People have asked us about house concerts:
What if you could have your favorite artist
come to your house instead of traveling to a concert or festival? What if you could have your
own private concert in your living room or on your deck? Why
not? Folkies have been doing it for years...it's called a
"house concert." We know that
a lot of folks who buy our records can't easily come out to our
live shows. Late show times, and long, late night drives home
are both valid reasons for not supporting live music. The fact
is that we, the artists, depend on both live shows as well as
CD sales to survive.
You'd be surprised at
how many people put on house concerts on a regular basis and have had an amazing
array of brilliant artists perform at their homes over the years.
Many people have made their own homes the best known venues in their communities.
How does it work?
You contact the artist and sort out a date...it can be, and often
is, on a weeknight. The week ends are our prime working nights
in clubs, festivals and concert halls. Let's say that we are
traveling through your area while touring around the country
and have a open date on our calendar. Typically week nights are
less likely to book up since not many venues book acts on nights
early in the week, but sometimes there are just holes in calendars.
It would be mutually beneficial to both the artist and you to
arrange a show on less-bookable night, but - hey-- ask! We're
usually nice, aproachable people. Most of us have Web pages with
contact information. Check out tour calendars to see when we're in the area.
Then -- invite your friends, family members, people from work .
How is a house concert different from a regular party?
There is a difference -- and an important one -- so read this carefully.
Your friends, family and neighbors need to understand that they will be attending a concert -- not just partying with some invited musicians. Just as with any concert in a concert hall, club or auditorium, they will be part of an audience. The only trouble we've ever encountered with house concerts has been when this important concept has not come across. When people are invited to a party -- they come expecting social activities -- chatting, eating, drinking -- whatever -- music (recorded or live) may be part of that party experience, but, party guests usually do not expect to pay for music any more than they would expect to be charged for party snacks. Guests who come expecting a party and are asked to contribute $10 - $15 for the musicians may begrudgingly throw a dollar or two in 'the hat' but, may not show up for your next party. A friend who is knowingly and enthusiastically coming to attend a concert will be thrilled to be a member of the audience.
We have run across folks who prefer to just have a party atmosphere rather than a more formal concert setting. That can work too -- but let us know and we will come to an understanding about an actual fee for performing at your party.
Now how do you afford to pay
musicians to have them perform for you?
Easy! Invite your circle of friends, neighbors, associates at
work! Think of about twenty or thirty friends -- think of it
as 10 - 15 couples if that's easier -- who either already like
our music (you do play our CDs for all your friends,
don't you)? Or who might like to hear us and send out a flier.
Something like: "In order to have a personal concert and
sit within twenty feet of the artist in an intimate, smoke free
environment we are suggesting a $10-$15 donation." Some
local governments may have tax rules about selling actual tickets,
but 'donations' are always okay.
It's similar to an ordinary party
in some ways, it takes a little planning to make it a success. Start
a couple of months in advance and follow up with your guests.
Some folks like to make it a potluck meal with a concert after.
Or just share some beverages, put out some chips and take up
the donations. That size of a crowd comes to $300 -- $450. That works.
"How can I get twenty-five
people in my living room?"
Again, it takes a little planning. Move the coffee table into
a bedroom...borrow some folding chairs, use the kitchen chairs,
put pillows on the floor or suggest people bring their own chairs
or pillows. Give the artist a corner. Sometimes the performer
can be set up in a spot where he can be seen from two rooms at
once...set up two separate seating areas. Make sure to inform
folks to arrive promptly at say 7:30. Get everyone into their
seats by 8:00. Now, thank everyone for coming, introduce your
favorite performer and sit back and enjoy the most satisfying
concert of your life. The artist plays for an hour and a half
or so...sells a few CDs....and your guests are home by 10:00.
You, of course, are having the artist in your guest room or on
your couch...so you get to wind down and share a bit of pleasant
conversion. Up in the morning...a quick cup of coffee and everyone
is on their way. We usually travel in a camper which suits us
fine for sleeping arrangements -- an extension cord and a flat
place to park and we're all set.
If this way of enjoying
a Pint & Dale concert sounds like something you might want
to do...we'll be more than happy to help you pull it off.
You can call 360-440-0654 and we will get you started, or you
can e-mail us at PINTnDALE@pintndale.com
Folk music is not given
much respect in our modern world of mega- business, star driven
entertainment. Music that cannot be packaged, marketed sprinkled
with sequins and turned into a multimillion dollar product is
generally ignored by the media that are busy selling you Brittney
Spears. Ignored, but more often denigrated or ridiculed as very
un-hip. As small as the market is, they would prefer it dry up
and blow away leaving only their product to fill the gap.
Folk music has survived
for hundreds of years through the times of many, many types of
popular music fads. Folk music will still endure when the sound
of today's popular music has become as dated as Rudy Valley's
megaphonic crooning "Voh-de-oh-do" sounds today. You
can help preserve it.
Think about it! Hope
to see you soon
Drop us a note via e mail at PINTnDALE"at"pintndale.com.