Do you want to tour living rooms too?
House concerts or living room gigs are a great way to present acoustic music in an intimate settings, with people really listening.
It’s a good opportunity for audiences to discover new music and foster a personal relationship with a musician. People are also more likely to buy a cd or other merchandise because it is a souvenir of a lovely evening.
In the last year, I organised over 25 gigs in living rooms across London and Europe, including a tour which took us through 5 living rooms in 5 cities in 7 days. I much prefer playing in people’s living rooms to a group of people who have come to listen than a load of people chatting in a pub. It’s a real event, it’s a vibe, it’s a buzz, it’s a party, and everyone gets involved.
I organised 4 of the 6 gigs on the tour via Couchsurfing, the others through friends and friends of friends.
I was chatting to a fellow musician, and he was saying it must have taken a lot of work, organisation etc.
Actually, it wasn’t too bad.
I think the key was in preparation and work I’d put in before.
A quick explanation about Couchsurfing/ -it’s a platform to link hosts and guests – works through a kind of “paying it forward” system- I host you- you host Jim, Jim hosts Lotte…
I have hosted a number of guests from all over the world and I guess I accumulated some good social karma. This is definitely an important part of using couchsurfing for gigs – your profile and references.
I also know that Couchsurfing is not for everyone. A lot of people don’t like having “strangers” to stay or meeting randoms in a pub for a meetup. But if you fancy it, have a go- go to a meetup, host someone who has shared interests, it can open up opportunities and seriously widen your horizons.
Couchsurfing even has a group for couch concerts.
So… you’ve been to a meet-up or two, hosted a bit, surfed a bit – and you like the culture and the vibe… Now you want to organise a tour. What next?
I wrote up an approximate schedule of when we would be where –
31/03/2014 Amsterdam, Holland
02/04/2014 Nancy, France
03/04 Basel Switzerland
I posted in groups, but found that addressing individual hosts worked better and was more satisfying, and just asking if they were interested. As we were a crew of 4 people travelling I used the search filter to find hosts who could host 4 or more people and were into music in some way. This worked wonderfully, and I got all the dates filled 3 weeks before setting off.
Have you toured living rooms/house concerts? How did you do it?
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