What is better than playing for hundreds of people in a decent-sized bar or club?
It’s playing for 20 to 30 people in the living room.
Nothing beats an intimate and heartwarming live show where you can see the people appreciate your talent as a singer.
Where can you play a live show for a small number of people?
The answer is at house concerts.
Well, if you haven’t heard of house concerts, I will tell you all about in this article.
I will not just tell you about how fantastic house concerts are.
I will also give you some tips on how to book your very own house concerts.
There is nothing like playing in front of huge crowds, but playing at a small, intimate, and familiar venue is something you should experience.
You can see the people move to the rhythm and sing along while you are playing.
Playing house concerts is such a change of pace to what kind of shows you are used to playing.
It is less stressful playing for a small crowd where there is a better chance of connecting with them after the set.
Maybe you might also have the opportunity to sell merch after the show.
Plus, playing for a tiny crowd is less scary than playing for hundreds, or even thousands at music festivals.
Anyways, first thing’s first, let’s answer the question.
What Are House Concerts?
House concerts are what the name suggests.
It is playing a live show at a house.
Instead of playing on stage, you get to play in the living room in front of a small cluster of people.
It can either be someone’s birthday or any type of event that is held at a household.
Playing in front of a group of people who all know each other is a good combination for an engaging show.
House concerts may not sound exciting at first, but once you had a chance to get booked for one, you will probably enjoy it.
I mean, I know you will enjoy it.
Booking a house concert is not easy because most people have not tried hiring a musician for a private home event, and they become hesitant to the idea.
However, since it is a growing industry, within the music industry, I’m sure you will book a house concert sooner or later.
If you have established a social media presence or a fan base around your area, you have a higher chance of getting to play at a house concert.
How To Book House Concerts?
Trying to book my first house gig was not easy.
I had no luck finding clients that would hire me.
It is probably because people were not yet open to the idea back then.
After a few months, I had given another crack at it and tried different approaches, and fortunately, landed my first few house concerts.
I prepared a couple of songs that are mostly covered.
Remember that you are doing the crowd a service, and you can ask them for requests beforehand so you can prepare.
You can also throw in a little of your original compositions and test it in front of a crowd.
It is a way to see how the crowd reacts to some of your original songs, but of course, you have to get their attention by playing songs that you know they know.
Here are some tips and methods on how to book house concerts:
These methods worked for me, and I hope they work for you too.
Tip #1: Let People Know that you Do House Concerts
First of all, let people know that you do house concerts.
You can post about it on your website and social media handles and inform people about this service.
Some people might become interested and hit you up.
Just make sure that you have sample music and sample video clips of you performing.
Having enough shareable content on your page can make an impact on getting more followers.
Some people might not know what house concerts are, so you can educate them and let them know through the internet or live shows.
If you have subscribers for your email-blasts, you can announce it there as well.
If the term “house concert” is too vague, you can change the term to something like an intimate concert or listening party.
You can also do a free house concert for your friends and take pictures for advertising purposes.
Photos and videos on your website’s landing page can help a lot to let your followers know what you are up to.
If you have a website, you can write a blog about your experience and tell your followers what a house concert is about in full detail.
You can also include how much it costs to hire you and what the package consists of.
It is better if you include everything in the package, including a sound system for vocals and acoustic instruments.
How Much Should I Charge For a House Concert?
The price you should charge it is really up to you.
However, if you are just starting, make sure you don’t charge too much.
If you want to get hired and capture some video footage for marketing purposes, try going for the most reasonable price.
Artists with experience and popularity may charge more, but for starters, you can probably charge $100 to $150 for your first couple of house shows.
I would not suggest that you go lower than $100.
The price of your services will reflect on your image, so make sure you set the bar to a reasonable height at first.
Tip #2: Explain the Concept of House Concerts
In your email blasts, make sure you describe the concept of house concerts to your subscribers.
You can use photos and videos of your previous performances.
If you have played a house concert previously, you can also ask past clients to post testimonials about their experience.
