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House Concerts


What is a house concert?

In the days of chamber music, many years ago, people would gather in their drawing rooms or salons to listen to live musicians. It was a way to get together with friends and, at the same time, to be introduced to an artist and his or her work.

A house concert is simply a gathering of people in a house to listen to a concert in good company.

Why hold a house concert?

We live in a different world, with MP3s playing through earphones, YouTube, concert halls and movie theatres.

But there is still nothing like the experience of being close enough to an artist to observe how they breathe life into a song, or to talk to them after the concert, and ask all the questions that the performance evokes.

Many people have homes with rooms large enough to hold 20 or more people. Instead of being distant observers in a concert hall or festival marquee, their home can be an intimate and friendly venue.

House concert hosts simply invite their friends to come and enjoy the experience. The host has the opportunity to be something of an impresario and watch the delight of the audience as the evening unfolds.

House concerts have many advantages — reasonable cost, no parking problems, and an audience that you have hand-picked and invited.

Why Bruce Watson?

Bruce is a singer-songwriter who regularly presents house concerts, as well as performing at folk festivals and clubs throughout Australia.

His music is about connecting. His songs are about experiences common to all of us. He can have you rolling about with laughter at his silly and satirical songs, and he can move audiences to tears with songs that touch the heart.

Bruce’s style of performance is ideal for a house concert setting. He engages audiences by sharing personal anecdotes about his songs. He brings the audience into the songs.

Each performance is unique, as the intimacy of a house concert allows the audience to become an active participant in the musical experience.

Bruce has hosted concerts for other performers at his own house, so he understands them both as a performer and as a host. He can advise you on all aspects of house concerts.

The cost

The fee for Bruce’s house concerts is based on the number of people attending. Tickets are usually $15 to $20, with a minimum fee of $300 (that’s 10 couples at $15 a person or fewer at $20). Or you can simply invite your friends and pay Bruce yourself.

Tips for presenting a house concert

Length of Concert:

Usually a concert consists of two 45-60 minute sets with a 20-30 minute intermission. Sets can be tailored to individual requests.

What you can do as host:

  • Be enthusiastic about the artist.
  • Invite everyone — friends, relatives, neighbours, work mates — who would enjoy the evening.
  • To cover Bruce’s fee, you can either ask people to pay on the night or, if you want to invite friends for a special occasion, you might prefer to pay out of your own pocket.
  • Determine with Bruce the best spot in your house for the performance, and provide seats for your audience. In the warmer months, you might prefer to hold your concert outdoors in the backyard (if there is suitable lighting and acoustics). If necessary, you can ask guests to bring a folding chair.
  • Provide some snacks (biscuits, cakes, coffee, tea), or ask people to bring a plate.
  • Provide a small table to display CDs.

What Bruce will provide:

  • A great night or afternoon’s entertainment.
  • And as thanks for being the host, Bruce will give you a signed CD.

And finally . . .

If young children are likely to be present you may wish to arrange separate supervision and activities in another part of the house. Bruce is also an experienced children’s entertainer, and would be happy to do a short bracket for young children before the main show — for no extra fee. (If you wish to do this, this should be built into the evening’s arrangements, such as starting times, etc.).

To book a house concert with Bruce Watson, just contact him (see details below).

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