RAGS ROSENBERG HOUSE CONCERT
HOST GUIDE 2019-2020
You are receiving this House Concert Host Guide because you’re interested in hosting Rags at your home for a concert. I am so excited! I have traveled the West Coast playing many different kinds of venues, and I’ve found the house concert to be my favorite way to share music with audiences. It’s where I feel the most myself, most connected with my listeners and have the most fun playing music.
I’m thrilled that I get to partner with you to create this intimate experience. I want to make the planning process easy, straight-forward and fun for you, so I made this guide to cover everything you need to know about hosting a successful house concert. Any questions you might have about hosting a house concert may be answered in this handy guide. So, let’s jump in!
House concerts don’t necessarily need to be in houses. Any space you have access to that can seat a minimum of 20 adults works great. Cozy floor seating is fine. The most important thing to consider is that everyone is gathered close and is comfortable enough to relax and enjoy the concert.
Past “house” concerts have taken place in little apartments, community centers, backyards, garages, religious buildings, wineries, art studios, etc.
It’s important that there is a minimum of 20 adults in attendance. There are a couple of reasons for this:
If there are less than 20 adults, the show doesn’t feel like the special occasion that it is. Twenty seems to be the magic number where the event becomes a special experience for everyone involved.
- In our “pay what-you-feel” model, 20 or more adults purchasing tickets and merchandise is where the event starts becoming financially viable for me.
- 20-30 is in no way the attendance cap. If you’ve got the space and want to host more people, you can! The more the merrier!
If you aren’t sure you’ll be able to get at least 20 adults to come on your own, feel free to “co-host” the event with a friend who also has a group of people to invite. I also have plenty of advice on how to get the best turnout possible, so don't hesitate to reach out with questions.
This part is fun! Once we confirm your concert date, we will send you an email with links to photos, videos, music and some suggested language that you can use to craft your personalized invitations to your guests .
Feel free to invite your guests by phone, by text, by email, on Facebook, or with hand-written invitations - whatever feels best for you. We have found that the best turnout comes from a diversity of approaches, often the more personal the invitation the better. (Whatever you do, don’t rely on posting to Facebook alone!). Ask your guests to RSVP - it’s a good way of ensuring
that people follow through with their plan to come.
I’ll also provide a suggested timeline of how and when to roll out your invitation and reminders for your guests. Typically, about 50% of the people invited end up actually attending, so plan on inviting double the number of people you’d like to have at the concert (i.e. invite 40 people and 20 people will come).
If any part of this sounds confusing or overwhelming to you, don’t worry! Just let me know if you need help with anything at all! I'm happy to help you make a flyer, draft an email, make a Facebook event, and/or anything else that may come up. Just remember to have fun!
Some Key Points to address in your invitation:
- Guests should arrive about 1 hour before the concert begins. (i.e. Please arrive at 6pm. The music will begin promptly at 7pm)
- Let guests know that “tickets” for the show are a name-your-own-price donation and are “purchased” at the conclusion of the concert.
- Let guests know if you’ll be providing snacks + drinks. This isn’t a requirement for hosting! We’ve had lovely potluck shows, shows where hosts provide food + drink, and shows without food and drink. It’s totally up to you.
** Occasionally, we have a host who isn’t comfortable asking guests for
donations and would prefer to pay us an up-front guarantee for the show. If
this interests you, let us know, and we can work out a fee structure for
setting up a non-donation show that works for us both.
? We arrive at least 1 hour before the guests (2 hours before the music
begins) in order to set up and sound check. We bring all our own
equipment so there’s no need for you to provide anything technical.
We just need access to one power outlet.
? Guests arrive. We all hang out for an hour. At the end of the hour,
guests find their seats, and the host (you!) makes a brief introduction.
We’ll speak with you about our intro before guests arrive.
? Showtime! We perform for about an hour. Sometimes a little more,
depending on the audience.
? As soon as we’ve finished the last note of the concert, you join us at the front of the room, thank everyone for coming and make the donation announcement. It can go something like this:
“Thank you all for coming tonight. I hope you enjoyed that as
much as I did. I want to remind you that this is a name- your-price concert. This is just like any other concert with a ticket, except you get to pay what you feel. Everything you choose to give these artists will help show them our appreciation for the amazing experience they’ve brought us, and support their continued growth. I’m going to leave this vessel right here and encourage you to give generously. Thank you!” ***
? After that, we all hang out some more until guests start to go home.
*** I provide this sample donation announcement as a guideline, not a rule. There are certain key points that are important to include; I’ll go over them with you before the guests arrive. The more personal your announcement, the better. (It’s important that you’re fully behind this part of the event. We’ve found a direct relationship between a host’s enthusiasm during this speech, and what people donate.)
A Few More Things
I travel in a cute little fiberglass travel trailer and am self-contained. All I need is driveway!
WHAT ABOUT KIDS?
I LOVE KIDS. A lot. But I could sing like Tom Waits and still not be able to hold the attention of your guests if there’s an adorable child moving about in the crowd. Because of that, I ask that there are no little ones in the space while we’re performing. There are quiet moments in our set where an interruption could significantly affect the audience’s experience. Of course, if there’s a rare child that can sit silently for an hour - by all means, let them come listen! I trust that you and your guests know your kids, and will plan appropriately.
In the past, I’ve had successful shows where a responsible adult hangs out with the kids in a physically and sonically separate space during the concert portion of the event. I have a great time hanging out with the little ones before and after the concert! :)
So… What Happens Next?
If all of this sounds good to you, please fill out the short application at the bottom of this page. In the application, we’ll ask you for some basic information and we’ll ask you to list any dates during our tour that you absolutely CANNOT host a house concert (i.e. a vacation, wedding, etc.). From there, we will plan our route and then we will send you a date for your concert based on the dates you provide. You will know your date at least 5-11 weeks in advance of your house concert.
The reason we do it this way is so that we can plan an efficient and productive tour. We ask that you please be open to hosting a concert on weekdays as well as weekends. In our experience, Monday night concerts are just as special and successful as Saturday night concerts.
Since we are independent artists and we are embarking on this exciting
endeavor as a DIY project, every cancellation affects our bottom line greatly. We know that life happens, so if you need to cancel your house concert, we please ask that you give us as much notice as possible.
In turn, I have only ever had to cancel 2-3 shows in my entire time of touring due to illness or hazardous weather/travel conditions. That is to say it happens VERY rarely, but I am only human, so if I need to cancel due to these outstanding circumstances, we will do our best to give you as much notice as possible.
If you have any questions, whatsoever, please reach out to me at:
email@example.com. I’m so excited to create a beautiful event with you!