Firstly, what is a house concert? They’re the best concerts. They are special because they are up-close and personal. There’s no microphone. I can look right into the eyes of everyone in the room and interact with them.
 
They’re one-off events (although some people have gone on to host many more house concerts) so there is a special atmosphere. Usually it’s in your living room.

 

For me as a singer-songwriter, pubs and clubs are a nightmare. Getting booked in venues full stop is incredibly difficult. It takes thousands of emails and it’s impossible to get in the good venues because they want big names who will draw a crowd or to support local artists, which is completely understandable.
 
If I was fortunate to get booked then it’s very difficult to get an audience. Usually I’d be booked for a quiet week night (I lost count of the times I played to the sound guy) and they won't even cover my expenses.
 
If I was lucky enough to get an audience, then they often talk through the show, or can’t hear me very well. It's lose lose situation.

The music business is changing. Artists don't need record companies to get released. And we don't need booking agents if we go direct to you, the audience. And thanks to the internet we can do this. 

Photos by Marc Driessen
 

How to make a Facebook event page

Here is some standard text in English and Italian you can use to make a Facebook event page... scroll to the bottom for artwork files. Please edit and improve as you see fit. (NOTE: Please make the event Public, not Private, because people can't see the event if I share the link if it's private.)

Example text:
Hello everyone!
You are invited to my house to a new house concerts. For the series ... sometimes they come back, he will perform JACK STAFFORD, the English singer-songwriter with whom 27 October 2010 I started hosting house concerts. See you by me to Sunday, February 7 18:30 ..

English storyteller who for years has lived in Amsterdam, Jack Stafford now lives in Cilento with his partner. In his youth, before being conquered Holland and opened her small clothing store, Jack has played in several indie bands of Suffolk. After a few years spent in his store-gallery in Amsterdam, Jack, since 2008 has taken the road performing solo music since then in more than 600 dates in Europe, America and Asia, in more than 40 countries worldwide. To Jack the music is also an opportunity for travel and meeting other people and artists: likes to call a "troubadour", world citizen who travels and plays in all kinds of places and with new musicians, moving from city to city and house to house. He has released 8 albums and boasts dozens of projects and collaborations with other musicians. Jack with his songs tells of people who might have come across, of made-up stories and adventures that would like to have lived. The music of Stafford is similar in spirit to artists such as Ray Davies and Elvis Costello; his songs, lyrical and satirical at the same time, have a folk cut and even some country influences.
Back from a trip to the United States, Stafford has resumed touring Italy and, years later, returns to Pescara to propose his eighth album "Cilento Time".

About Jack Stafford:
www.thejackstaffordfoundation.com/http:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jack-Stafford-Foundation/

Some videos of Jack Stafford
https://www.youtube.com/user/thejsf

************************************************** *************

Everyone is welcome to this banquet of music and socializing. The event is open to all: you are free to invite your friends, but please do it quietly or spamming, only by word of mouth, directly with those who think they can share the spirit of this type of event and that, of course they are music lovers.

THE USUAL attentions:
1) The show is free but please leave an appropriate contribution to Jack and the homely and friendly environment must not confuse us: is a musician of great level and is properly recognized and supported his art.
2) Arrive absolutely on-time (although the show starts around 19:00): if you arrive late you will have to buzz, enter the house by interrupting or disturbing the performance. As you know, you can also get a little 'delay, in this case, just call (tel. 393 42 55 049), avoiding buzz.
3) During the performance, try to remain in complete silence: it is an opportunity to listen to music and the environment does not suggest the mix of talk and music.
4) You are all invited (but not required) to bring something to drink and / or food to share with the guests of the evening.

Prosit!



Italian version:
Ciao a tutti!
Siete invitati a casa mia per un nuovo house concert. Per la serie ...a volte ritornano, si esibirà JACK STAFFORD, il cantautore inglese con cui il 27 ottobre del 2010 ho iniziato a ospitare house concert . Ci vediamo da me alle 18.30 di domenica 7 febbraio..

