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House Concerts.

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I know Steve Lawson does this, and a few others.

Anyway, I found this site - [url="http://www.sofarsounds.com"]http://www.sofarsounds.com[/url]

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What a confusing website...anyone care to explain how it works ? (The thing, not the website :) )

Edited by ahpook

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On first glance it looks like a ticket selling exercise, but I might be getting it wrong...
(the intermittent dementia is kicking in again)......

:huh:

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I tried it for my city and for the next available date it says that you get the venue name a day before but they don't tell you who the artist is, you don't know until you get there. It's the kind of musical lucky dip that I can probably live without tbh.

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Aaah, I see.

A bit like a Secret Cinema - you hope for 'Miller's Crossing' but worry you'll end up with 'On the Buses' ?

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I'd guess there'd be much less "You can't kill me...look in your heart" and much more "I hate you, Butler", or they'd actually tell you who you were going to see... <_<

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Well unless I've misunderstood the site that's what it seemed to be indicating when I went through a dummy run I got these messages in a sort of FAQ;



[left][b]Where am I going?[/b]The address is revealed the day before, on this page and we'll send you an email too.[/left]

[center]
[/center]
[left][b]Who's playing?[/b]The lineup is secret! You'll discover who’s playing when you get to the show.[/left]


These might be for free events maybe?

Edited by KevB

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There are loads of videos on the youtube channel for this site

https://www.youtube.com/user/Sofarsounds/videos

I lucky dipped a few, and the standard was consistently high (much like jaminthevan and NPR tinydesk concerts) - my take is that this is really a site that caters to people who enjoy good live music who are willing to go see artists that they haven't heard of before, and another small scale gig/online promo opportunity for non-mainstream artists (although I did find a video of Hozier doing a solo acoustic gig in manchester last year). I would guess that the last minute secrecy might involve an element of red tape avoidance, but also trying to create a sense of excitement (like going to underground raves back in the day).

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1443627105' post='2876401']
I'd guess there'd be much less "You can't kill me...look in your heart" and much more "I hate you, Butler", or they'd actually tell you who you were going to see... <_<
[/quote]

Stands. Applauds.

:)

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What a rubbish website design and, frankly what a rubbish concept. Like you said... Why take that chance. There are loads of other websites which list house gigs and where you can find out about them. However, the whole idea of a house gig is the intimacy and personal connection. They are a great way to see an artist up close and personal. And, hey, if you can't find one nearby... You can always host your own...

Until our little boy came along and they became impractical with bedtimes etc we used to host them fairly regularly. Over a few years we had artists ranging from Steve Lawson to Amy Wadge, Laura
Cortese and Victoria Vox from the USA, Riana Nel from S Africa, the wonderful Emily Baker, Anna Neale, Edwina Hayes and Katey Brooks and a number of other singers we'd got to know from visiting singer-songwriter evenings. There are lots of independent UK artists who like to supplement their regular gigs with house gigs and, similarly, a number of independent U.S. artists are also happy to do house gigs when over here between their club gigs. It nicely fills up slots in the tour schedule and probably pays as well as (or better than) their other gigs.

Here are a few house gig websites to check out but I really recommend doing some yourself for family and friends. It's great craic!


http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/
http://houseconcerts.org.uk/
http://houseconcerthub.ning.com/
http://www.timeout.com/london/music/living-room-gigs

http://www.timeout.com/london/music/living-room-gigs

http://giginyourhouse.co.uk/



Here's an old blog from Steve Lawson on doing House Gigs… http://www.stevelawson.net/2009/03/house-concert-hosting-a-beginners-guide/

