Hosting a House Concert can be a rewarding and intimate experience for you and your friends. To ensure an event that honors the performing artist and encourages a deep connection with the music, it’s crucial to establish guidelines for host, audience, and performer. This guide will help you navigate the responsibilities of each party involved, creating an enjoyable event where both artistry and sense of community can flourish.


1. Responsibilities of the host:

Invitations and suggested donations:

To ensure a successful event, the host should send out invitations well in advance of the performance, weeks or even months before, via email and or social media platforms. Creating a compelling invitation is of the utmost importance in order to build interest for the event, with links to the artist's pictures, music, videos and website address. The host must follow-up and communicate with the invitees as time goes by, with any updates. Staying in touch, with reminders, is key. As the event draws nearer, the host and artist need to stay in communication regarding the expected attendance. If attendance or interest is too low, the event should be cancelled or re-scheduled for a later date in the future. 

The artist relies on audience donations and it’s not uncommon to suggest a cash donation of between $20 and $40 per person, either at the time of the performance or in advance through Venmo, PayPal, other means. Particularly inspired guests are invited to donate larger amounts. Some artists have a set minimum amount required to perform. Effective communication and understanding between host and artist is an absolute necessity. To ensure a successful event for all, RSVPs must be required. 

Space preparation:

Ensure there is a designated performance area with suitable visibility and good acoustics. Space for an audience of between 30 to 60 members should be the goal. If you’re short on chairs, ask for help from friends and neighbors. Arrange seating for the audience that allows for an unobstructed view of the performer. Make sure people understand where to park their vehicles in advance. Minimize potential distractions, such as background noise and excessive lighting. Other potential distractions include mosquitos, barking dogs, chirping parakeets, meowing cats, and though we all absolutely love them: crying babies.


It’s very common to have potluck dinners before the performance, and for the audience to bring their own beverage of choice. A sense of community makes both the audience and the artist feel welcome and appreciated. Invitations often include important phrases like: “Potluck Dinner at 7pm and Performance at 8pm sharp. BYOB”

Respectful behavior: hosts set the expectations for quiet and focused attention during the performance.

Arrival and departure: hosts encourage punctuality to minimize disruptions.

Hosts request the attendees stay for the entire performance respecting the artist’s effort and dedication.

Tech set up:

It is important that the sound system (if one is used) should be set up and tested by the artist well before the performance. Always do a last minute check to be sure that both speakers are turned on and arranged in such a way that there is no feedback. Make sure everything is plugged in and working well before guests arrive.

Hosts should coordinate with the performer to meet any technical requirements they may have.


2. Responsibilities of the audience:

Beforehand, in your invitations, encourage attendees to actively listen and appreciate the performance. Discourage conversation and distractions during the show. 

It is everybody's resposibility to make sure cell phones turned off and put away so that no rings or text messages are heard during the performance. The sight of someone scrolling on their cell phone during a performance can ruin the whole event. 

If the performer agrees to it, video of the performance can be shot, but only with the artist’s approval. An additional donation may be required. Audience members need to get permission from the artist to record in any way.


3. Responsibility of the performer:.

To ensure a smooth experience, good communication with the host is at the top of the list. Clearly communicate technical requirements and expectations in advance. Agree on start and finish times and any host-interaction with the performance such as their announcements and introductions. Coordinate with the host to ensure a smooth experience. 

Provide the host with a song list that matches the songs you'll be performing, so that just before the last song, the host can make an announcement thanking the artist and reminding the audience to consider purchasing the artists CDs, downloads of music, books, t-shirts or any other items they have for sale. 

Have a backup plan should anything go wrong: extra strings for guitars, batteries for tuners, spare cords, extra microphones, music stands, printed materials, etc. 

Interact with the audience, sharing insights or stories about the music. Express gratitude for the intimate setting and the attentiveness of the audience.

Be punctual and adhere to the agreed-upon schedule. Maintain a professional demeanor, even in the face of unexpected challenges.

Be open to selling merchandise and engaging with the audience during breaks. Network with attendees who express interest in your work. Have an email signup sheet. Provide printed QR codes for payment of merchandise if cash is unavailable. 



Hosting a House Concert that emphasizes active listening and respect for the performer requires a caring collaboration that includes host, audience and performer. Adhering to these shared responsibilities will create an environment where the magic of live music and community can truly thrive. 

Together, you will create a very memorable and cherished experience.



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