In the email, you can put up polls asking which city you should play next.
The key to sending this email is to be effective in promoting house concerts and get your subscribers all riled up.
Tell them how it’s a great way to take the party to the next level, and how it is fun for family and friends.
You can also add that hiring a DJ is cool and all, but if you want something new, hire a musician to play a live show.
You can also bring in your band if you have one, but make sure your clients and neighbors are okay with loud music.
Bringing a full band will also work depending on the time of day.
Some neighbors might not appreciate loud music, even if you play exceptionally well.
If you are not much of a writer, you can hire someone to write your email to make it more strategic and engaging.
Make sure you be creative in choosing words.
Let them know how house concerts are genuinely one of a kind.
An excellent approach would be telling them how you can help them instead of asking them to help you.
Tip #3: Sign Up with a Scout or Try Other Resources
Nowadays, you can sign up for websites that can help you find concert locations near you.
However, you will need to apply to sign up for one of these house concert websites.
In sites such as “Concerts in Your Home,” you can apply, and once you get approved, you will have access to a list of people trying to hire musicians for playing house concerts.
The only downside to these websites is the annual fee.
When applying for websites such as Concerts in Your Home and HouseConcerts, make sure you have a sample video of your performance so the people behind the site will consider approving your profile.
These websites might have access to a lot of potential clients, but there is no guarantee that you can land one even if your profile gets approved.
You will also compete against different artists to land a gig using the website’s service.
Paying a huge amount of money yearly is also an issue by using this method of booking house gigs.
However, if you get approved as an artist for this website, it means you have a better chance of filtering the artists.
You can build your portfolio and have the opportunity to pitch to thousands of people looking for people they can hire to play.
Tip #4: Book House Concerts at Your Shows
Another good way to promote house concerts is by telling people at your shows.
Whether you are playing at a club that night or on tour at a different city, tell the people details about how to hire you for house concerts.
This method is one of the best strategies to book house concerts.
It will most likely work, mainly if you just played a fantastic set.
If the set were memorable, people would want to hire you and watch you play with all their family members and friends at a more intimate venue like their homes.
Tip #5: Book House Concerts at House Concerts
Aside from trying to book house concerts at your shows, you can also try to book house concerts at house concerts.
Since people enjoyed the performance you just did, they might want to host one of their own house concerts at their home.
Once you have done one house concert, it can open up an opportunity for more along the way.
- What is the typical set up of playing at house concerts?
It is usually better to play with an acoustic band or unplugged sort of thing when playing at someone’s house, depending on the host’s preference.
I have performed solo for some house concerts, and I also tried playing with a band.
If you are in a group, you can probably use an electric drum kit to minimize the noise and get the chance to play with a band.
The only advantage of playing solo is that you can keep the whole paycheck all to yourself.
If you are used to playing with a band, make sure you ask the host if it is okay with it.
Playing with a full band can make the set livelier.
Before agreeing to play a house concert, make sure you sort out all the details beforehand.
- What songs can I play at house concerts?
Some people prepare covers of popular songs so that everyone will enjoy the show.
You can also throw in a couple of your originals from time to time, and you can always ask the host for song requests prior to the show.
If you are hired by an existing fan who loves your original songs, the majority of your set should be filled with your originals.
When playing at some of these shows, chances are you will gain new fans that would listen to your music and follow you on social media.
Playing house gigs is fun and engaging, and there are a lot of benefits to it.
You get paid, you can gain new fans, and you can probably make new friends as well.
You will love the change of pace by playing in a less stressful environment.
I hope you learned how to book a house concert, and I hope you book one soon.
There is nothing more fun than a chill night of playing the songs you love in front of a warm crowd.
I think it is better to play in front of fewer people that appreciate your music, rather than playing for more people who don’t even mind you while you’re on stage.
I really hope this house concert trend will become more popular, and more musicians and artists consider doing it, especially the big names in the industry.
I would be totally down to hire a talented musician to play in my living room.