My response to a comment in the comments of the above link…

A bit of encouragement to Steve C…
I can completely understand why your other half might feel awkward about “charging” friends to come to your house. However, the chances are that it’s just an irrational fear of what your friends might think of you for doing so – not to belittle that concern, doing a house gig for the first time is a step into the unknown, especially if you’ve never hosted one before. Imagine someone inviting you to a birthday party and then charging you for nibbles, drinks and cake. Awful.
It’s really a matter of mind-set on what’s happening in your home. The mental step from “we’ve invited our friends to a party” to “we’ve invited our friends to a gig (where the artist will need to be paid to perform), it just so happens that the gig is happening in our house”. It’s actually not that big of a mental leap when it comes down to it and I suspect that ALL your friends would get the concept straight off without any offence at being asked to pay a tenner to attend.
If you’re still attracted to the idea of doing a house gig it might be an idea for you (and your partner) to approach a selection of trusted friends with the following question: “Look, we’ve got this mad idea to book a singer/artist to do a gig for us and a few friends but to do it in our front room. Apparently, it’s becoming the new big thing to do. Thing is, these artists are professional musicians, making a living out of this stuff so we thought of asking everyone who comes to make a donation of a tenner towards the artist’s expenses -kinda like buying a ticket for the gig. Would you be up for that sort of thing? It wouldn’t make you feel weird to pay or anything, would it?”
I can guarantee that anyone you would ask wouldn’t be offended at the idea of paying towards the artist’s expenses. In their mind it’s not paying to come you your house, it’s paying for someone to provide a service of entertaining them while they’re their. It’s a paid gig like any other. It might help put your partner’s mind at rest.
Of course the main thing is that they don’t feel awkward about it. The whole point for the host is that it’s a fun, low stress evening with a great vibe.
If you hear of any house gigs in your area it might not be a bad idea going along just to see what happens and how it works for them. There are a number of people who do advertise their house gigs more widely and a Google search might throw up something in the area.
When we do house gigs ( we’re doing them about every other month now!) it’s only friends, family and “gig buddies” that we invite and – without exception – no one balks at the idea of paying for a ticket. They come for the vibe and the experience first and, to be honest, the music second. We have a few friends now who ask to buy a ticket BEFORE they know who’s playing. They trust us that, whoever it is, we wouldn’t book someone rubbish and that if we like them they are at least worth a listen!
For us it’s about enjoying great music with people we like played by people we like. So far we’ve only booked musos we happen to know and who are friends.
As it is, we make the event more of a “gig” than a “house party” – although the actual vibe on the night is equally informal and vibey. We do “fliers” that we sent out to friends and print out a ticket which we give them. We provide soft drinks and a few nibbles but ask people to bring along their own (alcoholic) beverages and some nibbles. We also have seats for pretty much everyone. We’ve been to others where it’s more of a house party – everyone on cushions and beanbags on the floor and something more substantial in the interval. Both work and it just depends on how you fancy doing it.
I would recommend giving it a go if you feel you can. It is amazing fun and your friends will love it!

Edited by TrevorR

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[quote name='ahpook' timestamp='1443620404' post='2876314']
Aaah, I see.

A bit like a Secret Cinema - you hope for 'Miller's Crossing' but worry you'll end up with 'On the Buses' ?
[/quote]
Erm, other way around for me lol.

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[quote name='TrevorR' timestamp='1443637826' post='2876541']
What a rubbish website design and, frankly what a rubbish concept. Like you said... Why take that chance. There are loads of other websites which list house gigs and where you can find out about them. However, the whole idea of a house gig is the intimacy and personal connection. They are a great way to see an artist up close and personal. And, hey, if you can't find one nearby... You can always host your own...

Until our little boy came along and they became impractical with bedtimes etc we used to host them fairly regularly. Over a few years we had artists ranging from Steve Lawson to Amy Wadge, Laura
Cortese and Victoria Vox from the USA, Riana Nel from S Africa, the wonderful Emily Baker, Anna Neale, Edwina Hayes and Katey Brooks and a number of other singers we'd got to know from visiting singer-songwriter evenings. There are lots of independent UK artists who like to supplement their regular gigs with house gigs and, similarly, a number of independent U.S. artists are also happy to do house gigs when over here between their club gigs. It nicely fills up slots in the tour schedule and probably pays as well as (or better than) their other gigs.

Here are a few house gig websites to check out but I really recommend doing some yourself for family and friends. It's great craic!


[url="http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/"]http://www.concertsinyourhome.com/[/url]
[url="http://houseconcerts.org.uk/"]http://houseconcerts.org.uk/[/url]
[url="http://houseconcerthub.ning.com/"]http://houseconcerthub.ning.com/[/url]
[url="http://www.timeout.com/london/music/living-room-gigs"]http://www.timeout.c...iving-room-gigs[/url]

[url="http://www.timeout.com/london/music/living-room-gigs"]http://www.timeout.c...iving-room-gigs[/url]

[url="http://giginyourhouse.co.uk/"]http://giginyourhouse.co.uk/[/url]



