans, and artists as we re-architect our schedule for a great November festival. In the meantime we’ll start actively promoting online events (livestreams) as this new activity will be critical to keeping music in our lives and to support the artists we all love.

Let’s buckle down, be safe, and get through this critical and difficult period. Life will get back to normal. We are social creatures and there is no way we will let go of live music.

See you in November if not sooner. Thanks for being part of our world.

Love,

Fran Snyder, founder

ListeningRoomNetwork.com and Listening Room Festival

2019 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!

Max Hatt / Edda Glass

The Rough & Tumble

The Whispering Tree

Honorable Mentions

These artists had a great year with us as well!

Rupert Wates, Danika & The Jeb, Escaping Pavement, Giulia Milanta, Missy Andersen & Her One Man Band, Dan Frechette & Laurel Thomsen,
Heidi Burson, and Jesse Terry.

Note: Artists of the Year are not eligible to win for the following four years.

How and why I turned my home into a live music venue.

First, I’m not the only one. “House concerts,” as they are commonly called, are popping up all over the world. To organize these shows, music fans invite small acts (often singer-songwriters with just an acoustic guitar) to perform in their living rooms, for appreciative friends and neighbors who all contribute a meaningful donation (usually $20) to the artist.

Why would you do this?

It turns out, people are often disappointed with the experience of going to commercial music venues. The list of reasons is extensive, but you can start with high ticket prices, service fees, urban traffic/parking, and the fact that (at least for major acts) you wind up far from the stage, looking through a sea of cellphones (if not your own) only to gaze at the jumbotron projection of the tiny artist on the stage.

But even for small, independent concerts, the shows often start late, and are put on by venues that care more about alcohol sales than the music. So even if you can see the stage, you’re likely to have some obnoxious people near you, chatting (or yelling) and making it very hard for you to connect with the music.

By contrast, house concerts bring people closer to the musicians. These intimate venues allow audiences to enjoy music without distractions, for reasonable money and at a reasonable time of day. You shouldn’t have to suffer the next day to enjoy yourself!

True, there are plenty of people who feel satisfied with background music, crazy-late nights, or the festival atmosphere where your attention is pulled in a multitude of directions at once. However, for music fans who want a deeper and more personal connection to the show, satisfaction only comes from house concerts and the rare listening room venue.

— Fran Snyder
Fran Snyder is the founder of Listening Room Network and ConcertsInYourHome.org

Quotes:

  1. “We genuinely love music and believe in live music with all our hearts. Opening our homes to musicians of all sorts is a privilege.” — Dani G., Host
  2. “Our experience from the website so far has been really fantastic. We have been finding a lot of great performance opportunities and have made much more money than we expected. Also, it has made our touring across the US and Europe much more interesting as we’re able to more easily connect the dots between shows and go to some places we otherwise probably never would. I love how it’s really a community. We’ve been making friends along the way.” — Sarah and Kenny, Artists
  3. “Thank you for all of the support. Between personal coaching from CIYH, the artist, and the website tools, things couldn’t have went better. We had a full house, people were very respectful and attentive, show was awesome, the artist made some money, and everyone had a great time. Most importantly, my girlfriend is now convinced this is something she loves and a lot of her apprehension about hosting has been put to rest. We’re so excited for the next show.” — Matt Hough, Host
  4. “Can’t believe we are now booked with monthly gigs through November – and such amazing musicians! Becoming involved with this has been a phenomenal experience — so inspirational to be a part of these artists experiences, their lives really inspire me and it feels so 100% positive … really, really amazing.” Elena D., Host

Stats:

  • Dozens of websites support this activity, including SofaConcerts.com in Germany, HomeRoutes.com in Canada, and HouseConcertsAustralia.com, and ListeningRoomNetwork.com (Global).
  • It’s estimated that more than 40,000 house concerts happen every year globally.*
  • House concerts vary in size from 10 to 80 attendees indoors, and 100+ in backyards.

*compiled stats from various sites and artist reports at Listening Room Network.

 

Press Release: Listening Room Festival 2020

For Immediate Release

Florida “House Concert” Festival Connects Fans from All Over the World

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The 9th Annual Listening Room Festival invites house concert presenters, artists and fans to join in this year’s festivities. Music-lovers from around the globe are traveling to St. Petersburg, FL to enjoy the house concerts, showcase, and planned group activities from March 25-29, 2020.

Five international contest winners will play the Festival Showcase (March 27) at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, as well as house concerts in the surrounding region. This year’s artists are Joy Ike, Amy Bishop, Kevin Daniel, Twin Kennedy, and The Young Novelists. Reserved seats to the festival showcase are available ($25adv./$35 day of show) at the festival website http://www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

House concerts, the core of the festival, stem from a tradition that is hundreds of years old, but has seen a resurgence in the past few decades. Music fans volunteer to host living room concerts, and invite friends to attend an up-close-and-personal show by a professional touring artist. Attendees are asked to make a suggested donation of $15-20 per person directly to the performers.

The main showcase at the Palladium Theater features all five acts. In addition, this year’s festival includes group activities and workshops to educate and inspire fans to join the growing house concert movement.

2020 Festival Schedule

Schedule is subject to change.
Please register for the festival to receive updates and invitations to the private events.

  • March 25-29 — house concerts around the bay area.
  • Friday, March 27 — LRFest Showcase at Palladium Theater St. Pete
  • Saturday March 28 — House Concert Workshop, Meet & Greet at Staybridge Suites St. Petersburg. RSVP here. $5 in advance $10 at the door.

The festival is presented by the Listening Room Network. More information and tickets are available through ListeningRoomFestival.com.

About the Listening Room Network:

Listening Room Network (LRN) creates and nurtures opportunities that pay artists to perform in a listening environment while bringing communities together with a renewed passion for live music. LRN and its signature websites (ConcertsInYourHome.com, OfficeConcerts.com) are leading innovators in the live music industry.

Contact/Press Photos:

Fran Snyder 727-280-6208, fran@ListeningRoomNetwork.com

Website: www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

Free house concert guide: Download (Link to PDF)

HighRes Press photos: Festival Artists.

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