Words like "concert" conjure up images of stages, spotlights, nightclubs and arenas - but why does it have to stop there? A house concert can be a beneficial stop on any tour for a few reasons. Now, everyone has heard of major music superstars getting paid tens of thousands (or more) to show up at some moneybag's birthday party, and that's awesome, but house concerts are realistic - and great - opportunities for up and coming indie touring musicians as well. Why? Here are a few reasons to consider:
Money - For many indie musicians, touring is a necessary but budget breaking proposition. Although most house concerts don't have a cover charge (in fact, in some places, charging a cover could get the host in some trouble with the local zoning folks), there is typically a "pass the hat" kind of situation. When your fans come to see you at a club with a cover charge, that is what they pay. They tend to get a lot more generous in a house concert setting - which can help you make that tour budget a little easier to take.
Fan Base Bonding- Everyone talks about "direct to fan" marketing on the internet and using social networks to keep your fans engaged. Well, you don't get much more direct than sitting in home and playing for a small gathering of fans. It's difficult to overestimate just how much a house concert can mean to your fans, and you can bank on winning new ones among the friends and family members dragged along by your existing fans. The experience is so special that you can bet on these people telling all their friends, family, co-workers - anyone who will listen - just how cool the event was and how amazing you were. This little pocket of evangelism might be small, but it is powerful - these are REAL fans, not random numbers on a social networking page.
Fun - What's wrong with a little fun? At a house concert, the environment is casual. You get a few drinks, maybe a little food, some good face time with your fans, and you have the freedom to work out new songs and gauge crowd reaction in a way you can't at a more traditional gig. Sometimes a night of just remembering why you got involved in music in the first place is important.