Here's an old blog from Steve Lawson on doing House Gigs… [url="http://www.stevelawson.net/2009/03/house-concert-hosting-a-beginners-guide/"]http://www.stevelaws...eginners-guide/[/url]

My response to a comment in the comments of the above link…

A bit of encouragement to Steve C…
I can completely understand why your other half might feel awkward about "charging" friends to come to your house. However, the chances are that it's just an irrational fear of what your friends might think of you for doing so – not to belittle that concern, doing a house gig for the first time is a step into the unknown, especially if you've never hosted one before. Imagine someone inviting you to a birthday party and then charging you for nibbles, drinks and cake. Awful.
It's really a matter of mind-set on what's happening in your home. The mental step from "we've invited our friends to a party" to "we've invited our friends to a gig (where the artist will need to be paid to perform), it just so happens that the gig is happening in our house". It's actually not that big of a mental leap when it comes down to it and I suspect that ALL your friends would get the concept straight off without any offence at being asked to pay a tenner to attend.
If you're still attracted to the idea of doing a house gig it might be an idea for you (and your partner) to approach a selection of trusted friends with the following question: "Look, we've got this mad idea to book a singer/artist to do a gig for us and a few friends but to do it in our front room. Apparently, it's becoming the new big thing to do. Thing is, these artists are professional musicians, making a living out of this stuff so we thought of asking everyone who comes to make a donation of a tenner towards the artist's expenses -kinda like buying a ticket for the gig. Would you be up for that sort of thing? It wouldn't make you feel weird to pay or anything, would it?"
I can guarantee that anyone you would ask wouldn't be offended at the idea of paying towards the artist's expenses. In their mind it's not paying to come you your house, it's paying for someone to provide a service of entertaining them while they're their. It's a paid gig like any other. It might help put your partner's mind at rest.
Of course the main thing is that they don't feel awkward about it. The whole point for the host is that it's a fun, low stress evening with a great vibe.
If you hear of any house gigs in your area it might not be a bad idea going along just to see what happens and how it works for them. There are a number of people who do advertise their house gigs more widely and a Google search might throw up something in the area.
When we do house gigs ( we're doing them about every other month now!) it's only friends, family and "gig buddies" that we invite and – without exception – no one balks at the idea of paying for a ticket. They come for the vibe and the experience first and, to be honest, the music second. We have a few friends now who ask to buy a ticket BEFORE they know who's playing. They trust us that, whoever it is, we wouldn't book someone rubbish and that if we like them they are at least worth a listen!
For us it's about enjoying great music with people we like played by people we like. So far we've only booked musos we happen to know and who are friends.
As it is, we make the event more of a "gig" than a "house party" – although the actual vibe on the night is equally informal and vibey. We do "fliers" that we sent out to friends and print out a ticket which we give them. We provide soft drinks and a few nibbles but ask people to bring along their own (alcoholic) beverages and some nibbles. We also have seats for pretty much everyone. We've been to others where it's more of a house party – everyone on cushions and beanbags on the floor and something more substantial in the interval. Both work and it just depends on how you fancy doing it.
I would recommend giving it a go if you feel you can. It is amazing fun and your friends will love it!
[/quote]

That's a brilliant reply, thanks !

I'd love to host a Steve Lawson gig.

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[quote name='tonybassplayer' timestamp='1443642674' post='2876598']
We had Francis Dunnery for my wife's 50th a few months ago.

Awesome night. Never forget it.
[/quote]

That's the guy I was trying to think of last night, couldn't remember his name.

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In a time when so many venues are closing to music, it's encouraging to see the way house concerts have taken off, and are truly supporting artists, as an antidote to the X Factor stuff doing the rounds. From the performers point of view it actually works very well : they pick up perhaps £200 - 300 and get treated very well ( you are not going to be treated badly in someone's home, as there is an undercurrent of hospitality, and of course, they are delighted to have you there), plus, there is agood chance you'll sell a CD to perhaps 50% of the audience. Add into that a free night (perhaps) in somebody's spare room, and an appreciative audience, and it's a great idea.

Some have been running for years, such as House Concerts York, and I've seen situations where established artists will happily come back and try out new material in safe environment,many with people they know.

Trevor can advise better, but there are just some obvious things to be mindful of if there are people coming, whom you don't know - hence the secrecy over locations.

It would be interesting to see if Basschat could build a House Concert circuit, and book artists for a Basschat tour. We have members all over, and you don't need a mansion to do this - just enough room for 15 or 20 people to sit on the floor.

