Re: House Concerts
From: Eris Weaver (
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2014 17:07:48 -0800 (PST)
Barbara Moulton wrote:
> We have thought of having a local group perform in our CH, but since the
> would need to charge $$ for their performance, our treasurer was worried
about a
> number of things, such as insurance, developing a community policy about
> events, etc.  Has your community, or anyone else who's reading this, dealt
> these questions?

To which Liz Magill responded:
> We choose at Mosaic to call our events house concerts. We ask for a
> (rather than charge a fee) and don't serve alcohol or charge for food. 

Here at FrogSong we do the same thing. There is an honor system donation
basket with a sign listing the suggested donation, and all the proceeds go
to the performers. Sometimes there is a problem with folks coming and not
paying, i.e. the amount of dollars in the basket and the number of people in
the room don't match. I actually think community members are prolly the
worst about this..."Oh, I'll go down and check it out and see if I want to
stay..." Of course they get to sell their CDs & Tshirts too. But we don't
handle any money ourselves. We may make cookies, etc. but don't charge for

In terms of insurance, policy, etc. it's the same as any other event we have
onsite, which requires a community member actively sponsoring, making sure
it's cleaned up and all our rules are followed, etc. One person has been the
main driver of our house concerts but there are other folks who help, and
occasionally book someone.

Holly Wilder wrote:
> We usually have a few Nylanders and a few guests at each show, but
> isn't great overall, so if anyone has suggestions about how to increase
that, I'm open
> to ideas.

This is always an interesting push-pull for me. On the one hand, it's kinda
nice to have music right here at home! (Although we live smack downtown in a
small college town with several other walkable music venues, so this isn't
as big a perk as it probably is at Nyland.) And it's not worth it for the
musicians if they don't get a big enough audience to make a little bit of
money. But I also don't personally care for huge events that bring lots of
"outsiders" who have no connection with anyone here. So, increasing
attendance by marketing etc. can certainly be done, but is it what you want?

The PURPOSE of having the concerts can be a lively conversation. Is it to
promote the arts in general? To keep community members entertained?
Sometimes the person organizing the events feels overworked and wishes she
got more "support" from the rest of the community, but of course some of us
don't really CARE if we have concerts or don't share her taste in music, so
why should we come pay $10? IT's an interesting self-reflection, when one
hears oneself say "I'm doing X for the community," to check in about how
much of it is really I'm doing it because *I* want to have it!

Eris Weaver, Graphic Facilitator & Group Process Consultant
Founding member of FrogSong, cohousing in Cotati, CA
eris [at] • 707-338-8589 •

“On days when you have no ideas at all, the best thing you can do is start
doodling.” Charles M. Schulz

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