Acoustic House Concerts are an incredibly fun way to experience original music in a familiar and welcoming environment.
In order for a concert to be successful here are some helpful guidelines and tips for potential hosts:
1. You need to have a space, indoors or outdoors where 10-25 people can comfortably sit (or stand, but sitting is preferential) with a direct line of site to the performers.
1A. Why? Because a house concert is a unique opportunity to create a “listening room” in your home/business/recreation space. These shows are intimate and often involve a level of storytelling and sharing that is not possible in a traditional venue. The audience should be comfortable, and able to be listen attentively and quietly for 40-60 minutes. Nothing else should be going on at the time.
2. The performance space need not be any larger than 5’ x 4’.
Here are some places we have played:
As you can see from the above sometimes we use amplification (microphones etc.) and sometimes we don’t. Both will work, it just depends on the space.
3. It is also important that you have space for WPC to set up our Merchandise (CD’s, records, T-shirts etc.)
We put our merch on two metal racks and it looks like this:
1. Typically Acoustic House Concerts are an opportunity for the host to invite their friends and family over for a unique experience. The band does not normally invite anyone, and especially not without the express permission of the host!
2. The audience should be 10-25 people who can sit relatively still and quietly for the duration of the show. If you know 10-25 people who you think would love to come over and enjoy such a show, then right on!!
2A. What about kids? Good question! We’ve had some great experiences with young people at these shows. Generally speaking, and if you’ve hung out with kids you know this to be true, kids are not good at sitting still and listening quietly. Which we totally get. But we like to think that we put on a pretty good show, so we’ve had some great success especially with kids who are around 10 years or older. But generally speaking young kids and babies are not ideal for an Acoustic House Concert. That being said, we are willing to be flexible. One show we played was outdoors and the kids were able to leave the porch where we were set up and run downstairs to the hosts’ huge backyard. We couldn’t hear the kiddos playing at all if they decided to leave during our performance and go play with their friends. This allowed a lot of parents to come and have a nice break during their Sunday and experience some music that they would not have had the time to see otherwise.
3. We recommend making an online invitation 3-4 weeks ahead of the show and confirming with guests closer to the date of the performance. Phone calls, texts or other messages closer to the date are always a good idea. People like to stay home and watch TV, but live music is something truly special and sometimes people need a little nudge.
Here is what an invitation might look like:
We do recommend being specific about food and drinks. Any way you want to work it is fine. Unless you insist that no one drinks any water for three hours. That’s just weird. You should also include any important information about parking for your guests.
The Show and The Money:
Here is a basic outline for the day of the show:
1. Two hours before show time: WPC arrives and sets up.
2. One hour before show time: this is when you as the host expect guests to show up. WPC is there to also meet and greet people.
3. It is totally up to you if you want to have food/beverages, you can provide food/beverages, have it potluck/BYO, or avoid people eating in your home. Whatever works for you, the host. If you do not wish to have alcohol at the show it is probably best to make that clear in your invitation.
4. Show time: As the host you will want to announce that the show is about to start and show or remind people where they can sit or stand. As the host you should also say something like: “The Concert is about to begin so let’s make our way inside or to the living room, barn, patio, etc.”
5. We have played shows with other performers as well, and that is definitely a possibility if you have a friend who would also like to perform, it will just extend the length of your gathering.
6. The Show: WPC will officially start the show and give you the best performance possible.
Here is an example of our acoustic sound:
7. Right After The Show: As the host, the most effective way to help us monetarily, aside from agreeing to host, is to stand up in front of us, and address your guests. You want to thank everyone for coming, tell people where the donation jar (or hat, or bowl, or basket) is located and remind everyone that this is a Donation Based Concert and to please make a donation. You can also let your guests know that we accept Venmo, Paypal and Cards if they prefer to donate that way. At this point in time it is probably also in your best interest to tell people that they are welcome to hang out for a bit, talk to the band, check out the merchandise, and have a final drink BUT that you’d like to have everything wrapped up by a certain time. Maybe repeat that time. We can help you write up a script if that is helpful!
8. After the guests leave: WPC will pack up and get out of your hair so you can get on with your busy life! It takes us about 30 minutes to pack everything up and get it into our van.
Here is what a timeline might look like:
Sunday Afternoon Show:
2pm: WPC Arrives, we look at the space you have in mind, and we start setting up. You might be setting up food, drinks, chairs etc.
3pm: Guests arrive
4pm: Music Starts
5pm: WPC is selling merch and talking to guests. You are talking to guests and hanging out.
6pm: Guests are gone, WPC has begun packing up.
6:30 or 7pm at the latest, WPC is all packed up, on their way.