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Yeah, absolutely. It's not an arena where you'd stick up "Gig at 21 Acacia Avenue, Cheam on Saturday" on the interweb. For the ones we've done it was all word of mouth so friends were more than welcome to invite their friends and we really encouraged them to reserve and pay for their tickets in advance (to avoid last minute unpaid drop outs who then look at you blankly when you see them later and say, "I covered your unused ticket when I paid the artist, could I have your now £10 please".)

Although strictly we worked it on a suggested minimum donation basis we printed out "tickets" for those who had confirmed and paid, partly to make it feel a bit more special but also as a way of sending them our address at that point.

Some of the artists did put "House gig in [town]" on their website gig list and then pass me on the details of fans who were interested in coming so I could email/phone them back to confirm. Even so of the 20 or so folks at each gig only at most 3-4 came along that route.

Yes, you do have to exercise a degree of caution and common sense about this as much as anything else related to the interweb...

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Maybe I'm getting old, but the idea of staging gigs in your home seems a little unfair to your neighbours unless they're fairly small/quiet acts.

...or am I missing something ?

Edited by ahpook

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[quote name='TrevorR' timestamp='1443637826' post='2876541']
Here are a few house gig websites to check out but I really recommend doing some yourself for family and friends. It's great craic!
[/quote]

It's not so great if you have the misfortune to live next door to somebody having one.

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To be fair, our selection of artists were more of the acoustic, country, folk, singer-songwriter mode than punk or death metal...

And actually significantly less noisy than having the music on at a birthday party or watching an action movie on telly. I'd be surprised if any of our neighbours would have even realised that any music was going on if it wasn't for the fact that we'd invited them along!

A lot of house gigs don't use any form of PA at all. Think about it. If you were sitting at one end of your living room you'd hardly need a huge rig to hear someone playing piano or guitar and singing over at the other end, would you...? As it was, we did use a small PA at ours but it really wasn't necessary and the volume even from that wasn't exactly high. Certainly no higher than having the hi fi on.

So really, it's not an issue. Of course, if you lived in a tiny flat with paper thin walls where you could hear the neighbours breathing next door...

Edited by TrevorR

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Here are some examples to give you an idea...

Katey Brooks


Steve Lawson


Amy Wadge


Laura Cortese

Edited by TrevorR

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[quote name='TrevorR' timestamp='1443708969' post='2877069']
And actually significantly less noisy than having the music on at a birthday party or watching an action movie on telly.
[/quote]

Well, I have had neighbours who have had strange ideas of what qualifies as a sensible volume for both activities !

I think as long as people realise that their houses or flats are just that and not clubs or music venues then it's fine, but you just need to take a stroll round my neighbourhood on a Friday night to find people who seem to think otherwise.

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Most who do this are doing it for fun, for the love of music and the experience and even the regulars (like the York or Burgess Hill folk) tend to do it once every two or three months at most. On that basis (and providing it's not actively disturbing those in the surrounding environment) it's hard to see the harm - and doing it with consideration to others is advisable as with all things in this life.

After all I'm sure that no one hosting house gigs is trying to make a living at it or trying to turn their front room into a nightly music venue or business - every one I know who has done it has passed 100% of the ticket price onto the artist and made a loss (if you factor in providing drinks, nibbles or even spag bol for everyone). It's an interesting experience to think about trying, it's not like it's compulsory... it will work for some and won't work for others. If someone thinks it will work (while being considerate to neighbours) it's worth a go. If the situation is such that it won't work (and would annoy the neighbours) it's probably best not to. The volume levels which are being contemplated are an order of magnitude lower than the local oik pumping techno out of his window at 140db so even that kind of comparison is a strain at best... However, if your neighbours bang on the wall or call the environmental health out at activities of a genuinely modest volume then hosting one is proably not for you! Horses for courses, YMMV and all that stuff.

If it works you you, if it is hosted with consideration to others etc etc etc it's still a really fun way to experience music.

Edited by TrevorR

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[quote name='TrevorR' timestamp='1443717034' post='2877148']
However, if your neighbours bang on the wall or call the environmental health out at activities of a genuinely modest volume then hosting one is proably not for you! Horses for courses, YMMV and all that stuff.
[/quote]

Of course, of course....I'm not going to labour my point.

:)

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