Touring, in the traditional sense, looks to be intimidating. It seems that only certain people can make it in the insanity of it all. There is so much at stake, from money to exposure. Exposure depends on your own talent and the work of promoters. Money, on the other hand, depends on the individuals you are doing business with.
As a new artist, ticket sales and venue profits determine your profit. Expenses depend on how you live during the tour. The rule of thumb is to live frugal to ensure profit. Your profit depends on how many people show up to listen to your music and if they think you're good enough to tip. New artists end up losing money, for the most part, during a tour. Living costs surpass profits, because of very little exposure.
The risks of profit loss seem to have bred a safer route to ensuring profit. House Concerts have been gaining popularity, but it seems to be a slow growth. The concept of House Concerts is argued to be more personal and intimate. It is also career sustaining, because your fans are willing to offer a place for you in their home, while exposing your music to their friends and family. The underlying factor, however, is that it's more profitable. In an article in the Huffington Post, writer Mallika Roa comments, "Curtis says her profits have magnified since the days she played at clubs, where profits are split with the venue, booking agents and promoters."
Venues cost a lot, and middle men take a piece of the pie. Although, there is one major factor still heavily involved, and surpasses profit. This is exposure. When cutting out the middle men, you are left to your own luck and skills of marketing. If you have poor marketing skills, you will most likely have a hard time even 'booking' these shows.
When looking at house concerts though, exposure is limited to; your fan's gift of gab, the size of the house, the amount of fans, and your exposure. Also, are the fans friends adamant enough to spread the word? Will you make a big enough impact at these house concerts to make a sustainable career? These questions and realities could make a cool idea seem less practical. All of a sudden, you may realize that your own confidence could make or break you.
Imagine someone, like me, who composes Orchestral music, going home to home, while sitting in a chair, pressing play on a laptop, doing theses house concerts. It seems funny and impractical. My viewpoint is that house concerts would not work for someone like me. However, it could work for others a lot better.
There are a few instances that house concerts would also, most likely, fail miserably. Imagine hosting a black metal concert in your living room. There is fake blood and props, which involve building a deathly looking scenery. This stuff squires an extensive cleaning and a hefty bill. This would not be practical for the artist, and potentially upset a fan who had offered their house for this type of concert.
It seems that acoustic concerts may be best suited for the home environment, rather than loud performances. The rooms are generally small, when compared to a venue. Smaller rooms and loud performances will more likely become a nuisance, more than an enjoyment.
Alexander C. Torri
1. Passman, D. (2013). Personal Appearances - Touring. In All You Need to Know About the Music Business, 8th Edition. Retrieved April 30, 2014.
2. Trust, G. (2013, June 14). House Music: Your Living Room Might Be Your Next Concert Venue. In Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/1567029/house-music-your-living-room-might-be-your-next-concert-venue
3. Rao, M. (2014, March 12). Your Living Room Could Help Save The Music Industry. In Huffington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/house-concerts_n_4944293.html
4. Curtis, S. (2014, March 17). How to Use House Concerts to Create Career-Sustaining Superfans. In Music Think Tank. Retrieved April 30, 2014 from http://www.musicthinktank.com/blog/how-to-use-house-concerts-to-create-career-sustaining-superf.html