House Concerts are a great way to have a professional musician come play at your house for free. And a lot of you have come to me and warmly offered your home as a place for me to perform. I’ve been so thrilled with the response and the over-whelming response from the fans. Many of you have asked for some tips or guidelines for hosting your own house concert so I thought I’d throw this little guide together for everyone.

1) Where Do I Play? All I need is a neat tucked away corner of the room that’s close to an outlet. I usually bring a small amp with me so it’s good to be able to plug in.

2) Make sure the corner where I play can be seen from everyone in the room. This is important because sometimes the layout of a house might have two living rooms or a living room and a dining room and if the fans feel physically disconnected then they won’t feel connect to the show.

3) The Guest List. Make sure you invite TWICE the amount of people you’d like to show up. People are busy flaky, and not everyone who is invited will show up. Even if someone RSVP’s “yes” they still may not show up. I’ve learned that there’s about a 50% “yes” rate for invitations. Also, I’ve discovered that if you require an RSVP approach then it dramatically increases the likelihood that people will show up.

4) Adults Only, Please. This was a hard one for me since not only do I love kids but I have a sweet 3 year old myself. But what I’ve noticed is that no matter how well-intended us parents are our attention inevitably is more on our children than on the show. So what I want to do is create an atmosphere truly and solely for adults. Something that they can really enjoy and have a nice night out away from their little loved ones.

5) This is a “$15 donation-based concert”. Make sure you use those exact words when telling your friends about the concert. If you have invitations or a Facebook invite make sure to put this into the invite as well. I find this set up to be more fair for those who are struggling during lean times and also for those who might feel more inclined to donate more than usual.  If you’d like you can put the words “This is a donation-based concert; please come prepared to make a donation to the artist before the show begins. A suggested donation of $10 is the suggested cover price. People are free to give what they’re inspired to give.” into your invite.

Also make sure you or someone you trust can take care of getting the donations from everyone. Some people feel awkward taking care of money and others are more than happy to collect the donations at the door when people are walking in.

6) Guaranteed Shows. If you feel like asking your guests for donations is something not for you and you’d prefer to simply hire me for a show then please email me at eric@ericharpermusic.com and we can discuss more details in full.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at eric@ericharpermusic.com