One thing that any musician will tell is that playing music is expensive. Everything costs money. From buying new equipment and merchandise to more unexpected costs like repairing equipment and replacing lost gear.
A majority of small bands can’t earn enough money on shows alone to afford everything so bands need to adapt to make that extra money.
In this post we will be talking about house shows. House shows are a great way for bands to play for a different crowd while making some cash.
If you are lucky enough to have your own house to use, set up your own house party shows. Find a one or two other local bands to play and buy some ‘refreshments’ to keep the guests entertained. Then you can charge $5 at the door and at the end of the night you can walk away with anywhere from $200-$350 (depending on turnout) of extra cash for just playing in your house.
If you do not have a house, find someone that does and set up a house show there. I have found offering to clean up before and after the party makes the homeowner much more receptive to the idea. You also can give the homeowner a cut of the money you earn at the door so they are getting some money as well.
Another perk of house shows is that they are a much more intimate than a normal show due to the smaller venue and lack of stage. You are able to develop a much closer relationship to fans that turnout to house shows than normal shows because of this.
A way to improve turnout that I have from house shows is to theme the parties. Have a Halloween party, a Christmas party or a St. Patrick’s Day party. Give people a reason to celebrate and then they are more likely to come out.
Also make sure to alert your neighbors before the party because it can get noisy at times and the last thing you want is to have the cops show up in the middle of the party and kick everyone out. Then all of the money and time you have invested organizing and promoting the party goes down the drain.
Once you get into scheduling normal house shows, make sure you strive for consistency. If people know your house shows are good they will tell their friends and every time you will have a larger crowd.
If you are smart about spending money on drinks and advertising, playing a house party show is almost always a good investment for a day you don’t have a gig booked.
Read this article for more information on House Shows: http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/musician-tips/house-concerts/