We’ve talked about where you’re going to seat everyone – now let’s talk about how you’re going to feed all of these people! And, BEVERAGES! When preparing for your house show, you first need that all important “Yes” from your artist of choice, you’ll agree on a date, you’ll invite your friends and family via social media and word of mouth, then you begin deciding how big of a bash you’re going to throw. We have always viewed these House Shows as a “party”. We usually have mingle time before the show, which typically revolves around a light meal or easy to graze on foods and oodles of beverages. You can just keep it very simple with bowls of chips scattered throughout your house or you can ask people to bring a dish they’d like to share that’s easy to grab and go. Our plan usually revolves around something easily made in large quantities and portable with very little clean up required afterward and we have also gone to the extreme of creating a huge spread. While simpler is better, if you’re good at making something and have a dish that people rave about, by all means – MAKE IT! Just remember, asking for your guests participation in bringing a dish can really save you a lot of stress. The last thing you want to do is man the stove the whole night – take it from me, the “hostess with the mostest”. I have overworked myself at shows so much that it was hard for me to enjoy myself and yes, I regretted it. But then again, I’m a MOM, and MOM’s like to make sure everyone is taken care of to the point of it teetering on the OCD side. I come from a long line of MOM-types…I’ve learned to live with it…so my advice is to keep it simple, easy to grab foods like pizza, eggrolls, chips and salsa, popcorn – shopping at Costco is NOT underrated for these events. Something that we have continuously done over the years is provide a selection of adult beverages and also non-alcoholic beverages for those that are taking the roll of Designated Driver. We will typically have a cooler for beer and a separate cooler for non-alcoholic drinks and a table in our kitchen with spirits so people can make mixed drinks. So many types of beer and spirits get accumulated and we also ask that our guests bring their favorite to share. People are very generous with what they bring and are always willing to share with the group. We do give the disclaimer in our invite that there will be adult beverages consumed, so if children are present, adult language may and most definitely WILL be used throughout the night.
Disclaimer – but very important to remember:
When people drink, they tend to get loud. My suggestion would be to not really have hours and hours of mingle time before the show. We typically let people know they can start showing up 1 hour before show time. The whole point is to enjoy this intimate setting surrounded by friends enjoying some amazingly talented musicians. It’s very important that people pay attention and give the artists the respect they deserve. Drinking can lead to disruptive behavior, so please ensure people remember the reason they are there – they can always really let loose after the show when the night shifts from music to hanging out and partying.
The main thing to remember is that this is an event to showcase music, so be as extravagant as you want or keep it really simple. You’re already guaranteed to have an amazing show with the artist/artists that you love, so planning out what you want to provide your guests and how much participation you’ll need from them is key.