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May 22, 2018

The House Concert Essentials:
A Guide to Hosting

The House Concert Essentials (and Extras): A Guide to Hosting

Ebba Wester
BACKSTAGE

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At this point, even if you don't know what Low-Fi is you probably have heard about house concerts. Maybe you have entertained the thought of hosting one yourself? Maybe not. Maybe this is the first time you are told that this is an option. Sold on the idea or not, here is a summary of the practicalities that might be holding you back from becoming a Low-Fi host and amping up your coolness notably.

Hosting a Low-Fi concert is a lot simpler than you might think – you don’t need a towering stage set, fancy equipment or sweeping arena seating to put on a good show. This DIY-hosting checklist is here to reassure you that you don’t need more than what you’ve already got lying around the house, and to provide you with some inspiration in-case you feel like you want something a little, you know, extra. And if by the end of this post, you realize this is for you, head to our host guide for more detailed instructions on how it works. 

1. Seating

If you’re worried that your apartment is too small to host a concert, let this video of Fjer’s impromptu kitchen acapella session prove you wrong. You might have to play Tetris with some of your furniture to squeeze everybody in but, trust us, snug spaces can make for a really special atmosphere.

Essentials: Literally any seating surfaces – and yes, your living room floor definitely counts. But know your crowd, if you think your concert will atract a more mature audience, keep in mind what their preferences might be.

Extras: Chairs, sofas, large floor pillows, beanbags, benches, hammocks, exercise balls, yoga mats and really fluffy carpets are all also viable seating options.


2. Lighting

You don’t need an epic light show featuring color gels, flashing lights, fireworks or explosions to satisfy your audience. Unless your home is normally lit like a fluorescent dentist-office hellscape, your regular home lighting will do just fine.

Essentials: At least like, one lamp. Plus, most likely you already have some candles lying around the house that you can use to set the mood.

Extras: Fairy lights, projector, glow-sticks, disco ball, lava lamps, real live fire flies that you can dramatically release into the audience at a moment of emotional climax…

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3. Refreshments

Providing your guests with food or drink is not a must; maybe you own a lot of expensive, beige furniture that you’d rather not expose to the risk of wine stains or greasy fingers. But, if you’re up for it, you can use a cut of the ticket sales to provide people with some snacks and or beverages.

Essentials: The performing artist would probably appreciate some good old-fashioned tap water during their set!

Extras: The average concert-goer is easy to appease with some regular beer or good black coffee – but if you’re feeling really fancy then by all means whip out the cocktail shaker, wine decanter, pistachio nuts and canapés.

 

4. Tech stuff

As you can tell by the title of this section, I’m not very tech savvy. Thankfully, you really don’t have to be to host a house concert. The musicians will bring what they need and will know how to set-up, all you have to do is offer a helping hand.

Essentials: Just one or two outlets, if any at all – many of our concerts are unplugged!

Extra: If you’re the kind of person who has microphones, speakers, amplifiers, a full drum set or a grand piano lying around, then by all means feel free to share them with the artist.

 

5. Cool Neighbors

Nobody wants to be an impolite neighbor. Low-Fi concerts are all about courtesy and consideration, so concerts usually start between 7 and 8pm and last around an hour. Additionally, instead of seeing it as a potential nuisance, hosting a house concert can be a great opportunity to get to know your fellow residents by inviting them all along!

Essentials: Let the building know that you plan to host a concert in advance, so nobody is unpleasantly confused by the, albeit great, live music coming from your apartment.

Extras: If you think a house concert in the building might be a hard sell, I would recommend a kindly worded note and a basket of mini-muffins. These tiny treats can really go a long way.

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