Party Ideas

How to Host a House Concert

By GigSalad

As social creatures, it’s a part of our culture to bring together our closest friends and family for things like celebrations, traditions, meals, and shared interests. Strong communities evolve from these types of gatherings, which is why house concerts have become increasingly popular. Hosts create an intimate setting for music enthusiasts and help support the DIY-inclined singer/songwriters. ​If you’re planning to host a house concert, you’re doing a great deed for performers and we want to help you.

First, it’s important to understand what a house concert is. Different from the classic house party, a house concert gives the artist center stage at the event. Guests are expected to be quiet, attentive, and engaged as the sole purpose is to take in the music. Being on the same page as your guests and the artist will help you create an ideal environment for everyone involved. If this is your intent, then let’s start the planning!

Find the Perfect Performer

​A good place to begin your search is through GigSalad. You can find local artists in a variety of genres and listen to the music on their profiles. Once you’ve found a performer, you can contact them directly and discuss some of the specifics. Be sure to include these talking points:


​It’s important for the artist to know that their performance will be the highlight of the event. This will help them create a special setlist for optimal audience engagement.

Date and Time

​Like any other booking, you’ll want to make sure the performer is available. Weekends are typically best for audience attendance, but those times fill up fast for musicians. If you’re wanting to host the concert on a weekday, make sure there are no other major local events that could conflict with your guests’ plans.

Setup Requirements

Because this is an intimate setting, the artist won’t need a lot of their typical gear. This doesn’t mean it has to be strictly an acoustic performance. A small PA and microphone can go a long way. But it’s important to address this in case their performance relies heavily on their equipment.

Method of Payment

​This is where it can get a little tricky. If you’re wanting to charge a cover or sell tickets, this becomes a commercial activity which presents its own obstacles. Encouraging guests to donate directly to the performer will help you avoid some of these complications. If you choose a donation-based payment method, you’ll need to make sure the performer approves. They may require full payment up front for making the date unavailable for other bookings or to cover their travel expenses.

Build the Best Audience

​To build your guest list, it’s important to understand what kind of audience is appropriate. You’ll want to invite those who would appreciate a sit down concert. We all have rowdy friends we love, but out of respect for the performer and other guests, you’ll want to be selective. House concerts can bring in anywhere from 10-70 guests, depending on how comfortably they fit in the space. Before you invite 50 people to your home, make sure you can accommodate that many guests and also provide a stage area for the performer.

​Once you’ve created your invitation list, you’ll want to decide how to promote the concert to your friends. The artist depends on the host to fill the room with a respectful and appreciative audience, so it’s important to use available resources rather than depending on the word-of-mouth method. You have a few options:

Digital Invitation

Apps like Evite and Eventbrite are great tools for event hosts. Guests can RSVP, donate money electronically, add the event to their calendar, or easily contact you for more information.

Facebook Event

Facebook has made it simple for event hosts to reach a select group of people for a private event. ​Once you’ve filled in the all the details and added a great event photo, you can upload pictures, share posts, and invite your Facebook friends.

Good ol’ Fashioned Email

​This straightforward method has shown great results for many hosts. You know your group of friends, so reach them directly on the platform they most often use.

​Whichever invitation style you choose, it’s imperative to include a few extra necessary details:

  • ​Event Purpose – Educating your guests on the intent and expected conduct will help ensure a positive atmosphere for the performance.
  • Event Restrictions – Because house concerts require focused attention for longer periods of time, many hosts prohibit guests from bringing children. You may also have restrictions against alcohol, smoking, or pets.
  • RSVP System – Once you’ve got an idea of how many guests to expect, it’s easier to prepare your space.

Set the Stage

For the final step in preparation, you’ll want to get your place ready to accommodate the performance. You may discover a few minor snags with your first house concert, but if you have the fundamentals in place, this likely won’t be your last.


Depending on your location, you might need to arrange a system for parking. Be sure to inform your neighbors of the event. They may have suggestions or offer extra space. (This is also a great way to let them know you’re hosting a concert, not throwing a rager.) If parking is still limited, you can ask your guests to carpool or you can provide shuttling to a nearby public lot.


To ​accommodate your guests, you’ll need to set up a comfortable seating area. You can arrange your furniture or provide additional chairs. If you don’t have enough seating options, you can ask guests to bring what they can.


​As with most gatherings, it’s a good idea to have food and drinks for your guests. If you’re working with a limited budget, you can make the event potluck-style. Just be sure to include these details in the invitation.

Performance Setup

To create ambiance and highlight the artist, you will need to provide plenty of room ​for the performance. This doesn’t require a raised stage by any means, but it’s recommended to section off an area. You’ll want to make sure the area is large enough for them to switch instruments and close enough to a power supply if needed.

Performers always appreciate opportunities to sell their merchandise, so it’s helpful to have a table for the display. You can also pass around a tip jar after a great set. This encourages the artist to continue performing in nontraditional venues and helps support their music.

​There’s something very honest and intimate about a house concert that is unlike any experience you’d get at a standard venue. Listeners feel more connected to the music. Artists feel supported by their biggest fans. And these encounters inspire many people in a big way. Thank you for creating such a moving environment for artists and music lovers alike.

Are you looking for the perfect performer for your house concert? Search for local artists and book the best at GigSalad.

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