“You should know that the folks who attended your concert at my house just LOVED IT. For weeks and months following the event, people came up to me and would say how great the concert was and how much they enjoyed it.
It was just a magical evening!” – Jake K. Palos Verdes, CA
Do you want to host a house concert?
I am currently planning a 2018 House Concert Tour!!
If you live in Canada or the United States and are interested in hosting a show, please
send me an email to introduce yourself!
What’s a house concert?
A house concert is when you invite your closest friends, family, coworkers & neighbours to watch me perform a 2 hour show in your cozy space. Minimum required guests are 30 people but more are warmly invited!! The show can be held in your living room, backyard, patio, garage, sunroom, church, barn etc. Almost any space will do!! As long as there is enough seating for all your guests, a small power outlet and lots of GOOD VIBES in the air.
NOT JUST A SHOW: My house concerts do not just include original and cover songs, but also many stories. On stage, I love to share the reasons and ideas behind particular songs, which makes for an extra immersive experience. For this reason, it’s important that everyone has a place to sit during the show. Whether that’s a mix-mash of chairs that you’ve found throughout the house, asked your guests to bring lawn chairs, or if you’ve rented chairs and a tent for the evening, having enough seating is a key component to a successful House Concert show.
GET YOUR MINGLE ON: Before, during and after the show, I will be mingling freely with your guests. Chatting, listening and exchanging life experience with audience members is one of my most favourite parts of the House Concert model! There aren’t many opportunities where an audience member gets to interact directly one-on-one with the artist performing. This is an important step of the House Concert process, to keep everyone comfortable, centered and feeling at home.
How much does it cost?
The cost of a House Concert depends on where you live, when you’d like to host a show, and how you’d like to show your support!! Each show is different and unique. There are two options to choose from that help me get paid as an independent artist by performing a house show:
A SHOW WHILE ON TOUR:
$200 deposit + $600 minimum guarantee at show (usually covered by guest donations collected by host)
$300 deposit + $600 at show (host pays in full, no donations required)
A SHOW FOR A SPECIAL EVENT: If you have a special event on a specific day that you’d like me to perform (Wedding, Birthday, Holiday / Work Parties, etc.) please get in touch. My performance fees vary in these situations depending on distance to travel / accommodations / visa / equipment requirements etc.
DEPOSIT INFO: The deposit acts as a booking fee to lock in your date for the show, and also helps with pre-concert expenses like gas/mileage and visas, for ME to get to YOU! Once we agree on a date for the show, I will be asking you to pay the deposit upfront and sign a contract. If you have to cancel the show, this deposit is fully refundable up until 4 weeks before my tour begins. Once the 4-week window has passed, the deposit will be forfeited, and I will *hopefully* find a replacement host!
If a deposit is not something you are comfortable with, but you are certain you can put on a smashing show with a ton of your friends, let’s work something out! I am open and flexible with my rates, since every situation is different.
In the end when it comes down to it, I do not work with a label and am completely fan-funded. I’ve learned that in order to have financial success at my shows, I have to put on my business hat and figure out what will work out the best for everyone involved. This means, I do have to rely on the generous donations of my show attendees and hosts to keep doing what I do. And this makes me the happiest, because I feel like it is a fair trade for everyone involved!
Also — The fact that you have graciously even considered hosting a show is HUGELY appreciated, because it means that you believe in supporting artists like me, who are working to build our own paths in music, one house concert at a time. So yeah… You’re pretty awesome for basically just existing in my world. ✌🏻
How do I ask for donations?
If you are opting for guest donations, it is going to be your responsibility as a host to communicate to your guests the importance of bringing a cash donation for the show. It will also be your responsibility to collect donations at the show. Touring and travel to perform is costly, so it is extremely appreciated when the host communicates openly to guests, and stresses the importance of bringing a donation in exchange for an intimate and powerful performance.
I know it sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be!
Think of it as an exchange for goods and services. You are providing a comfortable space and a collection of incredible people to join in this musical experience. After the show, your guests are able to contribute any amount they feel compelled to – and usually they are excited to contribute to the cause!
Mention a suggested donation on the invitation
Have a tip jar/container that is LABELLED, well lit and VISIBLE to everyone (at the food/drink table is a good spot)
During the ‘schmoozing’ hours of the evening, ask your guests one-on-one if they’ve made a donation
During your introduction & closing words, please mention where the donation jar is located
How much should I recommend for donations?
$20 per person cash donation is a good amount to recommend to your guests on your invitations. This, in theory, should cover the show guarantee mentioned above in the payment section ➡️ If you have 30 ppl @ $20 each = $600.
What does the agenda look like?
