Reid doesn't tour a whole lot so it can be hard to catch him live if you live outside of our hometown. That said, if our travel plans have us visiting your area, you can join this growing DYI movement, set up a house concert and host your own danged Reido show!
House Concerts are quickly becoming the choice way to see a singer songwriter perform live. Very intimate, leaving behind the noisy bar, its nasty washrooms and late hours. Plus house concerts ususally have comfy seating and great snacks. Did we mention that they start early too?
Please check out the links below to find out more about what it takes to host one of these things...it's easier than you think. Let us know if you are interested, what dates you had in mind, and we will keep you updated on the travel plans that could make it all possible. If you want to attend an existing house concert (see dates page) just send us an email and we will find out if they are open to other fans attending (they often are).
How House Concerts work
Take the plunge, book a show. email CVM.
DO YOU THROW A GOOD PARTY?Why not step up your game and throw a house concert? You will quickly become the coolest neighbour on the block...
WHAT YOU GET: 2 sets of some pretty choice material, a chance to chat with the artist before after and during, and status as the coolest neighbour in your hood. Few things can compare with the special vibe and banter that happens at these shows. A night to remember for sure.
HOW MANY PEOPLE? Usually a minimum of 25 guests are required (resulting in a minumum amount of $$ for the artist). RSVPs are pretty key to making sure that happens. Some folks host as many as 65 depending on their home/space/event/social circle. Some artists do 10-15 people, and that's cool, but we require the numbers we do for a variety of good reasons, so if you want a smaller group you could consider suggesting a higher donation.
HOW MUCH? Usually a $20 'suggested donation' is expected form each guest (depending on location and situation). This is essentially a private fundraiser for the artist (and how we keep you not classified as a bussiness). These events are not to be confused with corporate events or private events like weddings - a VERY different fee applies - see below for types of events
BE A PATRON OF OLDE! All door money goes to the artist. (minus perhaps a little to the host if there are expenses like a sound system). This is standard, and an amazing example of how generous and supportive hosts are. They make it possible for artist to continue making music. Like the patrons of olde who nurtured Mozart in their parlors. Some folks put out a cute box or vase with 'donations here' taped to the front. Works even better if you have a young person greet guests at the door with the money bucket.
IS IT LEGAL? To avoid being considered a 'venue' proper, it's pretty standard to call the door price a 'donation' and have this work like a private fundraiser for the artist. And if you knew how hard it is to make a living in music you would want to throw fundraisers all the time! But it's really important to keep these fine hosts from being taxed or regulated like businesses when they are simply trying to support the artists in the best way possible. It's still early days for this phenomenon, so the government and other orgs haven't quite figured out what to do with this, so we are making up some of the rules as we go ;-)
EARLY SHOW! You can start as early as you like! Some folks have a house concert in the afternoon or over brunch, most often folks do doors at 7, show at 8, or somewhere around there. It's really up to you. Weekends or week days. Anything goes. Week nights are great for the artist as it helps us fill gaps in our schedule...but Fridays and Saturday nights, or Sunday afternoons are usually the most successful for attendance.
SLEEPOVER! The host will often provide accomodations for the artist. In our case we tour as a duo and only require one bed (we are married so it's not a sin, eh?) but it's not required as we often have other options. Especially if it is close to home.
POTLUCK! Many hosts make it a potluck and guests each bring a snack or bottle. This make for tasty times and less work for the host. That said, there needn't be any food at all, or you can serve a full supper. It's really up to you. (fyi: we don't eat meat or dairy, but that doesnt mean you can't, just that we wont if anyone is askin').
BYOB! You are welcome to host a dry or wet house concert. Not everyone likes to get boozey, but some do! We are easy either way.
SWEET SOUND! If the gig is local (BC or Pacific Northwest US) then we have our own sweet sounding little PA for a sound system, but if we are not close to home then often the host will oftebn rent a little sound system from a local music store, or borrow from a friend. This is only to balance the vocals/guitar (Reid has such a tender voice) and make sure everyone can hear. We are far from loud, so don't worry about the neighbours. If you want louder, we can always bring our drummer etc if its a bigger party you are after... but otherwise, we are pretty chill. In the right room we can go completely unplugged, but that requires some pretty great acoustics.
SOUVENIRS! Take Reid home tonight! CDs will be sold so please encourage folks to bring extra cash, though we do have a ipad app that should allow for credit cards at most shows (wifi required) in Canada. We also accept personal cheques as house concert guests tend to be a pretty trustworthy gang. You are free to take (very flattering) photos, and sometimes videos too, just ask first to be sure that we are ready for our close up that day ;-)
RSVP! One of the things artists find compelling about house concerts is that the artist doesn''t have to promote it, and can then focus on making music instead. Usually the host invites all of their local friends and that covers the minimum amount of guests required to make it worth doing. Many hosts opt to allow the artist to let other local fans come too - but this is not neccessary if you prefer not to have strangers in your house. In any event, all of the guests must RSVP in order to get the exact address (keeping your location secret from web crawlers), and to let the host know approximately how many people to expect. If you don't think you can reasonably expect 25+ people, perhaps you are not quite ready to host and should start building your list, and enjoy attending other people's house concerts to figure out how to make one work for you.
