TenTen Concerts Launch

Notes about TenTen Concerts and our Launch in October.
this will be updated as we go…

TenTen Concerts are intended for weeknights because they are small and easy.

TenTenLaunchShirt

Hosts guarantee a minimum of $100 in donations to the artist (10 X $10) plus whatever they sell in merch. If you only have 8 attendees, you make up the $20 difference… but that won't happen because of your waiting list! 8^)

Winning your prize(s)
1. You must list a show with a current CIYH artist. The show must take place during the month of October.
2. You must take at least a few pictures and send them to Fran by November 25, 2014. (updated)
3. The first twenty hosts to list their events will be on the limited edition T-Shirt. List it just like any other show at CIYH, EXCEPT you'll need to choose TenTen as the format type.
4. Send a confirmation email to Jeff once you've listed the show.

Grand Prize:
Want to come to Florida in April for the Listening Room Festival? It's one of the coolest things we do and we love seeing hosts from around the world attend the events.

We'll have a place for you to upload your pictures, and by November 30th we'll choose one winner for the best TenTen picture. That winner will get up to $300 toward a round trip ticket to Tampa/St. Petersburg for the festival. Second and third place pictures will win $50 each.
(If Grand Prize Winner cannot attend the festival, he/she may trade prize with second place winner.)

 

 

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Notes about TenTen Concerts and our Launch in October.
this will be updated as we go…

TenTen Concerts are intended for weeknights because they are small and easy.

Hosts guarantee a minimum of $100 in donations to the artist (10 X $10) plus whatever they sell in merch. If you only have 8 attendees, you make up the $20 difference… but that won't happen because of your waiting list! 8^)

Winning your prize(s).
1. You must list a show with a current CIYH artist. The show must take place during the month of October.
2. You must take at least a few pictures and send them to Fran by November 5, 2014.
3. The first twenty hosts to list their events will be on the limited edition T-Shirt. List it just like any other show at CIYH, EXCEPT you'll need to choose TenTen as the format type.
4. Send a confirmation email to Jeff once you've listed the show.

Grand Prize:

Want to come to Florida in April for the Listening Room Festival? It's one of the coolest things we do and we love seeing hosts from around the world attend the events.

We'll have a place for you to upload your pictures, and by November 15th we'll choose one winner for the best TenTen picture. That winner will get up to $300 toward a round trip ticket to Tampa/St. Petersburg for the festival. Second and third place pictures will win $50 each.
(If Grand Prize Winner cannot attend the festival, he/she may trade prize with second place winner.)

DinnerAndSong – Having it Your Way

Explore the different versions of DinnerAndSong – mini house concerts for traveling artists.

 

DinnerAndSong – Having it Your Way

by Jeff Robertson

It hasn’t taken long, but there’s already more than one type of DinnerAndSong event. And these variations are exciting.  They offer options.  So let’s drill down on this.
 
At the core of a mini-concert are two elements that you can’t do without:

  • the music
  • the meet-and-greet afterwards

 
The music is usually an unplugged 35-minute concert, an extraordinary personal experience for the guests and artist alike.
 
The meet-and-greet is 15 minutes of connecting and selling signed CDs.  Warm, efficient, opening doors for follow-up interaction.
 
So there’s your core.  50 minutes.
 
What happens before the music is what creates those cool options, and it’s what governs the feel and the length of your mini-concert.  Here are a couple of options:

  1. dinner & song – our flagship event.  Add 40 minutes before the music for a casual meal for 6-10 guests and the artist.  Sweet.  Guests get to know the artist in a unique way.  $10 donation.  Total time = 90 minutes.
  2. dessert & song – shorter, and much sweeter. Sugar everywhere. Add just 25 minutes to the front end for grazing from the dessert table.  6-20 guests.  Afternoon or after dinner.  $10 donation.  Total time = 75 minutes.

 
Ah, are the lightbulbs going off in your head now?  Uh huh.
 
