Christa Joy House Show
(The Ins and Outs)
Thank you so much for your interest in hosting a house show.
A house show is a unique experience many people have never shared together. I’d like to provide you an overview of what it would be like to host an event in your home or a space you provide, to offer guidelines that are helpful in making the night successful, and let you know as much as I can so you can decide if this is a good fit.
Typically, a house show can be organized with no cost to the host. If you’d like to provide beverages, snacks, or organize a pot-luck, it is completely up to you. The most important aspect for me is to be able to have all your guests gathered and seated facing the performers (blankets are fine, chairs, lawn chairs people bring…directly facing where you will have me play). When guests are physically separate or disengaged, the performance won’t be as intimate an experience for everyone involved. Audience will feel best if they are not too close (no closer than 8 feet is usually comfortable for listeners), not too spread out, and with no obstructions in front of anyone.
The host creates a facebook event (or online event) for the night. It is good to invite 30-40 people, knowing that 20 are likely to attend. If you invite me as co-manager of this online invitation I can offer information about the night and glimpses of the music as the date gets closer. The invitation should ask guests to bring “a donation for the artist,” but the amount does not need to be specified. This encourages people to bring something, without dictating what the amount should be.
The timeline of a house show is something like this:
6p.m. I arrive and load in, setting up all equipment, merch, and helping you with seating.
7p.m. I will put some background music on using my PA system (unless you want to do this--I typically choose something of another era, but complementary to my own tunes). Guests begin to arrive. We all hang out together.
7:50p.m. Host gives people a 5-10 minute heads-up for bathrooms or to grab a drink.
8p.m. Everyone is seated and the performance begins. The host gives an introduction, which I am happy to supply.
9p.m. As the set finishes, this is when the host stands up to thank everyone for coming and invites all who attended to leave a donation in a vase I will have left in the spot performed in. I’ll leave that space so people do not feel uncomfortable and will move over to the merch area I’ve set up to offer music or other goods. Guests and musicians hang for an hour to connect. I am happy to supply background music again and sometimes (if it’s a mellow room) put my newest album on as backdrop so people can hear the music they may want to buy and bring home.
10p.m. I will begin to break-down equipment and pack-up. I can also help with clean-up.
11p.m. We say goodbye!
This is the general outline of a house show. I am happy to answer any questions you have about this kind of event. My own favorite music experiences often happen in this kind of setting--a rare, meaningful chance to truly listen to music with others.