articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
Here it is. http://squidoo.com/houseconcertfastfacts
Wow. More than 100 responses in less than 24 hours. Very interesting results too.
Here’s a sample:
I knew that most house concerts happen on Saturdays… but more than half? Add in a healthy percentage of the two “varies” responses, and I would bet that Saturday accounts for more than 70% of house concert dates.
The sample is from April 8th, so things may change a bit since the survey will remain open for a while.
Have a look, and please participate if you are a host. I’ve also added more questions thanks to many suggestions from the hosts who participated early. You can go back and finish it now…
I received a lot of follow up questions that don’t easily fit into this format, like:
I’m working on a way to present these questions, but please use the comment section of the survey if you have questions or comments you’d like to share.
House concerts, thought they are largely private events, are subject to local codes and ordinances, no matter how archaic they might be. I’d say 99% or more of these events go off without a hitch, but occasionally, some neighbor raises a stink. Granted, this stuff can happen whether you are rebuilding an engine in your driveway, parking a boat in the backyard, or throwing a hell of a party while your parents are away. I digress (…just like I did in high school)
One of the primary purposes of this website is to encourage smart and safe practices for artists and hosts who fall in love with this way of entertaining.
So here’s the brief low-down on a recent case that finally wrapped up in Colorado.
By Kathy Raczkowski
â€œItâ€™s finally over,â€ said Greg Ching. â€œThe music is coming back to the house.â€
After a year and a half of battling the Boulder County Land Use Department over the allegedly illegal commercial use of his foothills home to host a series of house concerts, Ching achieved a measure of victory on March 13.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. that Thursday evening. the Boulder Board of County Commissioners voted 2-1 to amend the Land Use Code to permit house concerts and other commercial gatherings on private property within certain parameters.
An audible sigh of both relief and frustration filled the hearing room as Commissioner Ben Pearlman pronounced the amendment into law.
During the hearing, 15 citizens spoke their minds on the issue of whether or not home events, such as house concerts, should be regulated at all, and, if so, how. Each of them spoke favorably of Chingâ€™s efforts to bring quality, live music to his mountain neighbors, even the few who had come to fight for strong ordinances against live music concerts on rural land.
â€œWeâ€™re hearing that most cases are reasonable,â€ said Dave Wartburg, who lives on N. 63rd St. near IBM. â€œIn our case, itâ€™s not.â€
Wartburg said that he and his neighbors have endured massive, festival-type concerts for years on the property next door. He showed slides of the dozens and dozens of cars and buses parked on the property adjacent to his during such events.
Wartburg spoke of the excessive noise of the crowd and the amplified music that went on for hours, until 11 p.m. He said in years past, the festivities often lasted until 5 a.m.
He was hoping the commissioners would ban such events, or at least strongly restrict them.
The new amendment gives the sheriff a stronger tool to use when acting on a complaint against these neighbors, but violators will still only be assessed a small fine.
As for events like the Aspen Meadows House Concert Series that Ching hosts, which started the entire argument and precipitated the amendment regulating and permitting them, it seems they were never a real problem to begin with. Even the commissioners voiced their overwhelming support of them.
â€œWeâ€™re convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt of the value of House Concerts,â€ said Pearlman. â€œBut the worldâ€™s changing and I donâ€™t think the current Land Use Code properly addresses it.â€
As for Chingâ€™s opinion of the amendment set before the council, he said, â€œI think itâ€™s unnecessary, unenforceable and unconstitutional. Someone will challenge the ruling and take Boulder County to court.â€
Many others echoed his sentiments.
Paul Rennix called it â€œa waste of time, waste of money, and overall, an embarrassment for Boulder County.â€
â€œI wonder if Boulder County needs a time out?â€ said Ed Byrne, urging the board to â€œsimply announce your belief that itâ€™s already coveredâ€ and dismiss the amendment.
Commissioner Will Toor agreed with them, but he was outvoted, and the measure was passed with just a few revisions to the proposed draft:
Home Events, where there is an exchange of money for entertainment or product sales, will now be permitted under the LUC if: the gatherings consist of 26-99 people on the hostâ€™s private property; they occur between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. and for no more than six consecutive hours; they afford sufficient legal parking for all attendees; they comply with the Boulder County noise ordinance, and they occur no more than 12 times per year at any single residence.
Pearlman suggested that people get a neighbor to host a concert if they want to book more than 12 in a year. He then made an offer: â€œIf you canâ€™t find a neighbor, you can use my house every once in a while.â€
Photo by Kathy Raczkowski
Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor apologized to Greg Ching for the board having passed an amendment regulating house concerts, but Ching was just excited that the battle was finally over and he could resume his house concert series legally.
I’ve put together a short survey for us artists to chime in on the “current state” of artist pay.
If this interests you, please take a minute with the survey, and tell us (anonymously) how you’re doing in these different venues.
Also, please forward this to as many (professional, talented, original) artists as you can… so we can get an accurate picture of what it’s like out there.
Fran Snyder, President
Society for the Promotion of Getting Paid for your Art.