House Concert Guide
with Tara Velarde
Hello! I am so excited that you are interested in joining me in the magical event that is a House Concert!
House Concerts are one of my all-time favorite ways to share music and community with people. They are intimate, special evenings where friends come together to enjoy each other and experience music in a focused "listening room" setting, without the noise and over-priced beers of the local bar. This gives everyone the chance to truly support an artist while also filling their hearts with good music and memories with friends.
Read below for information, requirements, and tips that will make your House Concert a success for all!
1. The Performance Space
Yes, it is called a House Concert, but no, it does not have to be in an actual house. House Concerts can take place in living rooms, backyards, patios, basements, boats, studios, or other creative spaces, so long as the following needs are provided:
2. The Event
A tried-and-true format goes something like this:
There can of course be variations to this format - we can talk about ideas and come up with a plan as we are setting up the event. Food is not required, but most people find that either providing food for their guests or having everyone bring something potluck-style is a great way to go.
Here is an example of a welcome that you can use:
“Hi everyone, and welcome to this special House Concert! I am so excited to have you all here and host Tara Velarde as she shares her music with us. Tara is a singer-songwriter from Portland, OR, with her own special Diva Folk style, and has released two albums and a single that she has toured throughout the Western US, both solo and with her band. Please join me in welcoming Tara!”
And an example of a thank-you and call-to-donation:
“Thank you so much for sharing Tara, it’s been such a joy to have you join us here tonight. And thanks to all of you [listeners] for being here! This is a donation-based concert, so I will pass this donation vessel around and please pay what you are able to support the artist. The entirety of the donations will go directly to the artist for her beautiful work and touring expenses. Please give generously, and stick around to hang out!”
3. The Guests
At least 20 guests are needed to make this a fun and successful event. Having a good number of attendees makes it feel like an exciting show, while still being an attentive listening room. This is also to ensure that there are a sufficient amount of donations to cover the artists costs (more on donation coming up soon!).
To ensure that you have a comfortable number of guests, here are some requirements:
If you are not sure whether you’ll be able to get at least 20 guests, feel free to co-host with a friend to double up your invites!
4. The Invitation
In your initial invitation, whether via email, Facebook event, or text, it is good to include the details of the event as well as some extra goodies to get people excited for just how special this concert is going to be.
Here is an example of what your invitation can look like:
Please join me for a House Concert as I host Diva Folk artist Tara Velarde from Portland, OR! Tara is touring her latest release, and will be joining us for a magical and intimate event to share her songs and stories.
Here’s a bit about Tara:
Raised in the sleepy farmland outside of the nation's self-proclaimed weirdest city, Tara Velarde is a captivating combination of class and sass. Imagine Regina Spektor's spunk and Brandi Carlile's energy juxtaposed against Joni Mitchell's serenity, and you start to get the idea of this dynamic artist and her unique Diva Folk style.
Deena Drewis (Sacramento News and Review) states that the "cherubic vocals of frontwoman Tara Velarde will strike a chord with fans of Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson", and Kelsey Anne Rankin (Eugene Weekly) says that Velarde "Fuses a mixture of blunt and angelic vocals to express lyrics that sound like a soul put to melody." These poetic lyrics are introspective, sharp-witted, and often profound, sharing stories of life and revelations that captivate listeners and invite them on the journey.
With the release of "The Tara Novellas" (2014) , "Get Out and Walk" (2016), and her most recent single "Willow Baby" (2017), Velarde and her band have played extensively around their native Portland, OR and toured throughout the Western US and Canada. Velarde has appeared on radio, TV, and at numerous festivals and fairs, sharing her passion for music wherever it can be heard.
Find all of these releases on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and all other streaming services, and stay up to date by following on Facebook, Instagram, and joining Tara’s mailing list.
And you can take a listen to her original music here:
The details of the event:
Where: [Location of event]
When: [Date, and time that guests should arrive that is one hour prior to the music]
What: A House Concert with Diva Folk artist Tara Velarde
Bring: [Food and/or drinks if desired]
Suggested Donation: This is a donation-based concert, so please come prepared to donate to the artist. Tara and I are excited to share this night with you, and Tara so appreciates the support to make this tour possible. She will also have CDs, t-shirts, mugs, and other merch for sale!
Please RSVP as soon as you are able, as there are limited seats.
I am so excited to host and I hope that you will be there to enjoy the event!
5. The Suggested Donation
As mentioned above, the event will be a “Suggested Donation”. This means that at the end of the show, you as the host will announce that it’s time fo the Suggested Donation and will pass the donation jar/hat/other collection device for everyone to contribute to.
The reason that I do not do a set cover for House Concerts, or even a specific range for the donations, is that I want to make sure that everyone who wants to attend can be there, regardless of their financial situation. By collecting what the guests feel moved to share at the end, they can contribute $5, $20, or more depending on the level of support that they choose! Since this is how I fund my travels and my career in general, it is important to have the host’s full enthusiasm behind this donation.
If you are simply not comfortable asking your guests to donate, we can work out a flat-rate that you as the host will pay for the House Concert (this is known as a “guarantee”). The guarantee for a House Concert is $300.
6. The Goal
My goal is to spread the power and goodness of music to as many people as possible in my lifetime. I truly believe that House Concerts are a powerful and effective way to do this, since it provides the atmosphere to make real connections with people, share stories, laugh, and enjoy community. In all likelihood, these things are important to you as well! Together we can make that happen and bring a little more richness and goodness to the world and to those that we love.
Thanks and I can’t wait to do this!