As it becomes more and more expensive to play venues (due to them charging high rental fees or forcing bands to sell presale tickets to play a show, taking percentages of their merch sales, or even not paying them at all in some cases, especially when it comes to opening for a larger act), many musicians are getting really frustrated about their lack of prospects to book gigs where they can make fair pay. This problem compounds itself when bands get out on the road, and expenses incur like food, gas, vehicle problems, places to sleep for the night, etc. The list goes on and on.
One solution that I feel is viable is having house concerts. I plan to have my first house concert in December, and there are many factors that make a house concert WAY more beneficial to bands than booking a gig at a venue.
- The bands aren’t liable for rental fees or ticket sales as the space is donated for the event. There is a flat door cover for guests, which is split equally between the bands at the end of the night. In our case, the door fee is $20. It covers a meal, an intimate experience with the bands, and a super relaxed environment. If we get 50 people to attend, that’s $1000. A small percentage goes to cover food, but the rest gets split between the bands. A WAY better money making opportunity for the bands and also it allows for a more relaxed experience for them. I am also going to allow these bands to borrow any gear of ours they need, including the use of our PA, amps, cables, and a drum set. That way, they don’t have to bring as much gear with them on their trip. It lightens their load by quite a lot. This is WAY more cost effective for the BANDS.
- Our parties are BYOB. I did a Q&A on Facebook asking how much people typically spend when they go out to see a live show. The answers varied slightly, but the average amount spent was around $50. Let’s say a music fan goes to a local show and he or she pays $10 to see some local bands. That same person also runs a bar tab. It’s a weekend show, so mixed drinks typically run about $7, beers about $5 (some places charge WAY more than that). If you have four drinks, that’s anywhere from $20 to $28, plus tip, and that doesn’t include the band merch factor. If the same person buys merch from the bands, they could be spending anywhere from $5-$20, sometimes more. If there is paid parking (this happens mostly in downtown spots but it can happen outside of downtown, too) that can run anywhere from $10-$20 (sometimes more, depending on where parking is available). Now, this person has spent a LOT of money going to a venue to see a show. However, if you go to the house party, There’s a $20 flat cover and you get to bring all the alcohol you want. No tip, no paid parking as parking on the street is ample, PLUS you get a meal included and comfy couches to chill on. In this case, it’s WAY more cost effective for the GUESTS.
- We will be live streaming the bands on Periscope and linking that feed to social media. I will also be creating a You Tube Channel that has video from these house parties and the bands playing them. There will be a person interviewing the bands and the guests, and those interviews will also be available on the live stream and the You Tube Channel. This will help get the word out that house concerts are fun, viable solutions to the problems that venues present to bands.
The harder the venues make it on the bands to play and make money, the more things like house concerts and DIY venues are going to pop up. There ARE actually people that give a damn about a vibrant local music scene, like myself, and we plan to revitalize it in every manner possible without using the venues, and the promoters, and the managers, and the labels, and the bookers. We will be strictly DIY and build a STRONG community of DIY artists. We are sick of paying high rental fees to venues to book shows there. We are sick of not getting paid at all. If we open for a larger act, even throwing bands $50 would be something, but some won’t even do that. Lots of these venues do nothing to promote their shows, yet we are expected to do all the pounding of the pavement to promote and bring in the people AND pay them a rental fee to play there? No. We are sick of this scheme. The house party solves all these issues, from the bands getting paid well, and the guests spending less money and getting more bang for their buck. It is my hope that more people will come up with their own creative DIY shows using their own formulas, to TRULY build a kick ass musical community the way it supposed to function… by everyone supporting and building up everyone else, via fun and new methods that go completely outside the norms and the system. By having radically different types of shows and even DIY small music festivals. If you have the space, help out the musical community by offering it for a show. Be creative and come up with your own ideas. Pay the bands well. Make the guests 100% happy. Get the word out about what you are doing . It is the dawn of a new age, and we must break free of the doldrums of traditional thinking. It is our time, people. Believe in your own personal power and use it to uplift the creative community. Together, we can make this happen.
Thank you for your support