The Musician's Guide To House Concerts

Oasis Disk Manufacturing have just published a short guide to house concerts.  Its not geared specifically at traditional concerts but has some very practical advise.  The concept of a house concert is more popular in the US than in Ireland and many Irish artists are taking advantage of the opportunities it provides to grow their fan base.  As the guide says its not for the shy or the smelly because you will be playing, chatting and interacting with the hosts.  House Concerts also allow you to play in markets where you don't have a significant fan base and its not up to you to bring the crowd.
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In a recent interview Edel Fox shed some light on the reality of house concerts. She said earlier this year "This is my eighth summer going to America on tour and I have done a lot of house concerts over the years.  I think because music is not so freely and readily available in the US it makes people more appreciative and willing to travel to a gig.  I mean I would go to a house concert if someone organised it.  It’s a lovely enjoyable thing where people bring some food and drink and you all sit around and listen to a performance in a lovely intimate setting.  I think that it would work really well.  At some of them you could have 60-70 people, and in other houses we have done performances for 20-30 people.  These have been some of our best nights to be honest because you almost get to know the entire audience over the course of the evening.”

This guide has some practical tips such as including a section on your website that showcases what you do.  You should invite 20 friends to your home and do a concert and at the same time get your friends to shoot some video on their iPhones.  You can then use this as promotional material.  This is practical and inexpensive.  Take and share photos on Tradconnect, Facebook, Twitter etc.  Include a box on your mailing lists.  Have a 4" x 6" glossy card printed and bring it to your gigs for fans to pick up when they buy your CD's. Make people aware of your touring schedule.  The best advice is to host concerts in your own home if you are an artist.  Invite some of your fans and friends to it for free.  The Irish are well known for their parties with a singsong at the end.  This just makes it a bit more organised.  Word spreads and people may take up the idea.  Its also good to give away or give back something for free. 
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The guide is written by Fran Snyder of concertsinyourhome.com and can be downloaded at www.oasiscd.com

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Comment by Tom Morley on March 20, 2014 at 15:54

The good folks at Oasis have put together a number of guides to help independent musicians and this timely new guide to house concerts is a great addition. My duo Banna de dhá did a house concert recently that was very successful, and I can concur with all the things Edel Fox says about doing them in your article. Our house concert generated new fans and enough money to make it the key gig in a tour, allowing us to perform on a Celtic festival and other venues where the pay was low. I highly recommend doing a house concert if you (or your band) has not tried it yet!

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