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.

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

 

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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.

Release: Kickstarter for Listening Room Network

For Immediate Release (10-23-2017)

Listening Room Network re-launch and Kickstarter Campaign

Listening Room Network (LRN) promotes concerts with an intimate, “listening room atmosphere.” These types of events include the growing global phenomenon of house concerts, which have become a vital resource for small, independent touring acts.

Listening Room Network is consolidating its websites to include equally vital public spaces that foster close proximity and deep listening. “Listening Rooms” are the types of places where someone is likely to say “shhhh” when people talk during the show.

“We believe a good live performer deserves the same respect you’d give to a fine movie. It’s not cool to talk during a movie – so why would it be OK to talk during a concert?” — Fran Snyder, founder.

LRN aims to raise $32,000 to upgrade it’s websites, provide new services, and launch fan memberships. “For 11 years, we’ve been serving artists and venues… it’s time we provide more for our fans.”

Living room concerts have a lot of history, going back (at least) to the days of chamber music in the Renaissance. LRN began in 2006 as ConcertsInYourHome.com, specifically to promote this concept to music fans, and to inspire them to try their hand at hosting concerts and promoting them to friends and neighbors. The site now creates thousands of events per year around the world, with 80% of the activity is still in the U.S. They also hold the annual Listening Room Festival, in St. Petersburg FL every spring.

The Kickstarter Campaign runs from October 25th to November 15th, 2017.

Campaign Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/365553320/listening-room-network-house-concerts-and-so-much

Press Photos:  on Google drive. 

Site Link: http://www.ListeningRoomNetwork.com

Contact: Fran Snyder

727-280-6208

Listening Room Network is based in St. Petersburg, FL.

Can Wineries and Distilleries be Listening Rooms?

The primary qualification for being in our network is a “listening room atmosphere.”  Although wineries and distilleries can offer a cool vibe, most don’t really push for patrons to be quiet and attentive during the show. Of course, we love to see exceptions to that generality!

We’re developing our Listening Room Network for those die-hard music appreciators who want to be able to hear the lyrics, and enjoy a show without distractions… we think music deserves the same respect as a fine movie. 8^)

 

Kickstarter for Listening Room Network

CIYH and LRN launch Kickstarter Campaign!

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Subscribe to get the first look at the campaign

We can no longer maintain the value of recorded music. Anything recorded is available for free. The people who pay for music usually do it because it is coupled with another experience; typically, a live one.

More than ever, we have to affirm the value and the experience of live music.

House concerts have answered the call, allowing volunteers across the globe to affirm their deep love of music and artists by hosting concerts, offering their spaces, their time, and their friends. ConcertsInYourHome has led the way for more than a decade.

In just a few days we’ll be going live with our first-ever Kickstarter Campaign. We’re taking the ConcertsInYourHome community to the next level, and creating a support system for public listening rooms as well.

We started this work in 2006, and while that put us at the forefront of house concert movement, it also means that our sprawling internet platform is dated and needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

We have some really nice plans for the needs of our community, and we’re looking to include more friends on our journey.

Some of the perks we’ll include are (of course) music, and a very nifty, soft first-ever Listening Room Network t-shirt – our coolest design yet.

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Our campaign also features rewards linked to our Listening Room Festival in St. Petersburg, FL – VIP tickets, hotel packages, sponsorships, and more. This is a wonderful and unique festival, designed to inspire hosts from all over the world to meet their tribe – in person, surrounded by great music. Our biggest contributors can even co-create a Listening Room Festival in their home region, based on the platform and reputation we’ve already developed.

Another set of rewards focus around the music and expertise of Fran Snyder, the founder of CIYH who toured a million miles with his acoustic guitar and original songs before directing his energy and passion into this network. You can book Fran for a house concert as well as a house concert workshop, designed to inspire more activity in your area.

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After 11 years of work, there’s no doubting our commitment to helping and growing this community. Today we face an opportunity together – let’s create the resources and new friends we need to make this community more vibrant than ever.

The campaign starts October 27th. Subscribe to get the first look at the campaign and exclusive rewards.

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