What Should You Put in Your Booking Info?

This post is to help you (LRN hosts and venues) fill out your “Booking Information” in your LRN profile. Have a look at the examples below, and feel free to copy, paste, adapt anything you find helpful into your own profile.

(“<p>” just creates paragraph space.)

Example 1: (Style, banter, content)

We book based on mutual interest and availability. Please don’t be offended if we can’t accommodate your request, since there are always more amazing artists than there are available dates. We are focused on presenting a range of artists and would like to foster a diverse musical community.
<P>Things we’re hoping to see when we view your profile: videos of you performing live that include both your song and some amount of stage banter; a sense of humor (irreverence preferred); a modern and distinctive take on roots music; songwriting that appeals to an English major. A “No” is not a rejection of your talent, but just the awareness that your particular style doesn’t match our particular style.
<p>We do not host more than one event per month, so please check our schedule of upcoming events before making your request. Other things that may affect booking: local shows and festivals, extreme weather, Memphis Grizzlies play-off games.

Example 2:

Looking to book any dates from late April through mid October (warm months only), weekends preferred but not essential. Our barn venue is beyond description (in the best way).

Example 3: (Season, Best night of Week)

We welcome artists to perform between late May and early October. We do not host concerts between November and April–Heavy snow prevents guests from parking here in Tahoe.
<p>
Because we only host a maximum of 3 house concerts per year, we are very choosy because we want the artist to be successful.
<p>
We run all inquiries through our audience panel. Most of our guests are Celtic music lovers. They crave audience participation and gentle humor.
<p>
FYI–Our best-attended house concerts are on Friday nights.

Example 4: (Small, One-Set Format, Weeknights Available, Short Notice )

I ONLY BOOK 4-8 weeks out. It’s a great last minute filler gigs, often on Sunday or Monday. We host TenTen Concerts (1 set).
<p>
We prefer solo/duo acts with a well-honed show… not just a song-list. We also like at least 30% uptempo or groovy material… we want energy as well as poetry!

Example 5: (Family-friendly)

Singer/songwriters encouraged; country, bluegrass, folk solos and small bands; small family-friendly venue.

Example 6: (Age, Cover Songs Appreciated)

We need a high proportion of upbeat music with some great covers. Our audience wants to have fun.
<p>
Our programs are always held on the Second Tuesday night of each month. This avoids most of the holiday travel problems.
<p>
Most of our crowd is 55+, and they very much appreciate a few recognizable cover tunes in each set. Several regional artists are repeated each season, so open dates are limited.

Example 7: (Genre)

Looking for a blues acts!

Example 8: (Frequency)

We are now accepting inquiries for our 2020 season of shows. We book one show per month.

Example 9: (Foreign Language)

We still have dates available for 2021. Best in spring or autumn. No one-man bands. Best 3-4 musicians, at least 2. Generally looking for upbeat, Americana/Roots… audience is both French + German + speak no or little English, so music and vibe must be emphasis. (Sophisticated lyrics are largely lost.)

Example 10: (Unamplified on Purpose, Must see you first)

We usually book 9 to 12 months in advance. And, to ensure that performers are a good fit for our audience, we will only book after seeing an artist perform live at least once.
<p>
If we like your video samples, we will make every effort to catch you at a live performance when you tour central Texas so that we can consider you for booking on your next tour through the area. <p>Note that our series is unamplified – no mics, no PA, no sound system – and we are committed to keeping it that way. If you must have a sound system, then we are not the right series for you. <p>We expect 2 sets of at least 45 minutes each with a break between the two sets during which our performers should mingle with our guests and may sell product. We provide free coffee, water, lemonade, and a desert, or light snack, during the break. <p>After the show, we have a song circle for local musicians (amateur and professional) and you are welcome to participate or listen but you are under no obligation to do either. During the song circle, we provide a simple dinner for our performers and all guests who stay for the song circle. We make every effort to accommodate your dietary needs. <p>Hopefully that covers everything in regard to our series but if I left something out, feel free to ask.

 

 

 

How to Avoid Panic Promotion

Occasionally I get emails from house concert presenters who have an upcoming show with a shortage of RSVPs. They are looking for help or advice for a last minute promotional push to get their numbers up for a healthy turnout.

Note that these following suggestions are even MORE helpful if you don’t wait until a few days out.

Let’s make sure your emails are persuasive.

What makes this artist special? What do you love most? Have you communicated that in an email to your list?

A lot of hosts fall into the habit of “just the facts” when announcing their shows. I find it makes a difference to give them a sentence or two about why this show might be special.

