articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
Not to dissuade anyone from joining our esteemed list of house concert presenters, but I’d like to offer some advice about controlling your information.
It is now easier than ever to get people’s information from the internet. Personal stuff. With just your phone number, I can spend $40 and find out all sorts of stuff about you. Try googling your phone number or your email address and see what kinds of combinations that come up, and notice the “sponsored links” that offer tracking services and credit reports.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest a few things to keep presenters (or anyone) in control of their communications with the outside world. Create a new, PRIVATE email that you will never associate with your phone number, address, or any other private information. Most providers allow up to 5 accounts, and if you own a domain the possibilities are endless. Also, if you use outlook or Apple mail, it’s easy to receive an email from your private address, and then to reply with your public one.
This private email address is the one you should use when you allow strangers (artists, new audience members, etc.) to contact you. That should be the only contact info on your website, and on your listing at CIYH. This could also give you an edge in “sniffing out” potential trouble-makers if you host a concert series.Keep some anonymity until you’ve had a chance to gather a bit of information.
Here are some tips for new hosts as they join our site:
Naming your series… don’t use your street name, neighborhood name, or last name. Email… probably shouldn’t use your work email either. Open up a free yahoo, gmail, or msn account if you need to. Phone… I recommend not. Even if your number is “unlisted”, if it shows up on one website, it’s getable, and so is your address.
This is not to alarm anyone, I just thing it’s time we realize how public we can be without even realizing it. For your website and ours, stick to the basics, and make people share a bit about themselves before you put out too much info.
http://concertsinyourhome.com - the most complete house concert resource on the web… that also respects and encourages your privacy!
When we think of concert tours, we’re likely to imagine diesel-guzzling buses, truss-filled semi-trailers, and jet-setting artists. Or we might imagine a rock-and-roll band playing under the hot lights at a smoky clubs full of inebriated college students. It’s certainly less dramatic to think of a singer-songwriter touring the country in a small car with his acoustic guitar, CDs, and a suitcase.
It might interest “green-leaning” readers to know that you can witness a powerful music performance that leaves a pretty small carbon-footprint compared to what we’ve come to expect from musical acts - and it might happen in your living room! Consider the growing “house concert” movement.
In at least 48 states and provinces, music fans are regularly opening their homes for private concerts. Through their own connections or by using sites like http://concertsinyourhome.com, they can find touring or local artists who enjoy performing for intimate crowds. This non-traditional setting allows small or acoustic acts to make some money, get free lodging, and often make a much stronger connection with the listeners than they could at a typical club or coffeehouse show.
House concerts are not just a very cool trend that is keeping touring songwriters alive, but a wonderful environmental trend as well. Consider these factors…
Reduced auto emissions:
1. artists travel light (very little equipment needed), allowing them to use smaller vehicles than they would for conventional tours.
2. house concert audiences are predominantly people from nearby areas - often times neighbors just crossing the street on foot.
3. artists often receive meals and lodging, which eliminates several additional car trips and commuting miles.
4. artists can often schedule several shows in one area (usually unwise when touring clubs), which allows them to travel less per earned dollar.
Reduced electrical use:
1. most house concerts require very little extra lighting.
2. most house concerts require very little amplification of sound.
1. most homeowners discourage smoking or excessive drinking at these events.
2. volume levels are much quieter than club shows which is great for everyoneâ€™s hearing health.
These events vary greatly, and not every factor listed would apply to all house concerts. But it would be hard to argue that these small, localized events are less sustainable than the mega-tours we see every summer.
For more information about house concerts, visit http://concertsinyourhome.com
For Immediate Release: June 12, 2007
concertsinyourhome.com reaches a few milestones in May
Concertsinyourhome.com is a one-year old website run by Lawrence, KS resident Fran Snyder. The site promotes house concerts, a growing trend in live music where artists perform concerts in the living rooms of music fans. Using the website, these house concert “hosts” can find artists and small groups who enjoy the format, and artists can seek out prospective hosts to schedule dates in areas they intend to tour. Nearly 10,000 people visit the site each month.
In it’s first year, CIYH has signed up more than 200 house concert hosts in 48 states and provinces. (And two more in the U.K.) These free profiles allow hosts to promote their shows, and make their information available to artists, including how often they schedule concerts, what genres of music they like, and the typical crowd size.
The site now also features more than 300 artists from around the country who use the site to promote their act and to create house concert opportunities. The site’s “Artist Resources” page features articles and interviews to help artists do things like booking shows, and educating their fans about house concerts. The site is free for artists to use, and the optional artist profiles cost $25 per year.
House concerts have existed in their present form for decades. Generally, a host will schedule a concert and invite 25-50 friends, neighbors, and co-workers to attend. The set up for the show is usually simple: move a little furniture around, bring in some extra chairs, and create a little space for the performer. Hosts can also elect to serve light snacks or have a pot-luck dinner before the show. Guests usually donate $10-15 per person, all of which goes to the performer. Traditionally, the host also offer a meal and a guest room for the night to the artist.
Hosts make no money from these events, but rarely spend more than a modest amount to create a unique concert experience for their friends. Artists can do quite well with these events, which can sometime allow them to break into new markets before they’ve established enough fans to fill a club venue.
House concerts have been featured in television, print, and radio.
Contact: Fran Snyder
Fran Snyder is a touring singer-songwriter based in Lawrence, KS.