Home Made Jam Guide to Hosting A Home Concert.

If you are hosting concerts in halls and other respectful listening spaces, see the Home Made Jam Guide for Halls.

Overview

Living-Room-ConcertA concert at your place is a wonderful experience, is easy, and will enrich your life. Organising a concert is well worth it. Set the date with the artist, gather 10 or more friends, and you are away! It doesn’t cost you more than a few dollars to have world class artists perform in your home. Music artists work diligently on their craft and you hosting them in your home pays respect to their musicianship and dedication.

The advantages of a Home Made Jam page

  • You get to hear great live music at your place
  • You can find and contact amazing local and touring world class artists.
  • You are visible. Artists can contact your for shows, but your privacy is maintained
  • You are in control of all your arrangements
  • You decide who comes to your shows.
  • You pay nothing

Create Your Listing Page

What sort of space do I need?

In order to pay the artist a reasonable amount (and some will have a minimum) you need to accommodate at least 10 people. Lounge rooms, large open plan spaces, outdoor rooms, backyards (backup plan if it rains), barns and sheds are all suitable. Maybe you have a friend who shares your passion that has a better space. Get involved with them in working to make it happen. Some people are teaming up and hosting regular concerts but in different people’s homes each time. Spread the love!

Can I host a concert in a local hall, or other communal space?

If you would like to host a concert, but don’t have a suitable space in your home, there are often community halls nearby who would love to bring more life to them by having them used. You or the hall committee could then register as a host. Apartment buildings and other shared dwelling communities often have a common or recreation room that may be suitable. What about your work’s warehouse or other suitable space? Many hall committees and local councils will reduce the hiring fees for events that benefit the community. The cost is usually very minimal and covered by the first couple of entrance donations.

How do I find artists to play?

DSC_0826 croppedSet up and keep your HMJ page up to date so artists can find and email you.

Search Home Made Jam for artists touring or living in your local area that suit your tastes. Sometimes you will get a communication from an artist asking to come for a home concert. Check out their videos and music samples. Visit their website if they have one. Send them an email. Sort out details of date, time and place. Does the artist require a minimum payment? Are you offering a meal, accommodation? Might any of their material be offensive to your audience? How much space do they require? Midweek concerts, afternoons on a weekend are often attractive to artists. You could arrange a shorter evening if need be, maybe by having the artist play just one set. If you spot an artist you would love to have perform but they are not in your area, you could let them know you would like to host them when they come your way.

Arrange the concert with the artist via Home Made Jam well in advance so you have time to gather the audience. Choose a high quality artist so your audience will want to come back. If you contact the artist by phone, their website or Facebook, and not using our contact form, let them know you found them on Home Made Jam. If users know our network is making connections, it will encourage them to use it and HMJ will get stronger with more choice for all.

How do I get enough guests?

Build your guest list by starting with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and friends of friends. Let them know who is booked, with links to their profile. Your social network sites could be a source of guests. If you are still short, you can potentially add to your guests by messaging your event to our Facebook page and we will post it. Home Made Jam Events on Facebook allows you to list events when you become a member. The public can see your event, but you, and your contact details are not identified personally. Only registered users can ask to attend. There may be music clubs in your area through which you could find more guests. Home Made Jam has listings of some of these clubs and organisations.

If you get a request from someone you don’t know through Home Made Jam to attend one of your private concerts, you can contact them and satisfy yourself that they are suitable for an invitation. Home Made Jam makes no assurances about the behaviour of any person on this network. Be clear to them about your expectations. e.g. If a person has asked to attend, they may bring no one else. Some hosts ask to see photo ID they can record.

Keep a track of the guest list, send a reminder a few days before, requiring RSVPs. Add people to a waiting list if you have more than enough. You can add them to an email list for future events.

What do I need to organise for the concert?

Seating. If you need more chairs, ask guests or neighbours. Check with the artist if they have any requirements. If you are having a shared meal or supper, organise what people should bring, and what you need to provide. Think about what lighting would suit the occasion. Organise an introduction for the artist, it need not be long. If you don’t like doing this, a friend might step up for you.

Set up and get started, by putting out chairs, leaving plenty of room for the artist(s); a table for CDs and other merchandise; a place for the food etc; a container for the donations, with the donation amount. (This could be based on the $ agreement with the artist). Set up the lighting, though nothing fancy is needed here. Just ensure there is plenty of light for the artist and the room invitingly lit. Candles and small lamps can be good for mood. Work out a suitable time for the artist to arrive and help if necessary carry in and set up equipment. Many musicians travel with a PA when needed. If they ask you to provide one, if you don’t have one, maybe friends do. Welcome the guests, give some notice the show is about to start, and once all are seated, introduce the artist, emphasising that this is a concert, not a party, and get underway. A set of music will usually be 40-45 minutes, after which when you’ll remind about paying donations if you are short and that you will have a break for 20 minutes or so.

