BUT I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH CHAIRS!!!!! – How to set up a house show.

mismatched dining room chairs

All you wanted to do was throw a house show for your friends. Now that your Facebook Event has been set up and you’ve invited everyone on your friends list to come listen to your chosen artist, reality sets in.

HOLY CRAP, I DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE FOR PEOPLE TO SIT!!!!!

Don’t worry, first timer…it’s going to be okay. So what are we looking at really? You invited 100 people? How many actually said they are coming? 20? Alright – just take a big deep breath and lets walk through this together, shall we?

  1. You have a couch, that will seat 3 comfortably, if you tell people they can sit on the arms of the couch, that’s 5. Ok – we need 15 more.
  2. Kitchen table chairs. Most people have 4-6 chairs. Let’s go with 6. Now we’re up to 11 – MORE THAN HALF WAY!! Nicely done!! I’m really impressed how you were able to pull yourself together. Let’s keep going.
  3. Computer desk!!!!! There’s a rolling chair there! AWESOME! We are up to 12 – and you thought you didn’t have any chairs in your house! Why you always jump to conclusions, I’ll never know. Are you ready to get creative? We need 8 more chairs…let’s do this, yo!
  4. Do you have a couple throw pillows on your couch? GREAT! Throw those puppies on the floor! It’ll be perfect…now we need 6.
  5. CAMPING CHAIRS! ooooohhhh yeah…now we’re talking. I have like 4 of those suckers in the basement! This is awesome! Still need 2 more.
  6. The picnic table out back? What? There’s a bench out there, right? BAM!

I can’t believe you were worried about this! Just like Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy, “You had the power all along, my dear.”

Here are a couple alternatives that I found on Pinterest for those of you that are looking for other ways to pull seating where once there was none:

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Inner Tubes wrapped with fabric!!!
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Amazing Cushions!!! Just throw on the floor!
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You can do this indoors OR outdoors! How awesome is that?!
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How I Became a House Show Junkie

Our first introduction to the House Show Concept was made by a lovely lady named Emma Hill. Here’s how this all came to be:

About three years ago, my husband was preparing to go for a run. Before he goes, he generally downloads the most recent TBTL podcast to listen to while he’s out. Typically during the run as he’s listening, they’ll play an indie artist or sometimes, not-so-indie and he’ll think to himself, “When I get home, I’m going to download that song…that was AWESOME!” and most of the time, he forgets because of that runners high or forgetfulness…you know how it goes.

But…three years ago…he actually remembered. From that moment on, Emma’s song Meet Me At The Moon was a part of our regular playlist rotation and we all really loved her sound – all of us being; my older daughter Katie, my younger daughter Alissa and my husband and myself. It wasn’t long before we knew every word and were singing our faces off to this song on road trips in the car and trips to the grocery store.

Right about the time my oldest daughter Katie was about to turn 16, she decided she wanted to take up the Ukelele. She has a lovely signing voice already and she just decided one day that she wanted to be able to pluck along with her singing on a Uke, so we bought her one. She taught herself a few songs and one of the first songs she learned was Emma’s Meet Me At The Moon. The first day she sang it for me, I was pleasantly surprised enough that I grabbed my cell phone and took a shaky video of her playing and singing the song.

Something was gnawing at me in the back of my mind and I decided to just see where it led me. I wanted to somehow get this video to Emma. So, I went online, Google searched “Emma Hill” and found a few things – one of which was a publicist. And BAM – there was an email for this dude. So, I went ahead and sent him an email, introduced ourselves and how we came to find Emma’s music and asked him to view the YouTube video and if he could somehow get it to Emma, we’d be grateful.

Well, he did. And here’s the video. And she commented on it. And we all freaked out a little bit.

It wasn’t long after the YouTube video was posted that I found her on Facebook. I liked her band page and I started scrolling. She shared the video of my Katie singing her song and was truly touched by it enough so that she found us on Facebook and we started talking about how she comes out to the West Coast during the Fall and Spring for house shows and told us she hoped she’d see us at one sometime. One thing led to another and we started talking about hosting our OWN house show with her and found out what her minimum was – and she shared with us that if we invite enough people to just charge $10 at the door and that should cover it when she adds in the sales of her CD’s and T-Shirts, etc that she sells.

We’ve hosted Emma Hill and Bryan Daste several times over the last couple years. We’ve driven down to Portland to surprise them when they launched their new album and have grown to be very good friends. We try to support them whenever we can by helping promote and create a sense of urgency for people to go see them whenever and wherever they are playing.

Here’s the title track to one of Emma’s Albums called, “The Black and Wretched Blue”

That fella singing in the coffee shop…

You’re walking down the street in your little metropolitan semi-large city and happen upon one of those little quirky coffee shops. You think to yourself, “Hey…it’s been 12 minutes since my last cup of overpriced coffee, I better stop in and get a cup to go!”  

Only…when you walk in, you see a fella standing on a tiny stage in the corner, playing his acoustic guitar, melodies flowing out of his mouth like a gentle whisper. I bet he’s even wearing a plaid shirt and has a roll or two on the cuffs of his jeans, am I right? Yeah…that’s what I thought. 

You see that fella up there? The one pouring his heart out to whoever will listen? Do you have any idea how much time has been spent writing the lyrics and music to those original songs you are lucky to be listening to? Do you have any idea how much it costs for studio time, let alone the pressing of an album or CD? That fella wants – nay – neeeeeds to make music…not because he wants to be a millionaire…but because he has this music inside that just has to get out and has to be heard by others and if he’s fortunate enough to make a connection with someone and have his music mean something to someone, he knows he will have accomplished something. 

Do you know what this fella is getting paid by the coffee shop? He’s probably getting a free coffee and a stale scone. That’s why when he points to the tip jar and let’s you know he’s got CD’s for sale for $5, you should give him $20 for that CD. Do you know why you should give him $20 for that CD? Because he deserves it. 

Then you think to yourself, “Hey, I bet Joe and Chrissy and Molly and Christopher and Uncle Tim and Cousin Dan would totally dig this dude.” So you ask him if he has ever done a House Concert. He says yes…

And that, my friends, is how you book a house show. You ask someone you dig, that you think other people will dig, too. 

Stay tuned for my own First House Show story…it’s a good one.

Music is life. Live it. Love it. Share it with the world.