Q: What’s the deal? Is this a real venue?

I’ve been hosting musical events for quite a while now, and this informal house concert series has developed quite a following. It’s a pretty special thing; you can read a bit about it in this article.

It’s gotten to the point where I’m getting contacted not just by bands but by agents as well… but let’s be clear: I am by no means a real music promoter, and can’t provide the amenities or support of a professional music venue. I dedicate energy to these events whenever I can, but my main work is as a photographer. (And yes, referrals for photography are always appreciated, whether it be other musicians, weddings, corporate gigs or community projects- keeping the photography going helps me keep the house concerts going too!)

Q: Can I play on X date?

While I’m happy to be in touch about scheduling shows, I only do these shows a few times a year, and so might not be able to accommodate your tour schedule. When we do shows, Fridays and Saturdays tend to work best, and we’re leaning towards Saturdays in general.

Q: What is the space and crowd like?

It’s a W. Philly row house that was renovated at some point to have a bit more of an open loft-style space. The concerts are generally well attended, with sixty to a hundred guests coming through over the course of the evening. The crowd will be in front of you, at your feet, watching from above through the stairs and from a balcony level, and behind you in the kitchen. It’s all pretty informal and DIY.

The crowd is generally warm and receptive. It’s pretty amazing when they all pack into the house and fall dead silent to listen to the music. These gatherings are listening parties rather than say having a band playing background music for a party.

Q: What’s the set order? Can I bring an opening act?

We generally have 3 sets in an evening. Sometimes bands will be touring together, but often I’ll play matchmaker and piece together a lineup. The order of performances gets intuited based on what seems to make sense for a flow of the evening, and there’s not as much of a hierarchy as you might feel in some other music venues… the first slot may well have more people in attendance than the third, depending on logistics. And the audience is going to be excited about all three sets, so the order doesn’t really matter. I’ve definitely seen a musician once come in kind of grumbly about realizing that their band was playing first, and then afterwards exclaiming that it was the best show they’d ever had in their life… no promises, but I’ll do my best to make it a good evening for you!

Q: Who all else has played these shows?

You can find a somewhat chronological list here.

Q: What gear is available?

None. Most of our acts perform all acoustic, or bring minimal gear if necessary. If you need some gear provided, let me know in advance and I can ask about finding stuff to borrow. But unless you specifically need electronics for your set, we try to keep it all acoustic, both because it’s less complicated, and actually just sounds a lot warmer in the space.

Q: What’s the compensation situation?

These events are all sliding scale contribution based community events, and definitely not big money makers. Many of them have been taken on at a loss, supported by my business as ways to bring my community together. These shows are best either for new performers for whom audience building is valuable, or more established performers who want to get back to a good intimate and informal setting. If you’re in the middle stage of actively needing to get paid a certain amount, it might not work for you.

That being said, we try to gather as much as possible in the way of contributions, and to give as much cash as possible to the artists. If you need a certain amount to make it worth your while, let me know and I’ll do my best to make it happen for you. To provide a greater value by way of barter, I’m sometimes receptive to offering performers photography services in lieu of cash, so let me know if that’s ever of interest.

Q: How about housing for out-of-town travelers?

If you’re traveling through and need to place a crash, just let me know. As there’s often out-of-town guests who come through for these events, I often make a big pile of crepes for the next morning. You’d be most welcome.