How do I deal with money?

Paying musical artists is an important part of making home concerts feasible. Musicians deserve to be paid for their skill, art and dedication. How much does it cost to have a plumber just turn up at your place, let alone pay them their hourly rate? If you feel awkward asking for money, you can have a container with a sign stating the donation amount. This can be based on the fee agreed with the artist. Some people have a door person to ask for the donations (children love this job). If it is clear the money is short, you may want to make up the shortfall, or just make a gentle reminder announcement before adjourning for tea and chat. At the end of the night, hand over the agreed amount, or more if extra was taken.

What about insurance?

We recommend you have public liability insurance. Your home insurance policy probably has public liability insurance that covers you for costs from legal action if you are found liable for death or injury, loss or damage of property, or economic loss resulting from your negligence. By only asking for a donation, your event should be covered under your household insurance as the attendees are visiting friends and it is not a commercial venture. If you are concerned about this, check your policy or your insurance company.  If you are using a public hall, you should check with the hall manager that you are covered by the hall’s insurance when holding your event. Most artists will have insurance that will cover their risk. It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that you are covered for any eventuality.

For artists to find you, create a listing page on HMJ. What should I put in my listing?

What you put on your page is mostly self explanatory, but images of the space you use, of a concert, and even a floor diagram indicating dimensions of the space for the musician can be useful. A description of yourself, your music tastes, your own music making, and other details. How many audience members can you accommodate? Do you have PA equipment? A piano? What else might attract high quality musicians? Be creative! Have a look at what some other hosts have put in their listings.

Listing Image is the image that will be your face to the world. Choose a good quality image. The best ratio is height 1 to 2.5 width. Also, keep the most important part of the image centred both top to bottom and left to right. Only use images labelled .jpg .gif or .png (NOT .jpeg)

Add  tags for the all genres of music you like, so only artists who fit your tastes contact you.

For privacy reasons, we suggest you only enter your suburb or town as your address and do not have a photo of your house from the street. If you are willing to offer accommodation to an artist, tick the “Accommodation Possible” checkbox. You can make the decision once you have communicated with the artist.

Is there something else you would like to add, but don’t seem to be able to? Contact us.

You will be prompted once a year to confirm you still want a listing. Your page will be deleted if you do not respond. It is probably a good idea to check your page a few times a year to ensure it is in line with your needs. It can be frustrating for you to be receiving communications from artists when you are unavailable. (It is a time waster for them too.)

Good communication is vital

When artists contact you, even if you are not interested in hosting them, please reply to their request. Otherwise artists will be discouraged from using the site, and your listing may get negative reviews for “Communication”. Please add contact@homemadejam.net.au to your email address book so messages are delivered to you.

 Should I review the artist?

shutterstock_256115590It is beneficial to the artist to have positive reviews, helping get them more work at homes, halls, venues and functions. If you loved their performance, let the Home Made Jam community know. Please read our Review Guidelines (In FAQ) to help keep comments constructive. Negative reviews are difficult, but honesty is important and helps artists improve and others make decisions about artists based on a wider range of information. You can just leave a star recommendation less than the maximum, writing a short comment. Some people leave writing negative reviews some time before submitting. Artists are public figures, so there should not be any serious issues. If there are, they should be referred to the appropriate authorities. Please let us know as well.

 Do I need an Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) licence?

An APRA licence is not needed as your events are private functions, by invitation only. If you are holding an event in a public hall and are publicising it, and charging admittance, you probably do need an APRA licence. A year will cost you from about $70. If you are a commercial venue host, you will need an APRA licence.

Should I offer accommodation to the artist?

You may be willing to accommodate some performing artists. For some it would be appreciated. It is completely at your discretion to decide to do this. We make no assurances about any person you contact through Home Made Jam.

Hosting live music is so rewarding. How can I share my enthusiasm?

20150508-_MG_0898Help build the network. The more hosts, artists and guests list on Home Made Jam, the more choice you, your fellow hosts, artists and guests have, making this an increasingly viable avenue for creating thriving musical communities. Like the Facebook page, share posts, recommend HMJ to potential new hosts, artists and guests. Like us on Facebook, and become a member of the Home Made Jam Events, to be informed of events and other things of interest to you, or to post photos, videos, and enter discussions.

Is there an artist you would love to hear in your home? Let them know! Also let them know about this network. You might suggest others in your guest list host events as well, thus spreading the work, while increasing the benefit to all. You might have friends in other locations who you know would love to be involved.

 Is there more information?

Concerts In Your Home in the US is the gold standard for promoting this way of making music come to life in peoples’ homes. Fran Snyder and his team have worked for many years to build up an array of wonderful resources for running, attending and performing at house concerts.

Check them out here, as well as a number of other great resources.