So, how would you rank these options as far as their appeal for your situation? Have another variation in mind?  Leave a comment!
 
Next blog:  Minimize your concert prep.  Stay tuned!

 

 

House Concerts are for Lovers… courtesy of Russ and Julie

awkward, funny exchange from someone wanting to avoid their ex at a house concert.

Dear Russ & Julie,

I am looking forward to seeing you at the House Concert this Saturday.  Can you please do me a small favor and make sure Jane Doe isn't on your RSVP list. She and I ended our relationship in the not too distant past and I don't wish to run into her.  Thank you for helping to preserve my sanity!

Bob

– – – – –

Dear Bob,

Actually we DO have Jane Doe down for 2 people on the RSVP list.

You RSVP'd first, but she RSVP'd some time ago.

Russ & Julie

– – – – –

Dear Russ & Julie

I don't want to put you guys in the midst of any drama, but can you tell me when she RSVP'd?

Also, go ahead and cancel my RSVP so someone else can see the show.

Funny thing is I'm now dating someone you know who I met at a Russ & Julie's House Concert!!  (We're calling it the Musical eHarmony!)

Thank you,

Bob

– – – – –

Dear Bob,

The answer to your question is that she RSVP'd on Christmas Day.

Sorry that you have to cancel.  We will open up your 2 spots to people on our Waiting List.

So glad we were able to help you find someone here at Musical eHarmony…. we aim to please! 😉

We hope to see you again soon.

All the best,

Russ & Julie

Upper Midwest Selected as Touring Region for Video Contest Winner

Toronto's Suzie Vinnick, the 2010 CIYH video contest's top vote getter, received a 10-gig tour during May 2011 as the grand prize.  CIYH is excited to announce that the US upper midwest was just selected as the tour region.

Suzievinnick_1 Suzie will start out in northwest Ohio and loop counterclockwise including stops in Chicago, Omaha, Kansas, Oklahoma, St. Louis and back through cities in the Great Lakes region before returning home to the province of Ontario.  A very busy 13-day swing!
 
About half of the tour stops are confirmed, which still leaves many opportunities available to be among the dozen hosts who will participate in this special opportunity to host a top-tier artist.
 
Maybe one of these is perfect for you or a friend you know who lives there.  See if you can help us complete this great tour. ("area" means within 90 minutes, green dates are still available.)
 

  •    Friday, May 20 – Montpelier OH, host confirmed
  •    Saturday, May 21 – Chicago IL area
  •    Sunday, May 22 – Chicago IL area
  •    Monday, May 23 – Iowa City IA, confirmed
  •    Tuesday, May 24 – Des Moines IA area
  •    Wednesday, May 25 – Des Moines IA or Omaha NE areas
  •    Thursday, May 26 – Omaha NE or Kansas City MO areas
  •    Friday, May 27 – Kansas City MO area, confirmed
  •    Saturday, May 28 – Tulsa OK, confirmed
  •    Sunday, May 29 – Kansas OK, confirmed
  •    Monday, May 30 – St. Louis, confirmed
  •    Tuesday, May 31 – Indianapolis IN or Chicago IL areas
  •    Wednesday, June 1 – Cleveland/Akron OH or Detroit MI areas

 
We'll welcome host requests to sponsor full house concerts on any of the above days.  DinnerAndSong (DNS) events are also fine for weekdays.
 
Interested?  Contact Jeff at jeff @ ListeningRoomNetwork.com by Sunday, January 9, for details.

House Concert Tour Contest: And the winners are…

 

We're thrilled to announce the final results of the 2nd Annual 2010 CIYH Video/Tour Contest. This year's winner, from Etobicoke Ontario, is Suzie Vinnick !!
In a virtual tie for second place are the duo Barnaby Bright (Brooklyn NY) and the trio Big Wide Grin (Mill Valley CA). Photos above are linked to their CIYH profiles.

