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First concerts...
We decided to try some house concerts cause winter can be dead for us sometimes. We also wanted to generate some revenue as we are in the middle of our recording another CD. We've done three so far and it's generally been a great experience. The more "the rules" are followed the better off you are...

First one we did $250 (didn't follow the rules well, it was a "friend"), second (random fan - about 50 attendees) we did $400, and last night we did our third (random fan - 60 people) and we did $900 in merch.

Couple things we found that worked well and also want to reinforce. 

The invitations are sort of a soft sell, compared to what is recommended in the book. We sort of let the host decide how hard or how soft they want to do the "be prepared to buy CDs"... So some invites are harder than others. 

Since we have four CDs, a DVD, shirts and hats, we decided to make a "program" that listed the songs we were playing, what album they came from (image of the cover), etc. and then the prices at the very bottom. In color, we printed one so every couple could have one roughly. We had various upsells, etc. Then people knew what songs they wanted, what the packages deals were, etc. The entire concert they were planning their purchases in their head. So boom, when it was over people know what they wanted. Sped everything up. And that meant more sales. Lots of people went for the $40 set.

This is what the program looked like:

About halfway through we sort of joke a bit about "you are probably all wondering why you've been invited to this 'tupperware' party at"... We have a lot of multilevel marketing companies in our area so we sort of play of the awkwardness of that and turn it into something that everyone laughed about. That loved us by that point, and then we tell them, if you want to support our music and message, then buy something. That worked well.

The other benefit of this is you get great play on social media. Depending on the demo of the crowd that night. A few people recorded full songs... One of them has 3K views on FB in a week. That's great.

Finally, yes, make them read YOUR script. Pull the host aside before and go over it with them...

"Please read this script at the end of the concert…

We want to thank you for coming tonight and being a part of this wonderful evening. And we thank ________ for putting on this free concert for us. We hope you’ll support their music and message by buying some CDs at the merch table set up over there… 

(anything else you want to add.)"

Anyway... Thanks for the book.

This is wonderful, Quint! I love that you had such success with your first three house concerts. And that you're learning what works and what doesn't work for you! Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm positive it'll help others who are just getting started. Best of luck to you! 
Quint — this is so great! Super helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write it all out.

I would only make one small suggestion. In the script you have for your hosts ..... I would take out the word "free." Maybe replace it with "amazing" or something. "Free" is, I believe, not a message you want to be giving people about what it is that you're doing. 

Or, to put it another way: giving a concert freely is not the same thing as giving a free concert.

Thanks again for the excellent and super helpful post!
jamie hill
shannon's husband & partner in crime
co-inventor of the house concert model & co-author of the book
which is why i reply so often on here
i produce, mix, & master records
you can hear my work at
Tacoma, WA, USA
This is genius! Especially the printed program. Thank you for sharing.
That's great.

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