articles and tips from Fran Snyder and concertsinyourhome.com
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Message from Fran:
After a year of talking about it, I finally finished our “house concert invitation” video - a tool that can help anyone raise interest in attending their house concerts.
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’ve had a thousand “look-sees” in just one week. I’m happy to see our hosts link to the video in their invitations and flyers, and and to see artists blogging about it to share the concept with their fans. I look forward to the first report that yes, “someone we’ve been trying to get to attend finally did because of the video.” Who will it be?
KERRVILLE/Carpool - I’ll be attending the first weekend of Kerrville this year for the New Folk Competition. I’m driving from Lawrence, KS and possibly stopping in Dallas on the way down and back. It’s mostly I-35, so email me if you live along the way and need a ride.
Major CIYH improvements:
This is the kind of email you get from putting your events on the house concerts calendar.
To: Duncan House Concerts
The person below is inquiring about your show with: Kenny Edwards
Full Name: Jaime C.
Guest Zip: 90230
Join Host List: Yes
Note from inquiry: Hi,
My wife Nora and I are passionate music fans. Â I’m actually a keyboard/vocalist myself who used to perform in bands and solo, but now just jam for fun. Â We live in Culver City and try to patronize the local music scene, from Boulevard Music (Culver City) to McCabes (Santa Monica) to Kulak’s Woodshed (In the valley) and even Jazz at the A-Frame (Hollywood Hills). We would love to be put on your calendar list for upcoming events!
We get one or two inquiries each day that look something like the example above. The state calendars are a great way to expand your circle of friends and a nice source of potential new invitees. Your private information is protected, so you have the luxury of choosing if you’d like to reach out to those who show interest. Just log in as HOST and list your shows!
New CIYH Hosts: (artist members can search “member since 2009-04″ using the advanced search. )
New House Concert Presenters inÂ NB, ON, AK, AL, CA, IA, IL, ME, MS, NJ, NY, OH, OR, TN, TX, VA, WA, and our first host in Wyoming!
New CIYH Artists: (A big thank you for your support.)
Look for these new artists here!
All My Pretty Ones, Aly Tadros, Amanda Pearcy, Amanda West, Arvel Bird, Ben Mallott, Clockwork, Dan Janisch, Elizabeth Jonasson, Henhouse Prowlers, James Talley, John Albert Thomas, Kira Small, LaMay & Reese, Lilli Lewis, Lisa Lynne, MaMuse, Matthew Francis Andersen, Michael Pickett, Mike Vial, Miss Quincy, Muza, Neal Fox, Open Range, Peter Janson, Richard Berman, Rick Hill, Rob Lutes, Smile Pretty Misery, Stormin’ Norman & Suzy, Teresa Storch, Susan Gibson, The Don’t Tell Darlings, The Lime Hollow Boys, the Mickeys, The Victor Mourning, Vlada Tomova’s Balkan Tales, Yahaloma
Renewed Artists: (A HUGE thank you for your continued support!)
Adam Payne, Jeanne T. Arrigo, Julie Sutton, Tom Smith, Michael Gulezian, Kim Angelis, James Casto
Schwag Star of the Month:
Dave Arsenault with sisters-in-law at the Bill and Kate Isles concert.
Tip for Artists and Hosts:
In the CD Player:
Please share this information with people you like. — fran
Reporters are increasingly contacting CIYH artists and hosts through our site for interviews regarding house concerts. Will you be ready if they contact you?
The press seems to like the topic of house concerts (especially if there’s an angle) but historically it hasn’t always been a great fit. Some articles have resulted in local “official types” making inquiries about zoning issues, and actually caused a few exasperated hosts to stop hosting their events.
Every host has their own circumstances, and some appreciate (or feel they need) some press to have successful events. Some hosts don’t really care about coverage, but they realize that it can be helpful to their performers, and so they oblige. As long as press continues to happen (and it will), we may as well be smart about it.
I’ve done a good bit of press over the past 3 years, and here’s a quick summary of what I’ve learned.
So what to do?
Just like (oxymoron alert!) a good politician,Â you need to have some talking points. Politicians live off TV and press interviews, and there’s a very good reason they stick to a narrow message and repeat it endlessly.
Reporters tend to look for facts that fit some sort of narrative or point of view. Scan your favorite news source and look for the phrase “on the other hand” - chances are, you won’t find it. For the general public, balanced writing is dull. Give me a point of view so I can love you or hate you. Otherwise, I won’t care. On cable television news, this trend is particularly ridiculous.
Example:Â I recently did an interview with a reporter who had an interest in house concerts. About half-way through the article she starts talking about how quickly you could pull one of these together… like maybe 3 days. 3 DAYS?
Turns our her headline/angle was “Fun events you can put together in 3 days.” She asks me to confirm that house concerts fit the bill, and to recommend how to find performers that quickly. So I start to back track… “Well, chances are you won’t find great talent in that amount of time, or be able to get a significant number to attend, and so on…” I try to make it clear that someone who tries this will most likely end up with a “party with music” and not a “house concert.” No matter, her mind is made up, she only wants the facts that fit her story.
While doing interviews about house concerts, constantly ask yourself, “How can I keep this positive, and be so clear that I can’t possibly be misunderstood?”
House concerts are increasingly vital to performers who no longer want to play to half-empty rooms of distracted people. Let’s nurture this beautiful thing, O.K.? - Fran
P.S. - I’d love to see your comments if you have something to add from your experience with the press.
Monica from Tripping Lily shows how to properly accessorize a CIYH shirt while recording their latest record.