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

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

LRF logo on white

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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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!

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?

LRFest 2019 – 8th annual festival of house concert returns to Tampa Bay.

For Immediate Release

“House Concert” Festival connects music fans with up-close-and-personal performances around Tampa Bay.

LRF logo on white

The 8th Annual Listening Room Festival features two dozen living room concerts around the Tampa Bay area.

Six international contest winners will play the 24 scheduled house concerts, as well as the Main Showcase (March 29th) at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg. This year’s artists are Matthew Fowler, Five Letter Word, Madison Violet, Rissi Palmer, Birch Pereira, and CeCe Teneal & Soul Kamotion. Reserved seats are available ($28, $75 VIP) 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.

House Concerts

Living room and backyard shows will take place in the following cities:

  • St. Petersburg (11 shows)
  • Clearwater (4)
  • Tampa (3)
  • Tarpon Springs (2)
  • Safety Harbor
  • Bellair Bluffs
  • Bradenton
  • Sarasota

2019 Festival Schedule

  • March 27-31 — house concerts around the bay area.
  • Friday, March 29 — LRFest Showcase at the Palladium Theater, 7:30pm start.

Festival registrants can be notified of house concerts all year round via a free fan membership to 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.

Contact/Press Photos: 

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

Website: www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

HighRes Press photos: Office Concerts, House Concerts, Fran Snyder, and Festival Finale.

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Listening Room Festival 2019 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 2019. Twenty of them booked a house concert for the festival!

Our goal is to book the remaining 10 concerts over the next few months for a total of 30 concerts during our festival week.

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!

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

How long should house concerts be?

I’ve noticed a lot of variety in the past 12 years, and learned a lot about what makes house concerts an enjoyable experience. I’m ready to promote a new slightly-tweaked standard for our listening room community. Artists and hosts are free to vary from this standard, but this is what we will promote going forward. Whatever format or set-structure you choose for your concerts, you should communicate that to your hosts/artists in your profile.

For a long time, the de-facto standard for house concerts has been two sets, of roughly 40-50 minutes in length. Whether the concert is one set or two, I am advocating for a shorter amount of time.

Here’s why.

Most people have trouble sitting still and concentrating for more than 30-40 minutes. Like it or not, technology and pop-culture have whittled away at our attention spans. In addition, house concert seats are rarely comfortable for a long length of time. When it comes to the end of a second long set, I think most encores are half-hearted.

The old saying of “leave them wanting more” applies here. Why not play shorter sets of your absolute best material and make people eager to hear more? Why not build to an enthusiastic encore every night?

It’s also becoming more common for artists to choose to play one longer set instead of having set breaks. The arguments for this are logical, especially if you previously played two long sets.

  • Some people leave during the break.
  • The break stops the momentum you have built, and it’s often hard to recapture the vibe you worked to achieve in the first set.
  • It makes for a longer night.

The advantages of two sets with a break include:

  • more sales during the break (two sales opportunities can make the lines shorter)
  • allowing people to stretch and re-fill, re-snack
  • the opportunity for two distinct acts (first act new stuff, second act previous hits/requests, a la James Lee Stanley)

Going forward, we will be promoting 70 minute formats for house concerts, whether you choose to play one set or two. For one-setters, it’s almost unkind to ask people to sit for more than 70 minutes – unless they ask you for more.

For two-set shows, we are recommending 40 minutes, then 30. The shorter second set leaves people primed for an enthusiastic encore, and it allows you to choose whether to play 1,2,3 or even 4 more songs if the energy is sustained. I would even suggest doing encores in pairs of songs. Play 2 and see if you get a second encore once in a while… that’s when you know your are having peak experience concerts.

We understand that not everyone will agree with or endorse this standard. It’s simply what we will promote.

TenTen Concerts

As a reminder, we developed the format of TenTen Concerts years ago to inspire short performances on weeknights – to make things easy for the host, for the audience, and for the artist. This format is unchanged – Ten Songs for Ten or more guests. Ten songs is roughly 45 minutes for most artists, and encores are a likely and welcome treat here as well. The suggested donation is reduced to (U.S.) $10-20 instead of $15-20.

More on TenTen here.