House concert hosts and venues, over time, develop a “feel” for what artists tend to be like. Years on the road and stage can shape most of us in similar ways. Of course, artists are not all the same.
One way artists differ is how they book shows. There is a spectrum between distracted/disorganized/timid and focused/organized/tenacious.
The former artist will reach out once, maybe twice, and anything short of an enthusiastic reply means they will disappear from your life, for at least a year or two.
The latter artist will email again and again until you respond. Nothing short of a strict “No thank you” will deter them from reaching out until they have a solid answer. You might find them tiring because they “won’t get the hint,” but tenacious ones tour more and have longer careers. They deal with many hosts who are also distracted/disorganized, and the artist’s persistence leads to success often enough that they stick with it.
Some hosts are actually grateful that the artist hung in there and tried again.
Always keep this in mind. You should only host artists you are excited about. If you are unlikely to get excited about this artist, you are only wasting your time AND theirs by not saying so.
Artists are human, and in our network they are professionals. They deserve a clear answer.
It’s OK for a host to be uncertain, but if your gut feeling is “no,” it’s best for everyone if you just say it.
YES is our favorite answer.
NO is our second favorite answer.
The artist you don’t NO sometimes wishes you did.