Example: “Aaron’s CD has been the most played music in my car for the past six months. I think you’ll really appreciate the lyrical depth and musical groovy-ness of his music. It reminds me of Peter Gabriel.”

THEN give them the details and how to RSVP.

Brainstorm to get a few more names and emails on your list.

Not everyone picks up the habit of collecting email addresses and interest from people they meet. Is your dentist on your list? Who else have you met lately?

If you don’t have the habit of adding to your list each time you meet new folks, then schedule a regular brainstorm session every month or so. OR, wait til just before you get into panic mode on your concert with light RSVPs. 8^)

Personal calls and emails to key folks.

Remember that some of the people on your list are actual friends that you care (or used to care!) about. Maybe pick up the phone? “Hey I was about to invite you to this special concert I’m hosting, but I figured I’d give you a call and catch up first. How are you?” Re-kindle the friendship, THEN offer to send the invite email. You might even confirm the email address if they’ve been unresponsive in the past. “Is this your best email?”

Ask for help!

Your existing RSVPs can be nudged to invite some friends.

Don’t beg and plead (yet)… people actually like to be helpful. And NEVER be a downer about your numbers. You want to inspire people to attend, and you want them to look forward to future emails. If you establish a pattern of panic and sadness, people will start to tune you out.

So include a special note in your reminder email “we have a few open seats left for this show… is there someone you know that might enjoy joining you for this special concert?”

At Listening Room Network, we help venues and house concerts promote their events to each other, as well as our private community of fans. You can join us and list your events at www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com

What is some advice you’d give to a host who wants to add some last minute RSVPs? Send them to support@listeningroomnetwork.com and we’ll update this post.

And remember, don’t just announce… persuade!

“This concert is a special one because…”

 

Listening Room Festival 2020 Lineup Announced!

Last night, 60 music fans from the Tampa Bay area gathered at the Hideaway Cafe (St. Petersburg FL) to get the first glimpse of the #LRFest lineup for 2020. We booked 20 house concerts in one night for our festival next March.

Our 9th Annual Listening Room Festival takes place March 25-29, 2020.
We’re excited that more music fans make a music vacation out of our festival each year. Hosts from Canada, France, and all around the U.S. come to St. Petersburg FL to meet their tribe and experience an amazing week (or long weekend) of intimate and remarkable performances.
We’ll update the Listening Room Festival site with more info soon.

Here is the lineup for 2019!

Joy Ike
Kevin Daniel
The Young Novelists
Amy Bishop

Twin Kennedy

Please register at http://www.ListeningRoomFestival.com for more information, including hotel deals and more about the expanding festival schedule!

Your Cultural Legacy as a Music Fan

Did you just go to shows, or did it mean something? — Fran Snyder

You can be in the music business.
Best of all, you don’t have to pretend it’s your job.

What do I mean?

Until you make it to the top of the corporate music business ladder, you’re poor. You’re overworked. It’s a rough lifestyle.

The best way to be in the music business is as a hobby. It’s easy as

  1. Volunteer
  2. Play a limited role that you enjoy.
  3. Watch the impact that you make on the lives of your friends, and the careers of independent artists you admire.

You can make a difference as a fan, organizer, promoter, or house concert host. Stay at it long enough, and you create your own cultural legacy.

Let us show you how.

Join Us.

franrussfa2014
Russ (right) and his wife Julie have hosted 200+ shows in their home over the past 15 years. What a legacy!

Do House Concert Hosts get a Free CD?

Copy of _DSC1097
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.

 

 

5 LRFest Judges will win Prizes!

5 LRFest Judges will receive prizes this year’s Listening Room Festival.

We want a record-setting number of judges this year, so that LRFest can represent our whole community. So we’re offering prizes to 5 judges who participate. Yes, we want you to vote AND attend the festival!

Grand Prize:

2 VIP tickets* to LRFest Showcase ($200 value) AND $200 reimbursement of air travel to the Festival. ($200 if you fly in, if you drive in or are local, we’ll give you $50 spending cash instead.)

4 Runner-up Prizes:

2 VIP tickets* to LRFest Showcase ($200 value)

*VIP tickets include prime seats, free food and cash bar in the VIP lounge, and entrance to the after party. LRFest showcase event is Friday, March 27, 2020 in St. Petersburg FL. Stay a few extra days for house concerts! Prize winners will be announced in August.

Prizes are non-transferable and good only for LRFest 2020.

 

#LRFest – Listening Room Festival 2019 Recap!

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.

LRFest 2020 is March 25 – 29, 2020

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?