WHEN? WHERE? We are always open to house concerts in the area of Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Fransisco area...Toronto and Hawaii too. Heck we are even heading to the UK and Ireland. Just throw a date at us and we will see what we can do.
More info on house concerts here:
A CHARITY EVENT that would be publicised to the media (and therefore open to the public) would be a benefit concert for a specific charity (usually one that the artist chose themselves or at the very least aligned with). The artist donates all or some of their performance fee to the charity, often in exchange for a charitable receipt in the amount of their usual performance fee. This event would require that you get a permit and potentially also insurance to cover the liability of selling or serving alcohol and food and other aspects of staging an event in your home.
A CORPORATE EVENT is either public or private, one that would promote the products or services of a business, like local pubs & restaurant owners. Artists are hired by a business to play these events for a performance fee (often higher than a regular music event/club/fest due to the fact they are helping to 'sell' a brand). Sometimes corporate events are also charity events, where the business uses the goodwill of the charity, and the profile of the artist, to further promote their product or services. In this instance the business usually pays the artists performance fee. Not all artists are interested in doing corporate work, and most will only do it for businesses they align with. This sort of event would also require a permit and insurance.
A HOUSE CONCERT is a private, fan attended fundraiser for the artist (the host often allows the artist to invite other fans). There is no set ticket fee or advance ticket sales, only a 'suggested donation' and RSVPs. This would be a private concert for fans who love live music and came, for the most part, solely to listen (unlike the other type of events where the music could be considered background, lots of chatting etc). Again, this is a fundraiser for the artist, much like gathering gift money at a baby shower or for a friend’s trip. The host donates their time and space, and enjoys a spectacularly intimate and up-close concert with the artist of their choosing. Their friends get a fantastic alternative to watching the tube, or attending a concert in a less appealing bar or hall with parking, drinks and late set times. These House Concerts are often BYOB and potlucks. This removes any legal obligations (for the most part) for serving alcohol, food etc as it is a private non-commercial event.
House Concerts first began as a way for super fans to support touring musicians. They fill an important role by helping musicians stay alive between tour dates, providing a place to stay between gigs, and also to supplement the creation of music at a time when CDs just don't sell the way they used to and streaming services pay only a percentage of a penny per play. The truth is that albums generate very little income these days (it’s almost all downloading and streaming now), but it still cost a fair amount to create/record/produce/manufacture/distribute recorded music. House Concerts provide a way for artists to perform their work to a very attentive listening audience, and sometimes drive a few record sales during or after the event. The hosts we have played for have become good friends and they LOVE hosting them, and we love playing them, and the audience is always happy and convinced they have the coolest neighbours in town.
How much work is it for the host? Between us bringing our own wee sound system and the BYOB/potluck aspect, it’s not much more work than organizing a big dinner party.
That said, there are also PRIVATE FAN EVENTS. These would be weddings, big birthdays and retirement celebrations where the host hires an artist (paying them a performance fee) and the guests attend for free. The host often provides the food and drink (but may hire a caterer or sell alcohol if they have a permit). These fees can be higher that club/hall/fest fees to secure the date – with things like weddings they get booked so far in advance, and having an artist want to cancel because they got offered a much bigger gig is a conundrum neither party wants to be involved in ;-)
Compensation: Each artist has their own minimum fees for each kind of event, often with a sliding scale depending on the audience, artist interest, and availability. Artists with any kind of profile do not generally perform solely for ‘exposure’ unless it was to a very large crowd or a for coveted opening slot for a high profile artist. New artists might tho. We have been working hard on our music (for 2 decades) and are trying to make a living like everyone else. This has become increasingly difficult to do in recent times, so we also maintain part time jobs to ensure we can continue to play the shows we enjoy, and create the kind of music we really want to make. Creative freedom is key to happiness.
The scoop as far as legality goes: Any advertised and open to the general public event, especially where you sell tickets, would qualify you as 'a venue', making it a business venture, and that has its own legal and tax obligations. Serving food and alcohol has its own regulations, and you must have a license to do so and someone with ‘Serving It Right’ certification to sell it.
If someone wanted to throw an event like a charity or public event, but did not want to deal with the restrictions of making their home legally fit for public events, then one could rent a space that is already suitable (a hall, restaurant, community centre, or some other public space) and become an ‘Event Organizer’ instead (the organizer can donate their time or get paid by the businesses involved).
That’s the scoop! This can all be a little intimidating for the average fan. Not everyone is up for all of that, but some thrive on bringing community, and culture together in an organized fashion.