Frequently asked questions
Are your concerts indoors?
Yes, we always do the shows indoors. It makes the sound more predictable, mosquitos are less fun than they used to be, and Northwest weather can be a bit wild. We have air conditioning too.
How long are the shows?
Typically the shows are 2 hours.
When do the doors open?
We normally open the doors an hour before show time. If you come early you may be pressed into service assembling pizzas, setting up chairs, sweeping the front steps or directing parking.
It is a potluck?
Yes, we do make 30 plus homemade pizza, bake a few loaves of bread, and a vat of chocolate pudding for each show. People typically bring a dessert, salad, or side dish. Beverages are welcome too. We don’t provide alcohol, but people often bring a bottle of wine, beer or coolers. Any leftover wine is often turn into a syrup by adding sugar and boiling down until it gets thick. Blasphemous, I know, but delicious on ice cream. It isn’t necessary to bring a potluck item.
What’s with the name tags?
I started creating names tags for all the guests. It seems to help create a better sense of community if people can address you by name. You aren’t required to wear the name tag and you can put a fake name on one if you are in witness protection.
How many people come to your shows?
We get 30 to 50 people. 50 is the most we can hold comfortably. We had 67 for Gordon Bok. It was too many, but it was a lovely experience. Now I start a wait list and hold the audience to 50.
Are you wheelchair accessible?
No. We have 9 steps to get to the front door. We do suggest people go up the driveway to the backdoor. Two steps at the back door. Washrooms are on the second level which requires 4 steps.
How much does it cost?
We usually suggest a $20 per person donation. Occasionally we ask for $25, especially if it is a larger band. The musicians are touring professionals trying to eke out a living in a difficult market place. At Music Up Close the musicians get 100% of the donation jar. We do it because we like to share great music with our friends.
Are children welcome?
Yes. Well behaved humans of all ages are welcome. Sorry no pets.
Where do you find the musicians?
We attend a lot of house concerts. We are also members of Folk Alliance International (FAI) http://www.folk.org. FAI holds Folk music conferences where we can see, hear and meet lots of musicians. We insist that we see artists play live before we host them.
Do you host local musicians?
Sometimes. Putting on a house concert requires a fair amount of planning, communication and labor. If we like a musician we will drive to see them. The musicians we host are usually touring and don’t often stop in our area. Sometimes they wind up playing other venues locally.
How do I host a house concert?
It is really just a potluck with music. Concerts In Your Home (CIYH) http://www.concertsinyourhome.com can help you connect with musicians. It is free to venues. They have some excellent publications and will provide individual coaching on the phone or by email. You can host a show easily with an audience of 10 or 12. Some musicians may want a larger venue, but it does not hurt to ask. There are some legal or zoning issues that may come up. CIYH can help you sort those out.Being a member for Folk Alliance International helps with the ASCAP or BMI issues. Lots of house concert hosts ignore all that and just have a private gathering with music.
Why don’t you advertise more?
This is a private residence with a homeowners association. We can not run a business in this location. We don’t run this as a business. We try to avoid any appearance of running a business. I maintain a mailing list of friends who are interested in house concerts. Periodically I send out a missive to let people know who, what, when and where we are doing a show. Emails are free. Advertising is expensive. I am cheap.
Do you require reservations?
Yes. We have limited seating and sell out sometimes. I need to be able to assure the musician we can get them an audience who is willing to put money into the jar. I do a wait list for shows that are full.
Do you have a sound system?
Yes, we started using a Bose Model 2 system when a friend generously offered to let us use it. We previously did the shows acoustically or the band brought their own system.
How do I get on your mailing list?
Send me a note saying “please add me to your list.” Jmille2788@aol.com
I don’t share my list, but I do occasionally use it to promote other concerts I like.