House concerts are not a new phenomena, but in this era of DIY ambition, they are pulsing back as a venue that offers both musician and audience something different. During the Spenard Jazz Festival (May 20-June 5), organizers have packed a fistful of house concerts into the line up, alongside public venues. And I heard from Laura Koenig of the Anchorage
Festival of Music. She said they’ve been hosting house concerts for two decades, having perfected the perfect mix of tasty receptions and even educational components, like adding a history professor to speak at their November 2016 Campaign Classics event.
On the next Hometown Alaska, we’ll speak with both musicians and hosts to find out what the draw is, and what the challenges and surprises are.
Whether you’ve hosted, performed or just attended a house concert, join our conversation. For musicians: Is performing this close to your audience intimidating or exhilarating? For hosts: What are the headaches and what are the rewards? For the audience: How is this different from a larger-venue concert? Do you go to both, but for different reasons?
And finally, how does this economic model work for musicians? Is it another example of Chris Anderson’s “The Long Tail: Selling Less of More,” where a musician or a writer does not need a blockbuster book or movie or record deal to survive, but instead, finds sustainability in a smaller but very loyal audience?
And as a special treat, we plan for some live music in the studio! So join us on the next Hometown Alaska.
HOST: Kathleen McCoy
- Ingvil Vatn Guttu, musician, director Spenard Jazzfest
- Elena Lukina, violinist
- Tim Nixon, longtime house concert host
- Jae Shin, newer house concert host (by phone)
- Laura Koenig, Anchorage Festival of Music (by phone)
- Additional hosts and musicians (by phone)
- Every possible detail about house concerts, Marian Call website
- House Concert Handbook for Musicians (PDF)
- “No Booker, No Bouncer, No Bartender: How I Made $25K On A 2-Month House Concert Tour” book by Shannon Curtis
- Spenard Jazz Fest website
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