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Tom and Tom are not available for house concerts at the moment - but this might be useful to someone!

HOUSE CONCERTS

These are a recent import from the States, and a great way to see acts you like without having to wait for them to come to your area - when they might be playing somewhere you might not want to go.

They're really a cross between a party and a gig - and very easy to arrrange. Read more HERE

STEP ONE

Check that you have a room big enough. How big will depend on how many people you want to have, how much you think you can charge, and how much we ask for!

15 at 8 a head may be suficient for a solo gig (TB has done this when travel and other issues permitted - in a 'typical' smaller suburban semi). 20 at 5 might even work, though 20 at 8 would be better.

This money must be donated straight to the artists on the night to avoid the need for public entertainment and PRS licences (though you can collect in advance if you want to be sure they'll turn up).

So can you make room for 15+ chairs (and/or cushions if the audience is young enough), and a bit of space for the performer/s? If not, maybe you could think about an open air event (in summer only - and even then some cover would be wise!) or involving a friend who has a bigger house.

We don't use PA etc for house concerts, unless the room is really big (60+) or we're in a marquee.

You might think about providing an evening meal (after the show - maybe as part of the party) for the artists and acommodation (separate rooms for the duo please), as HCs don't usually generate enough revenue for BnBs. This might affect donations/prices if you plan to recoup your costs.

Your visitors will want a drink. You can either arrange a donation-only bar, or have people bring a bottle.

Parking may be an issue - make sure you have room for those not arriving on foot (neighbours are a great place to start) or a car park close by. We'll need to park at the house to bring in instruments etc.

STEP TWO

Contact us to book the act you'd like to invite - Tom Bliss or The Toms (The Pipers Sons are a little too numerous for house concerts). We'll advise on how to proceed and hold your hand throughout!

STEP THREE

Invite the audience, but only invite the right number. Ask people you invite to think of others who might enjoy the show, but make the contact yourself it you can. You don't want people turning up and being dissappointed, and you don't want any empty seats. Ask people to let you know if they do have to cancel, so you can find replacements. This is not like a party where you expect a few no-shows. You want a full house but no more.

Make sure everyone knows how much the donation will be, where you are, when to come (30 mins before the start), where to park, and what to bring (drinks, food, folding chairs etc).

STEP FOUR

Enjoy the show! (You can include floor spots or supports if you like - we're relaxed about how long we play for - but we think two 45/50 minute spots, with a nice long break to chat is a good start). A bit of a party/session is nice afterwards. To what extent we join in will depend on how tired we are, how far we need to drive etc.

 

WHAT NOT TO DO

Don't advertise. You need to know who's coming, and trust them to turn out - i.e. just family and friends and friends of friends and family. Advertising may put you foul of licensing laws too, so it's best avoided unless and until you become more of a club than a party and can deal with issues such as a PRS licence.

In due course, if you enjoy the experience (and you will, you will!) you may decide to put on regular concerts and invite other atrists (most folkies are up for this kind of an evening). If all goes well and you have space to expand, the news will spread by word of mouth - plus you can build up a mailing list if you want to make it a regular event.

Don't try to include a full meal unless you're really sure you have the capacity to feed everyone quickly - otherwise the food can wind up dominating the evening. A gig with drinks and snacks is the best approach.

Don't serve strong liquer - at least not till after the show. We prefer to play to a (relatively) sober audience! If you want to have a party afterwards that's fine, but bear in mind that we may be on tour so may not join in for long - plus we'll have 'given our all' at the gig and will probably just want a couple of glasses, a nibble and then a nice soft pillow (somewhere away from the noise)!

Don't worry! House concerts are fun, and a great way to introduce your favourite artists to your favourite friends. We'll all have a ball!

 

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