I will arrive anywhere between one day to two hours prior to show time. It will take me 2 hours to set up my ‘stage’ and merch table. When your guests start arriving, I will mingle around and introduce myself to everyone invited. Just before I begin my show, you’ll make an announcement for everyone to refill their drinks & food trays, and use the restroom before the show begins. 10 minutes after that, you’ll come back on the mic to introduce me / how we met / where you first heard my song, where the tip jar is, etc. and then I’ll take it from there! I will entertain your guests for approximately 2 hours, with my stories, songs and a few sprinkles of joy & laughter along the way. 🙂
After the concert you can make a closing announcement, thanking your guests for their attention, and encouraging them to visit my merchandise table and stick around for a while. I’ll visit with your guests some more, selling merchandise, and enjoying the rest of the evening, until I get tired and googly-eyed and need to get to bed!
Can I pay your fee in full, so I don’t have to ask for donations?
If you prefer NOT to ask your guests to bring a donation, you can choose to pay me upfront in full. This is something we can discuss as every situation is different, so just get in touch with me via email and let’s get some chit-chat going to plan your show!
How should I invite all my epic friends?!
Promoting the show will be just like promoting your own house party. You can send emails, call or text or even print out invitations and send them via snail mail! 🐌 I’ve found that events sent personally with a service like Evite or email works better than Facebook, as people often brush off Facebook events since they are so common… If you do plan on making a Facebook event, perhaps consider pairing it with another form of invitation to really get the word out! Also, sending multiple reminders and getting an RSVP before the show will be a significant factor to ensure full attendance!
Where will you stay?
Accommodations: I’d love to stay in your home if you have a guest room available! I will also need a place to park my 13′ camper (on the road beside the house is fine, or in your backyard or driveway). If no guest room is available, I can also sleep in Pearl, but would need access to your washroom & shower. If staying more than one night is OK, please let me know!! Often times I have multiple days in between shows, and it makes me happy to be able to spend a day or two sightseeing and exploring with my hosts.
**NOTE: Please be prepared as I may have a guest with me on your stretch of the tour – my sister, parent or boyfriend may be visiting me for one week increments. If space is an issue, please bring it up in an email!
Do you sell merchandise?
I have tons of really cool merchandise to bring to your shows: CDs, Vinyl, custom jewelry and USB sticks to name a few! Additionally, I have my own table set up so the only thing you’ll have to think about is WHERE I can place my table. I like it to be WELL LIT and visible to everyone coming in to the show, so perhaps at the entrance is a good spot.
Please also write about the merchandise on your invitations so that your guests are aware: “Jessica will also be selling CDs and merchandise after the concert should you wish to purchase a keepsake from the evening.”
Can I invite children or pets?
Bringing children to the show is not recommended, sadly! My shows tend to run more smoothly if there aren’t babies or toddlers running around, as it usually is a distraction for guests and hosts. If you are planning to invite friends or relatives who have small children, perhaps suggest it to be a date night where they get a babysitter and can enjoy themselves throughout the evening, rather than be preoccupied with their little ones. The same goes for pets unfortunately! While it’s ok to have your little fur balls frolicking around before and after the show, during my performance, please keep pets enclosed in a separate area/room so as not to be distracting to guests and hosts.
*** If you have small children of your own and are considering hosting a show, it is fully up to your discretion if you want to host! It IS your home after all!!! And you know your children better than I do. If your kids love music and you believe they will be well behaved during the show, by all means, let’s make it happen!
A suggestion I can recommend if you choose to go with this method, is to hire a babysitter for assistance throughout the evening. I’ve seen some hosts do this, and it takes a lot of distraction and stress off parents during the show, and generally works very well for hosts and all guests invited!
Lighting is really important if you’re hosting a show -especially outdoors. Mood lighting / twinkle lights help in every circumstance!! I even had several hosts light tikki torches near the stage which made for a really cool vibe!
Please try and have some lighting directly on or near me if the show will get into late hours. Get creative! Have some fun!! Also, please have extra lighting (like a table lamp) that can be placed near my merch table so that people will be able to see when purchasing keepsakes.
What if I have to cancel?
Sometimes life happens, and things get in the way. I totally get it! Although it’s a huge bummer not getting a chance to meet you and your awesome friends, it’s OK if you have to cancel. Just please try and give me as much notice as possible! If you are able to cancel the show 4 weeks prior to the start of my tour, your deposit will be refunded in full. If you cancel after the 4-week period has passed, your deposit will be forfeited. This helps on my end to make up a bit of the financial loss that comes from a cancelled show. I have to run my business as any other business would, and I really appreciate your understanding!
Annnnnd If you have ANY other questions, I am just an email away!!! I truly can’t wait to meet you and all your awesome fam/friends/neighbours and perform in your lovely home! 🙂