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

 

#1 House Concert Performance Tip from Fran Snyder.

#1 House Concert Performance Tip from Fran Snyder

I see a LOT of house concerts, and I have a compulsive need to give artists “notes” after I see them play. Here is the most common thing I suggest.

Please put two songs together without talking in between, at least once per set.

I have a theory that house concerts make some artists too comfortable, and they forget that people came for a show, not a fireside chat. The most frustrating thing is that they settle into a pattern – talk, play, talk, play, talk… and never break it.

Do you want to be that predictable?

The best opportunity is to pick your two most upbeat or groovy songs and string them together, without a word in between. Grooves and tempo build energy, and it’s a missed opportunity when you spend 5 minutes building energy and just let it fizzle out. Take the opportunity to build even more energy, take it up a notch and create the biggest moment of your set!

House concerts can make you tame. Don’t let yourself get spoiled by easy and attentive audiences who clap for everything you do. It’s lovely. It’s seductive. House concerts can make you think you’re much better than you are. Careful!

Stay on your toes and challenge yourself to make your show better each night. How big were the big moments? Was your performance pleasant or mesmerizing?

Again, the most common weakness (90% of shows I see) is the pattern of talk, play, talk, play, talk…

Build. Surprise. Delight!

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.

Listening Rooms Reveal the True Fans

by Fran Snyder

Music is fantastic at supporting other activities. Put on your headphones and go jogging. Turn on the car stereo and drive across town. Watch a movie and feel how the music score transforms the experience.

But in each of those cases, music is not the primary goal. We use music to enhance other activities.

Let me take you back in time.

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, buying an album was part of a ritual centered around listening to music. I would run home, close my door, tear off the shrink wrap, and carefully place my new treasure on the turntable. A satisfying record would get 3-5 plays all the way through. The album would consume most of my day.

It kept me in my room. If I started looking at baseball cards or hanging up my clothes, these were secondary activities to consume my adolescent energy. I didn’t play the record to help me clean my room. I hung my shirts up because I was stuck in my room – the only place my record was playing.

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So when you listen to music, is it the primary activity, or the background to something else?

No one can avoid “secondary listening” in the modern world. Even if your car stereo is off, chances are you’ll hear someone else’s every time you stop at a traffic signal. Music is piped into our ears at the bank, at the grocery store, and through the ever-present din of televisions that hang from every vertical surface of society.

So the better question is, “do you ever choose music as your primary activity?” Of course, musicians do this all the time. But who else?

Concerts are a classic opportunity for us to make music our primary activity. If we can watch the musicians, and focus on the connection with the songs, then it’s clear why we are there – for the music.

Yet, it’s all too common to go to concerts to find ourselves surrounded by people who are distracted and or distracting. Maybe they don’t like the band. Maybe they are there to be with their friend. Or maybe, they’ve lost all ability to focus on anything that doesn’t glow in the palm of their hand.

But if you interrupt their conversation, and ask them, “are you a music fan?” they will finish their selfie and tell you “absolutely, yes!”

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What is a music fan?

I would argue that a music fan pays for music with their attention as well as their money.

A lot of people who think they are music fans are really “going out” fans. For them, music is meant to support what they really want. They want to dance, they want to feed off the kinetic energy created by the band onstage. If the music doesn’t fit what they really want to do (talk, dance, eat) there’s a good chance they won’t stick around. Right?

If only that was always the case. Unfortunately, many of them do stick around. If the music is too loud, they’ll just talk louder. They won’t even notice that their behavior is ruining the experience for you.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of places where true music fans can go. These listening rooms can be dedicated clubs, theaters, and even the living rooms of other music fans. There is a growing worldwide community of people who (sometimes!) choose to be in a place where music is the main event. Listening rooms and house concerts provide that atmosphere, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the finest independent touring artists today.

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And here’s the best news. You don’t have to be a music fan all the time. Dance your heart out at a party. Work that hula hoop at the festival. Music can be a wonderful background, and there are millions of places where you can talk over the music.

Just not in my listening room.

Fran Snyder is an artist, house concert host, and the founder of ListeningRoomNetwork.com

 

Press Release: Listening Room Festival 2018 (#LRFest18)

For Immediate Release

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

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The 7th 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 April 17-22, 2018.

Six international contest winners will play the Main Showcase (April 20) at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, as well as house concerts in the surrounding region. This year’s artists are Big Little Lions, Luke Bulla Trio, Escaping Pavement, Chasing Lovely, John Wort Hannam, and The Novelists. Reserved seats 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 six acts.  In addition, this year’s festival includes group activities and workshops to educate and inspire fans to join the growing house concert movement.

2018 Festival Schedule

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

  • April 17-22 — house concerts around the bay area.
  • Friday, April 20 — LRFest Showcase at the Palladium
  • Saturday April 21 — House Concert Workshop, Meet & Greet at Marriott Courtyard Downtown St. Petersburg. Free to attend if you RSVP here. $5 at the door.
  • Sunday April 22 — 10am brunch for festival artists, hosts, and invited guests. Contact fran@listeningroomnetwork.com for details.

The festival is presented by ConcertsInYourHome.com, part of 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 727-280-6208fran@ListeningRoomNetwork.com

Website: www.ListeningRoomFestival.com

Free house concert guide: Download (PDF)

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

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CIYH Artists of the Year – 2017

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!

2017 Artists of the Year!

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Daniel Champagne
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Flagship Romance
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Dan Frechette & Laurel
Thomsen

Honorable Mentions

These artists had a great year with us as well!

Rupert Wates, Danika & The Jeb, Matt Bednarsky, The Currys, Kelley McRae, Escaping Pavement, Woody Russell, and Brian Keith Wallen.

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

What change are we trying to make?

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I’ve begun The Marketing Seminar, taught by Seth Godin. In it, he asks some poignant questions, making sure that we unearth our core values before piling on tactics and advice on how to reach the right people for our community. Here was the first question.

What change are you trying to make?

For artists, I want to teach them that performing in noisy places and hoping to be discovered is only one way to make it in the music business, and that’s it’s probably not the best way. For some artists, playing small, intimate concerts is the best way to hone your craft, make a living, make new fans, and to reach them more profoundly.

For music fans, I want to teach them that music is as beautiful and promising as it ever has been, and the experience of hearing a small, independent artist or group in the right atmosphere can be sublime. For some fans, the ones who are generous, and inspired by the possibility of helping artists grow, I want to teach them how they can participate, by hosting concerts – in their living rooms, gardens, or other remarkable spaces.

I want these two groups to form a growing community called the Listening Room Network. It’s already started, but there’s a long way to go.