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Have questions about house concerts? Read on! If you decide you’d like to host, or if you still have more questions, just contact us at

WHAT is a House Concert?

A house concert is a chance to experience music in a friendly, intimate environment. Someone opens their home and invites friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. into their living room to share in a performance by one of their favorite musicians. It’s a chance to meet the artists and get them to sign their CD. And it’s a great social evening with friends and neighbors.

WHY would anyone do this?

In the words of a frequent host:  “We open up our home to our friends and neighbors because we want to share great music with them. In the area where we live — like most of the world today — there are too few venues where people can go to experience live music in a friendly environment. Great music makes us happy and we want to share that with others. These events allow us to give exposure to some incredible musicians whose talents we truly believe in and wish to help promote.”

WHAT do I do?

You invite your friends over to watch a live show. Your friends get a personalized, smoke-free environment in which to hear great music. Try to secure at least 15 people. Tell them you are hosting a house concert. Ask the artist to provide you with a short bio and some highlights to entice potential audience members.

“But I don’t have fifteen friends.” 

If you don’t think you can get 15 people together, there are options. Perhaps one of your friends would be willing to co-host and help with invitations? Or perhaps they have friends who will bring in additional people. Remember neighbors, co-workers, relatives and church/temple members, etc. might like to attend. In order to make a house concert worthwhile, you typically need to have a minimum of 15 people at the show. Twenty, thirty, or more is even better if you have the space.

With your permission, the artist may also be able to contact a few of their fans in your area.

How are artists compensated?

A “suggested donation” of $10 – $20 per person is customary at house concerts. Sometimes the host prefers to “sponsor” a house concert and pay the artist a fee, or at least guarantee a certain amount. But make no mistake, you don’t have to be wealthy to host a house concert, you just need to be able to get a few friends together.

Then what?

Relax in your most comfortable chair and enjoy live music in your home!  It does require a little bit of work, but imagine two hours of live, acoustic music in your own home! You’ll get a chance to spend some time with the artist and get to know them. And if you don’t already have a copy of their CD, they’re usually happy to donate a couple to help with promo.

What audience members are saying…

“It was a perfect night. Lots of friends, good food and music… the music was just wondrous. I still can’t believe it happened…they were sitting in my living room playing all the stuff I listen too, live!” – Lynda, FL

“It was a wonderful event, and words fail to express the excitement and spirit of the whole evening! I urge ANYONE to consider hosting a house concert.  I had NO ONE out of 60 people who failed to pay the suggested donation. It was a great way to kick off our 5th year of hosting.” –Raymond, LA

More about the money.

If you opt for the suggested donation jar, the most important thing is that you mention it. There are several different ways in which this can be successful:

A) Someone collects money from people as they walk in the door

B) At the beginning of the show and/or at the set break, the host (NOT musicians) mentions the suggested donation amount and location of the jar.

C) The host passes the hat through the audience.

D) The host gets RSVP’s from folks and collects money in advance. This works well as people tend to show up more reliably once they’ve already paid!


Want more info?

House concerts are a vital part of the folk music scene throughout the United States. They’re also a great way to build community while connecting to live music. Plus you’ll get to hear the stories behind some of your favorite songs!

Though not necessary, many hosts often chose to include some kind of pot-luck style food along with the house concert. Anything goes, from a full-on meal to light snacks, wine and cheese, or dessert. Having some kind of snacking option is a nice way to facilitate interaction between guests who may not know each other.


Still have questions?

Contact us, we’d love to answer any remaining question!

Happy hosting!   xo ~Mare and Nomad