What is a House Concert?
House Concerts are simply shows held at a home, outdoor area, or other spot where people can gather, listen, and enjoy music in a more meaningful, intimate way. What are the technical requirements?
Many house concerts are run on a strictly acoustic basis…no speakers, no drums, no microphone – it’s stripped back down to basics, just the music, with nothing to come between artist and listeners. However, as a pianist, it’s often necessary to have a keyboard if a piano is not available, and thus a keyboard amp becomes part of the scene as well; additionally, Mary Beth’s singing voice is strong, but not belting or operatic in intensity. The nuances in her songs sometimes are enhanced (not detracted) by amplification. How big does the space need to be?
Space requirements depend on how many people you wish to invite for the concert. It IS necessary to provide chairs for attendees – there’s nothing worse for performer or audience members to have people standing and shifting restlessly throughout a set – and enough room that people don’t feel cramped or uncomfortable. But it’s not necessary to host a concert in a ballroom or palatial lodge (although we’ve done some in amazing spaces and they’re always fun too!). An average living room with the furniture moved to the sides or another part of the home can often accommodate many more attendees than you’d think. How much do they cost?
Shows vary in cost. If traveling to your event, we ask that Mary Beth’s travel costs need to be covered (flight, rental car, and lodging), but there are different levels of involvement in fees that hosts can choose. If booking a private show, fees typically run from $500-2000 depending on length, type of show, and routing with other shows on nearby dates. (Concerts in association with charity events may receive a discounted fee schedule.)
There are also shows set up so attendees will make a suggested donation (typically $10-15 per person); these can often be arranged by guarantee: the host provides a base of $250 and attendee revenue and merchandise sales fills out the balance. These aren’t hard rules…each show is different and special. Email us
if you have a unique and cool scenario in mind and we’ll try to make it happen. Can we serve drinks? Food? Do we cater or do it by potluck?
You may do whatever you like – you’re the host/ess with the most/ess! Beverages are great, although it’s often a good idea to do hot drinks like coffee and tea after
a show, when attendees can more easily enjoy them without balancing them on their laps. Alcoholic drinks are also great, but it’s recommended to keep the cocktail hour short enough before the show that there are no issues with over-imbibing from guests. (This could cause a disruptive element during the performance). Light food before or after is perfectly delightful. Potluck dinners are a long-standing tradition within the house concert culture and are typically served before the show. Other details:
It's helpful if time allows for MB to stop by your location the day before (or at least morning of) the event to help finetune the set up of the room. If MB will be playing your piano, it's important to have it tuned as close as possible to the performance evening. The day before or morning of the show is perfect. MB can provide press materials
to hosts to help with creating invitations or promotion for the show if open to the public. Email us with the concept, location, and date you have in mind and we'll go from there. Thanks!