After our post on house concerts last week I decided to get more feedback from artists on the subject. Micheal Tiernan, a San Diego based musician provided me with a nice set of insights:
Micheal explains why he loves house concerts
- House concerts are so much better in many respects than the traditional club or theater, especially for the small to mid-size touring artist. Even bigger artists are adding house concerts to their tour schedules. For the artist who thrives on audience interaction and undivided audience attention, it is really rewarding to sing your song for people who are SO dialed into what you are singing and playing, vs. playing a big club where some people are not paying attention, partying it up, or worse, are interrupting the vibe of the music. That has its place, of course, but house concerts offer a super intimate atmosphere where the music can really find a home in each individual.
- That is so rewarding as a songwriter and performer – to be able to actually see the whites of the eyes of your audience and KNOW beyond doubt that, hey, this is why I wrote the song, to make this kind of difference. There is also the connection between performer and listener that fosters die hard fans who will continue to support you in your career and will spread the news about you.
- For the listener, it really is a unique experience. For one, it’s a relatively cheap night out – you can bring your favorite booze, meet new people or chum with old friends. And you can listen to the music without the usually clubby distractions.
- Money: it’s usually understood that it’s a $15 donation to the artist. Some people are uncomfortable charging their friends, and they pay you just outright. I tell people that if they can get at least 25-30 people there, then I will do the show. That makes it worth it for me, especially if I’m traveling. It’s also rewarding for the artist because they can typically make more money at the performance and can count on boosting the income w/guaranteed CD sales. There’s usually no split w/ the host – artist makes %100. That’s unheard of.
Micheal explains how to book house concerts and educate fans about them
- The demand for house concerts is growing. In San Diego, there are about 6 or 7 hosts that frequently put on house concerts (from once a month to a few a year). Some specialize in local acts, and others do national acts. I find that the best way to get house concerts is by educating your own fans who are already on your mailing list. I frequently get emails from places I’ve toured asking when I’m going to be playing in their area, and I answer, “Why don’t I come play in your living room!”.
- There’s a good interest for that when you present it, even though there’s not a widespread knowledge of what house concerts are. The main thing to do is to educate them that it’s more of a listening concert, not just a house party. People need to know what to expect – otherwise they’ll set it up like any other party , and people will be partying and chatting just like they might do in a club. Once you explain what it is, people get fired up. Its new, its unique and it’s a cool party to throw.
- I’m going to Colorado to tour next week. When I was planning the tour, I couldn’t find anything that worked for a Saturday in Boulder. One of my fans in the area had emailed me and I pitched him the idea. He was stoked. I’ll be playing at his house next Saturday and he’s amped up about promoting my music to his friends, most of whom will be a brand new audience for me. Since they know him, they trust him that it’ll be good. Easy promotion and new fans for me. Plus, I’ll probably make more than I will in my public gigs.
You can check him out in the following links:
Sonicbids EPK: www.sonicbids.com/michaeltiernan
Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/tiernantunes