If you mix house concerts with holidays and birthdays, it requires special skills and effort. We only recommend it for experienced hosts with a well-trained audience that knows they are expected to listen attentively during the show.
What could go wrong?
- People with no interest in the music attend because it’s special occasion. They want to talk, mingle, and do the “normal party things.”
- People want to “drop by” and don’t understand they’ll interrupt the show midstream.
- The party-vibe takes over and the artist becomes background music, and those who want to listen to music have to tolerate a distracting atmosphere.
Remember, house concerts are a tradition designed to engage people in an intimate listening experience. Most people don’t even know what that is until they experience it firsthand. Your guests, unless they regularly attend house concerts, are likely to need guidance. They need to know that this is not a casual party experience – the expected behavior is the same as you’d expect in a theater. How do you feel when people behind you are talking during a theater show? Same thing here.
Yes, there are artists and house concerts that can be quite festive, but always at the direction, not at the expense of the artist. You don’t want to serve two masters at the same time – it’s a party or it’s a house concert.
You still think you can pull it off?
- Consider hosting a short house concert (1 set) as a prelude to a great party.
- If there’s alcohol, be sure do the concert first!
- Be sure to plan for the money – will you expect “party guests” to pay for the music? If there’s a party involved, many hosts prefer to pay the musicians a flat fee.
It can be challenging to train an audience to respect the performance throughout the entire show. If you are trying to build or kick-off a house concert series, a “party/house concert” can create different expectations that may be hard to correct next time. If this event is called a house concert, your guests will have similar expectations next time they attend.
It’s OK not to have a house concert this time!
There’s nothing wrong with having a PARTY and hiring live music to aid the celebration. Christmas, Birthdays, and any event worth celebrating can be accompanied with lively music from a band or artist.
Consistency is important. House concerts are house concerts. Parties are parties. Mix carefully.