The final round highlights:

45 CIYH hosts viewed all 30 song submissions from our 10 finalists for the final round of judging. The results were very close. All contestants garnered praise from many judges for their songs.

As our contest winners, Suzie, Becky & Nathan (Barnaby Bright) and Elaine, Lawrence & Karl (Big Wide Grin) will receive 5 and 10 gig circuits in the U.S. or Canada during May 2011. Circuit locations will be selected by January 31. (See full list of prizes below.)

Want to host the winners?

We've set up this nice page, where you can

  • see 4 videos from each act
  • see a map of hosts who are already interested
  • and you can email jeff to add yourself as an interested host for a show in May.

Visit the link and hear these wonderful artists, then let Jeff know where you are!

Thank you

to all of our artist entrants who collectively brought 220 videos to the first round of judging. Similarly, we thank each of the 80 judges who worked with us over the course of the contest, tirelessly and (based on their gushing comments) quite enjoyably.
 
The judges saw remarkable new talent well beyond the finalists, and some have said they look forward to booking these artists in the future. Of course, we'd love to know when that happens.
 
Thanks to each of you–artists and judges–for making the 2nd annual contest a great success. 
 
Jeff and Fran

Tours and Prizes

 

  • Grand Prize: Suzie Vinnick
    Ten-day regional house concert tour
    $500 in merchandise from D'Addario & Planet Waves
    PLS Lighting System from Q-Lighting ($350 value)
    $100 cash.
  • Second place: Barnaby Bright
    Five-day tour
    $250 in merchandise from D'Addario & Planet Waves
    Maestro from Q-Lighting ($40 value)
    $100 cash.
  • Third place: Big Wide Grin
    Five-day tour
    $250 in merchandise from D'Addario & Planet Waves
    Maestro from Q-Lighting ($40 value)
    $100 cash.

See additional contest details.

See the finalist videos and mp3s.

Thanks to our kind sponsors, D'Addario, Planet Waves, and Q-Lighting. Check out the special offer from Q-Lighting in our latest newsletter. Offer ends November 30th, 2010.

 

Get Help. (with your House Concerts)

This is part of a how-to-series from ConcertsInYourHome.com, written by Fran Snyder.

"Get Help" is a popular mantra in the mental health industry. If you've developed the mental disorder called "house concert host," then I suggest you pay heed. It is necessary for your long term health and your enthusiasm. 8^)

CIYH CREW shirt

The most common mistake among new hosts is failing to ask for help. Hosting shows in your home is not rocket science, but it does pose a handful of challenges. To face these challenges, the more energy you have available, especially at the beginning, the greater the chance your house concert series will lift off.  People = Energy

What kind of help should I get? You can ask for and receive all kinds of help, including;

Booking

The success and the enjoyment you and your friends derive from your house concerts largely depends on the quality of performers you book. Frankly, many hosts (especially the new) have no idea of the vast quantity of world-class talent that is available. While it might be wonderful to support local artists you already know, it's important to consider the phenomenal touring artists who could be looking for opportunities in your area. You owe it to yourself to be choosy, and to only select artists who make you confident that they will leave your audiences enthralled.

If that sounds like a lot of work, it doesn't have to be. Our website contains nearly a thousand artists, many of whom have a long track record of being great performers AND house-guests. Please look for the number of  "recommendations" in their profiles to read comments from hosts who've had these performers in their home.

Also, you can work with Jeff Robertson, our friendly agent, who can hand-pick some of our best acts to get your series started with a bang.

"…beyond my expectations. I'm still in awe that musicians of this caliber are willing to travel here for our personal concert with our friends. Thanks Jeff!" –  B. Hofbauer, OH

If you really want to go for it, you can attend regional music conferences to hear, meet, and connect with touring artists who would love to schedule shows with you. Folk Alliance has several regional conferences with dedicated forums to enjoy artists in small, personal spaces. Highly recommended, and don't let the word "folk" throw you – many, many genres are represented.

