Excellent question. After all, we’ve spent 11 years developing and promoting CIYH, it’s what we’re known for, and it’s where we lead. We certainly haven’t lost any passion for house concerts, either.
I’ll run through some bullet points, but first let me remind you of our core mission.
We inspire, promote, and help connect “gigs where people listen.” We help touring artists earn a living wage and find appreciative audiences. We help music fans who appreciate a deeper connection with artists, and those who want to play an important role in the development of music careers.
Although house concerts are wonderful expression of “gigs where people listen,” they are not and should not be the only place where deep musical connections happen. Listening Rooms, public and private, need to be supported and promoted.
Here’s why the Listening Room Network is important, and why we are dedicating ourselves to its success.
- Artists and fans need public venues – these spaces offer more possibilities, more space, and more exposure to new fans. Compared to solos and duos, bands have trouble finding house concerts. Bigger sound systems, lights, stages, all help to elevate music in ways that don’t always work in a house concert setting. We need to support public venues.
- We need to make booking shows and tours easier. Booking is hard work, and our artists need to be able to find more opportunities in one place. LRN allows them to find and connect more shows, beyond the limits of what a house-concerts-only site can provide.
- House concerts and listening rooms should be allies. Although most people still don’t know about house concerts, even fewer know what listening rooms are and why they are important. Our house concert community will benefit from being affiliated and friendly with listening rooms in their region. House concerts are creating new fans – fans who can enjoy and support listening rooms too.
- The work of running a listening room is very similar to the work of house concerts. The platform we built for CIYH is a great start for serving listening rooms, and we’ve already begun adapting it for their use. In fact, we already have members who host house concerts and help run a listening room.
- Fans need more attention and more fun. Our concerts need fans, and fans need a place to connect and engage. For more than a decade, we’ve focused on connecting and supporting artists and venues. While this creates lost of shows, it does not provide enough support to attract like-minded music fans – which are the lifeblood of successful concerts. LRN will feature robust fan memberships, where they can support, review, and share the artists and venue the enjoy the most.
There are plenty of music sites trying to be everything for every artist and every venue. That’s not where we are headed. By staying true to our love of LISTENING rooms and an affinity for places where artists can make a living wage (without the pre-requisite of being famous in that town), we can include public venues and still maintain a community that engages the right kinds of fans.