It Isn't Easy...
One of the hardest things for us as house concert hosts is having to say no. And unfortunately, we have to say no to artists a lot. As in most of those who reach out. Sorry. The reality is that there just aren't enough house concert series to host all the wonderful groups who want to play one (if you'd like to help change that, read to the end of this page!). We host 11-12 shows a year while we get WAY more inquiries about playing Old Town House Concerts.
In the interest of transparency, here's how we pick the artists to host. We hope you won't find this arrogant or condescending, that is not our intent, rather we want folks to have insight into our process. It's a combination of any or all of the following:
1. We book almost exclusively bluegrass acts. We may book 1, maybe 2, singer-songwriters per year (take a look at our Previous Show pics and you'll see).
2. We've seen an artist or group live and know they'll be just perfect for our series. This is a heavy hitter in our criteria.
3. Someone whose opinions we trust and musical tastes we share refers an artist to us and we like what we see / hear.
4. We've had someone play before. But know that we limit return engagements to very few because we want to give as many bands a chance as possible.
5. We get an unsolicited inquiry of an EPK. EPKs are definitely preferred and we can check these out much quicker--YouTube video links and especially live videos give us the best sense of a band's presence.
The first 2 criteria fill the majority of our slots.
After that somewhat depressing set of facts for the many artists we haven't seen (hey, we see a lot of shows every year but there's SO much great music being made and we have only so much money and time to invest in seeing live music!), and you want to contact us, here's a few suggestions:
1. We book out 6-8 months out. If you're trying for a spot closer in on the calendar than that, your chances are slim.
2. Send us an EPK. We get a lot of these, so please know it can take us a bit to evaluate the fit between your group and our series. Links to live videos are particularly helpful for us to get a sense of how a group connects with audiences.
3. Let us know when you're going to be in our area. As we noted, seeing a group live is high on our list of who we book. If we can, we'll come and will introduce ourselves if possible to make that connection. That is one way you can get on our radar and get on our list of bands we want to host if you're a good fit for our series.
A different avenue to consider:
Because Old Town House Concerts and just about every other house concert series we know have a very limited number of slots, another avenue is to use your fan base. Let your fans know you're open to playing a house concert. There are some great web resources for people who are interested in hosting or if you have someone who needs a mentor, reach out to us. We believe in the power of house concerts and are happy to help others who want to host.