Organizing/Promoting


One of the most common challenges is getting the word out, and inspiring enough people to RSVP and attend the show.
Will this be easy for you? Many hosts find themselves surprised that their friends don't understand how much fun this will be.

Though we continue to create free tools for our hosts (eflyers, calendars, videos, etc.) – nothing beats having a few more boots on the ground. Your circle of friends is surprisingly small when you compare it to the collective circles of a handful of people. Don't do this alone!

Chances are, at least one or a couple of your friends, if properly approached, would LOVE to get involved with promoting your event. Personally invite them to take part in the event… send them links to the artist and see if they get inspired by the music and/or videos. Would they email 10-20 of their friends a personal invitation? Would they pitch the idea to some friends at work? At house concerts, a turnout of 4-6 extra people can make the difference between an O.K. turnout and a full house!

Furniture/Equipment

Most artists can travel with a small sound system, or do without one if the room is small enough. However, it is great to have access to a small P.A. (microphone, amp, speaker, etc.) when the need arises. These systems can be bought for $300-$1000, but that's probably not a worthwhile investment unless you do many shows each year. Someone you know probably has one.

Chairs, especially bar-stools (great for the back row) are one of the best things you can borrow from your next door neighbors. They might also have a few extra folding chairs if you need them.

The Right Space

One of the most common reasons that people don't feel they can host house concerts is because they think their home is too small. The beauty of house concerts, is that even modest homes can pull off worthwhile events. That said, if you aren't comfortable with your space, why not recruit/inspire a friend or family member who has a better "performance space" to get involved? You book the shows, and help host the events at THEIR house. However, much care should be taken to make sure they understand what they are getting into.

Setting Up/Running the Event

I've seen my share of stressed out hosts before an event. Between getting the house clean, arranging the furniture, setting out snacks and beverages, and handling last minute details, it's easy to feel overwhelmed before the artist even arrives. In the end, they are always happy with the result, but why take on more stress and work than you have to?

Consider inviting at least 2 or 3 guests to come early to help you set up. You can thank your "crew" with some fun shirts, choice reserved seats, pre-show meet and greet with the artist, or almost anything else. Money is not a good reward for these tasks – it takes the romance and the community feel out of the event. People are happy to pitch in for worthwhile things.

Here are some fantastic tasks to delegate or get help with.

  • moving furniture, setting up chairs
  • collecting money/donations
  • setting up food
  • serving drinks (in moderation)
  • making announcements
  • parking guide (if necessary)

Financial/guarantees

Many artists are happy to book shows without requiring a financial guarantee, especially if the host is offering a free meal and place to stay. However, even a modest ($100-300) guarantee can go a long way to offer piece of mind to artists who are incurring travel costs to get to you. Hosts only need to make up the difference between the guarantee and what is collected from donations, so the cost is usually minimal, and often "$0" if 20 or more guests show up.

However, some hosts feel better when they can offer a strong financial guarantee, and sharing that (voluntary) responsibility with a few friends is certainly an option.

Important: Please do not feel compelled to offer more than what you can comfortably afford to spend.

 

Sleeping Quarters

One of the most significant travel expenses for artists is lodging. It's a tradition (but not required) for hosts to offer a free guest room or basement futon for artists who perform at their house concerts. If this is awkward (e.g. a single mom hosting a male performer, or families with newborns), it's certainly acceptable to get a nearby friend or neighbor who has a better situation to host your guests overnight. These co-hosts should be friendly and flexible, and should be cheerful about helping. Otherwise, it's best to offer a local hotel or let the artist know ahead of time that sleeping accommodations are not part of your house concerts.

These are some ways you can get help. You'll find that sharing not just the events, but their responsibilities will deepen your friendships, enrich your community, and provide memories you'll cherish for a lifetime.

To join our community of house concert hosts (for free), visit ConcertsInYourHome.com.