Living Rooms were Made for Music!
Bring Music Home!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to bring this cherished Celtic tradition to your own home.
How Many People To Invite?
Invite as many as possible and accept as many as your room will hold comfortably. With the help of folding chairs many houses can accommodate between 25 and 50 people. Depending on the size of the room you’ll be using for your performance, you may want to limit the number of attendees to the number of seats you will have available.
When everyone has arrived and is comfortable, your house concert begins. The music is usually completely acoustic and unplugged – and therefore beautiful and engaging. Depending on the space, once you start getting bigger than about 35-40 people, we might need to have a small sound system, which we will provide. This also means that the room must be arranged so your guests can enjoy the concert space as you would a small theatre, with full attention and few distractions
Danny usually plays two sets, with a short break in the middle. But shorter or longer sets are easily accommodated, as well. During the intermission and after the show everyone gets to enjoy the musical company of friends and strangers as well as time with the host and artists.
• Create a clear space for the stage and for the audience. Even though it’s an informal setting, if you can give Danny the most visible spot with the best lighting and acoustics, it will make for a better show. The performance can have traditional boundaries between stage and audience, even if those boundaries disappear after the show or between sets.
• Ask for people to turn off cell phones. Minimize any extraneous room noise. Don’t have the stage near the kitchen, if the dishwasher’s going, the refrigerator’s buzzing or water’s running at the sink.
• Also, and very importantly, hosts need to have another table or suitable space available where I can lay out my CD’s and any other merchandise for sale. Please let your guests know that I will be selling my CD’s at your show as many first-timers often won’t know to bring a few extra bucks for this and might be disappointed.
• Be sensitive to those who are allergic
• Be clear about your house rules on smoking / not smoking
• Many places offer overnight accommodations to the performer as part of the deal. Other places have audience members that offer accommodations in exchange for free admission.
There’s usually a mingling period before Danny plays, for about a half hour to an hour, allowing for guests to arrive, socialize, and maybe enjoy drinks and appetizers. Some parties are BYOB, for others the hosts provide – it’s all up to you. Potlucks are also popular options.
Whenever there seems to be a majority of the people in attendance, or whenever “start time” rolls around, the concert commences.
How to Get People to Attend
Enthusiastic word of mouth is by far the most effective way to get folks to come to a house concert you are hosting. Share some CDs around among your friends, and urge them to check out Danny’s website. If you’re excited about the house concert — then spread that excitement among your friends. It’s my job to win your guests over — but it’s just your job to make them curious enough to give the music a try. Social media is another great resource for your invitations.
One note — it’s important to make sure, in the promotional process, that your guests understand that this will be a house concert — and not just a house party that has some music going on in the background. This will make for a better concert for everyone.
In general, house concerts work best when audience numbers are within the range of 20-50 people and each guest pays in the range of $20-$25.
Most people have the guests bring a dish to pass for the evening, and they should be made aware of this as part of the invitation. The host usually provides the soft drinks, beer and wine, but again, this is optional. Sometimes the hosts keep $5 from each admission to cover the cost of drinks.
Talking money can be awkward, so we’ve found that it’s best to just be as upfront and clear as possible from the start. Be clear in your invitation about the costs. A money basket at the door is a good idea.
Here’s what’s wonderful and unique about house concerts — there’s no bright lights or raised stages to divide the artist and the audience. We are all sitting together in a room sharing and listening and connecting. There are many songs Danny will only play in this sort of setting. And many stories and song explanations he only shares in this intimate sort of setting, too.
And just in general, there’s something very real and tangible and human about the whole set up that can be very moving and touching and inspiring and invigorating. And that goes for the performer as much as for any listener. Probably more so.
A house concert is a fantastic way to strengthen family, friend and community ties through music. When embraced in the spirit of supporting touring independent artists and original music such events make for an extraordinary and unforgettable evening.