Q. Are these shows open to the public?
A. They are private, invitation-only events unless otherwise stated. To get an invitation, contact us using our mailing list/contact page. Assuming space is available, we'll send you an invitation. We request that everyone who plans on attending RSVP via email so we can get a handle on the number of people in the room.
Q. How are invitations sent out?
A. Our mailing list has grown to overwhelming proportions. Since the capacity of our room stubbornly remains, we have had to dispense invitations in prioritized lots. Depending on how RSVPs come in, it's entirely possible that certain house concerts will fill up with our long-time friends and supporters before we get a chance to send out invitations to our full email list. This is a relatively new development and this is how we've chosen to handle it.
Q. How do I get there?
A. When you email that you'll be attending, we'll email a set of detailed directions and instructions on where to park.
Q. What does "suggested donation" mean?
A. We are not a business. We don't sell anything. We are music lovers who provide a place where like-minded people can hear quality music acts in a quiet, intimate setting and musicians can get compensated for performing. Without the money, we could not get the caliber of musicians who have graced our living room. We have a donation bowl to collect the money (cash only), on behalf of the performer, at the door. We work on the honor system and need everyone's participation to keep our series going. We find that nearly everyone puts in the suggested amount and some people even put in a little extra. If anyone cares to contribute more than the asking amount, it goes straight to the artist (thanks to those who have done this in the past).
The donated money goes to the featured performers and the cost associated with hosting/promoting the events.
Q. How can I get tickets?
A. There are no actual tickets (once again, we don't sell anything)...we keep a list of people who have RSVPed at the door. We encourage people to donate in advance- we find that this cuts down on the number of no-shows and allows us to focus more on music and friends and less on counting money on the night of a show.
Our email invitations include instructions on how to make the suggested donation by using paypal. As always, the money goes to the musicians.
Q. What can I bring?
A. Most Sofa Series are potluck style..but check your invite as some events are hosted at local shops and eateries. We always support our host by encouraging our guest to purchase their food and beverages from the establishment that is hosting.
For Pot Luck Style Events: We start off with some refresing libations & tasty treats, but more is certainly welcome. Beyond that, feel free to bring whatever you care to add to the pot-luck food/drink spread. People have brought everything from chips & salsa to homemade spring rolls to sushi to burgers to brownies and everything in between. We feed the performers too, so don't be shy. We always have plenty of coolers and ice available.
You can also bring a little money to buy stuff from the bands; they usually sell (and sign) CDs, T-shirts, etc....and from any vendor that may be hosting.
Q. Can I take pictures?
A. So far, none of the musicians have objected. As long as you're considerate and relatively inconspicuous about it, feel free to take pictures. Also, we appreciate people emailing us any good digital shots they get.
Q. Are the neighbors OK with these house concerts?
A. So far, so good. Sometimes they actually attend. The music usually can't be heard from outside and it's all over at a decent hour. We go out of our way to let our neighbors know when we're having a show. We also instruct our guests where to park and encourage them to be respectful.
Q. How do you pick your performers?
A. We pick our performers with a combination of the following five methods:
1.We have several dozen past performers who have expressed an interest in coming back. That's enough to fill our schedule for the next several years!
2.We get unsolicited CDs, press kits, and EPKs from musicians around the world. Some weeks we get three or four contacts from artists as far away as Canada & the UK. We do listen to every CD that comes our way. There are an amazing number of talented people out there, and there is no way we can accommodate them all...
3.We get lots of referrals. Referrals from past performers account for a good percentage of the artists we've hosted. We give them extra consideration. We also get referrals from people who have attended our shows. Sometimes we even get referrals from local venue owners. If there is someone you would like to see us host a house concert for, or know an artist that you think would enjoy the opportunity, feel free to let us know.
4.Nearly half of our schedule has come from artists we've met at local events/concerts/open mics. These events give us both the chance to see the artists performing and to get to know them.
5.Lastly, we do sometimes contact musicians who we would like to host a show for. There is something special about hosting a show for one of our long time favorite artists.
Between these five categories, we compile the musicians and bands that we'd like to host a house concert for in the near future. One of the things we are doing to try to accommodate more performers is that we are trying to book more shows with double billings. In other words, two artists or bands in the same evening.
Q. How can performers inquire about playing a house concert?
A. Interested artist may contact us by email or submit your EPK online via sonicbids.