House concerts create a wonderful opportunity for music fans to experience Amy’s live show in an intimate setting. For less than you’d pay for a night at the movies, you and your friends can organize a personal concert you’ll remember for a long time to come!
If you are new to hosting, please scroll down to learn more about what’s involved when hosting a house concert. If you are interested in booking Amy as a solo, duo or band for a house concert or party, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Team Amy
1. Could you describe a typical house concert?
A host opens their home to 30 – 40 people. The room is buzzing with people socializing, possibly enjoying a potluck dinner together or wine and cheese and then settling in for private concert with a singer/songwriter who interacts with the audience, takes them on a musical journey, makes them laugh and feel a part of something unique and special. Sounds like a good time? It is!
2. How many guests should attend?
For an intimate and unplugged living room show, 30-40 people is a good number to shoot for. There’s also the option of doing an outdoor show during the warmer months and inviting more guests. Most house concerts are hosted in private homes; however, you can also host a community hall, church or office space.
3. How much space do I need to have to host an indoor house concert?
You want to fit at least 30 people into your space comfortably, and to make sure that there’s adequate seating for everybody. Friends can generally help by bringing their own chairs if asked. This is something you will want to include in your invitations and announcements. You can set the night up so that seating overflows into an adjoining room as well. You just want to make sure that guests will be able to see Amy, because that’s a lot of the fun!
4. Do we need to use a sound system?
Amy prefers to use a sound system for these shows partly because she feels it improves the experience of the guests and also because she has to work to preserve her voice. If you are in the New England area, there’s a good chance that we can provide sound. If you are outside of driving range, we will need you take care of the sound system. They are easy and inexpensive to rent. Amy doesn’t need anything fancy and has her own microphone. We can easily walk you through that process if needed.
5. How do we handle compensating Amy for the show?
House concerts provide a special opportunity for Amy to connect with people who enjoy her music. That’s why she loves them. They also play an essential role in helping her to make a living playing music. The life of a full-time musician requires a lot of hard work and travel. The costs are often higher than the income when you are on the road, so it’s necessary that all show she does are paying shows.
How it typically works is the host requests that each guest contributes a suggested donation at the door. The suggested amount varies, but typically we suggest $10-15 per guest. The total at the end of the night is ideally a minimum of $400-$500 from the door for each show. It’s important that the host make it clear in any invitations and announcements that there will be this expectation of a suggested donation.
We encourage the host to embrace the role of leading the trumpet call to support the arts in your community in this small and direct way. You can encourage your guests’ generosity as a form of activism. Your guests will appreciate their role in the evening that much more.
We recommend that you have a basket or a jar at the entrance that has a clear sign that says “Suggested Donation for Amy: $15 (or more”). It is also ideal for the host to hold it up at the introduction, then point out where they will put it so that anyone that ‘missed’ it upon entrance will know where to find it at intermission.
If you would prefer not to ask your guests to give a donation and would rather cover the cost of hosting yourself, that’s fine too. We’ve done shows that way as well. Just let us know when you contact us.
6. Should the house concert be public or private?
We suggest making the event public, but it is up to you.
If you are comfortable with making the house concert public knowledge, we will include it on the list of show on amyblack.com, the email newsletter and on Facebook. In these cases, we can provide an email address for people to contact you if they are interested in attending and not provide the actual address. Let us know your preference when you contact us.
Some hosts prefer to only have friends from their network attend and do not want the concert to be public. In that case, we will put the date on our website to show that it’s taken, but call it a “Private Event.” In these cases, as you will be the only one promoting the show and I won’t be able to get other fans out to support it, we suggest agreeing to a guarantee for the night — which means you commit to paying a minimum of say $250 at the end of the evening.
7. How do I promote the show?
If the show is public, we will include it on our website, in emails and social media. But even so, you will have far more success in getting folks out to show like this by inviting your own network of friends and family to attend.
We suggest you send an email invite out to your friends and post the show as an event on Facebook as well. We can provide you with a few videos to link to as well as a song that your potential guests can download. We are happy to put together a great email that you can customize and send. Just let us know!
The host’s enthusiasm for Amy’s music is the single biggest factor in generating excitement for the evening, and getting folks out for the concert. So if you like me and my music a lot, make sure to let them know! : )
8. Who tracks the RSVPs and communicates details to attendees?
It’s best that RSVP’s go to the host. If that’s a challenge for you, please let us know.
It’s then the host’s responsibility to forward all the appropriate details and directions to the interested party. In this way, the host is in control of who is invited into their home.
9. What is the atmosphere of a house concert?
A house concert is really just that — a concert. It’s a chance for you and your guests to connect with the music, hear the words and have a great experience. Amy loves a good party, but with a house concert, the goal is to create a listening room environment. It’s important that this is clear to your guests and that they know that conversations should be taken outside during the concert portion of the evening.
That said, these concerts can serve as wonderful social functions, and many house concert hosts choose to invite their guests to arrive early for wine and dessert and some good mingling . . . and often, hosts choose to make the event a potluck, creating even more of a sense of community from the concert. It’s just that the social element is done within the expectation that when the concert portion of the evening begins, that people will settle down and listen. They’ll be happy they did.
10. What’s an ideal schedule for a house concert?
In your invites, you can set a “doors open’ time. Say, 6:30 doors open. 7-8 mingle, potluck, 8-10 concert, with a break for coffee and dessert.
The Host can flick the lights or ding a bell or something like this at about 7:45, signaling the guests it’s time to settle into their seats for the concert.
And usually, the host provides a brief welcome/introduction, welcoming their guests, pointing out bathrooms and exits (for those that aren’t familiar with the space), asking the guests to silence or turn off all cell phones, explaining that Amy will perform 2 sets with an intermission for mingling, CD sales (20 minutes at most usually works) and maybe providing a brief intro to Amy herself.
11. What’s the best reason to have a house concert?
It’s a BLAST. In our experience, guests have such a great time and walk away with big smiles on their faces. It’s a unique opportunity that they don’t get often, and you are making it happen by hosting.
*Thanks for Amy Speace and Concerts In Your Home for providing some great explanations on house concert worth borrowing!