Cantastorie inglese che per anni ha vissuto ad Amsterdam, Jack Stafford ora vive nel Cilento con la sua compagna. In gioventù, prima di venire conquistato dall’Olanda e aprire il suo piccolo negozio d’abbigliamento, Jack ha suonato in numerose band indie del Suffolk. Dopo alcuni anni passati nel suo emporio-galleria ad Amsterdam, Jack, dal 2008 ha ripreso la strada della musica solista esibendosi da allora in oltre 600 date in Europa America ed Asia, in più di 40 paesi del mondo. Per Jack la musica è anche occasione di viaggio e di incontro con altre persone ed artisti: ama definirsi un “troubadour”, cittadino del mondo che viaggia e suona in tutti i tipi di luoghi e con musicisti nuovi, spostandosi di città in città e di casa in casa. Ha realizzato 8 album e vanta dozzine di collaborazioni e progetti con altri musicisti. Con le sue canzoni Jack racconta della gente che potrebbe avere incontrato, di storie inventate e delle avventure che vorrebbe avere vissuto. La musica di Stafford è simile nello spirito ad artisti come Ray Davies ed Elvis Costello; le sue canzoni, liriche e satiriche al tempo stesso, hanno un taglio folk e perfino qualche influenza country.
Reduce da una trasferta negli Stati Uniti, Stafford ha ripreso a girare l’Italia e, dopo anni, ritorna a Pescara a proporre il suo ottavo album “CIlento Time”.

Info su Jack Stafford:
www.thejackstaffordfoundation.com/http:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Jack-Stafford-Foundation/225627243563?v=wall 

Alcuni pezzi di Jack Stafford
https://www.youtube.com/user/thejsf 

***************************************************************

Siete tutti i benvenuti a questo convivio di musica e socialità. L’evento è aperto a tutti: siete liberi di invitare anche i vostri amici, ma vi prego di farlo senza clamore o spamming, solo con il passaparola, direttamente con quelli che pensate possano condividere lo spirito di questo tipo di evento e che, ovviamente, sono amanti della musica.

LE SOLITE PREMURE:
1)Lo spettacolo è assolutamente gratuito ma vi prego di lasciare un adeguato contributo per Jack ed il contesto casalingo ed amichevole non deve confonderci: è un musicista di grande livello ed è corretto riconoscere e sostenere la sua arte. 
2) Raccomando assolutamente la puntualità (anche se il concerto inizia verso le 19.00): se arrivate in ritardo dovrete citofonare, entrare in casa interrompendo o disturbando la performance. Come sapete, potete arrivare anche con un po’ di ritardo, in questo caso chiamatemi (tel. 393 42 55 049), evitando di citofonare.
3) Durante la performance, cercate di rimanere nel massimo silenzio: è un'occasione per ascoltare musica e l'ambiente non suggerisce la commistione di chiacchiere e musica.
4) Siete tutti invitati (ma non obbligati) a portare qualcosa da bere e/o da mangiare da condividere con gli ospiti della serata.

Prosit!

Promotional artwork files

Facebook Event Banner Here's a banner you can use for your event. 227 KB
Sad jack Photo you can use as a background for posters or flyers. 4.46 MB
Background 128 KB

How to host a house concert

  1. Contact me to arrange a date
Tell me where you are and when you would ideally like a show. Email me at jack@thejackstaffordfoundation.com - I’m travelling around and might already have another show in your country. Shows can be any evening, not just at the weekend. Sunday afternoon also often works well.
  1. Create a Facebook event
See instructions at the bottom. Please invite as many people as possible! Only 60% of people who say they'll come will actually come. So aim high. We need a minimum of 20 people at the show to make it worthwhile, so 30 signed up in advance.
  1. How much to charge
Normally I ask between €10-€20 from each person with a minimum of 20 people depending on the country and how far I’ve come. I need this to cover my travel expenses. But if it's via Couchsurfing or Warmshowers then I'm happy to pass the hat.
  1. Does it cost the host anything?
Only time. Time on Facebook before inviting all your friends and friends of friends. Plus the afternoon before the show, rearranging your living room and then clearing up afterwards. It’s like hosting a party. I would like a meal and a place to sleep but that’s usually not too much trouble.
  1. Food and drink
At most house concerts, the host has invited everyone and knows them personally. So they put out some food and drink. And usually the guests are good guests and they bring some food and drink. You can publicise
  1. Arrange the space
Usually I sing in the corner so there’s no one behind me. Put any food and drinks at the back of the room or in another room. Put rugs and cushions so people can sit on the floor at the front, chairs in the middle, and standing room at the back. Create an atmosphere with soft lighting. Candles are good.
  1. No sound equipment is needed
I don’t need a microphone or amplifier. It’s completely acoustic. However…
  1. Outdoor shows
If it’s good weather and you would like an outdoor show, then that’s no problem. But usually a PA is needed because sound doesn’t carry so well outside.