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How Much Money Can You Actually Make Playing House Concerts?

Jennifer Daniels performing at a house concert. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Daniels)

Every singer/songwriter or acoustic act who's played out enough knows the drill. You show up to a gig where you must perform underneath a TV showing the big game or in a coffeehouse with the erratic, nerve-jarring grinding and screeching of the espresso machine, or maybe in a bar with the incessant cackling of people doing shots five feet away from where you're performing, oblivious to your presence. And all this for very little pay, usually. House concerts are the antidote to such maddening scenarios.

If you don't know about house concerts yet, you're missing out on a network of potential fans and hosts who want to listen and pay you decent money for the privilege. Some acts have even taken to making house-concert-only tours, often doing better than they would playing the regular club and festival circuit.

3 Steps to a Successful House Concert

Shannon Curtis (image via babuljak.com)

It's a long-standing truth in the music business that most artists make most of their money playing live. Performing in clubs and small venues, however, is challenging, very competitive, and wrought with issues that keep many acts from ever getting anywhere. Booking agents can help you get bigger gigs, but they usually won't work with you until you've already booked a bunch of gigs on your own. After all, they work on a percentage basis, and until you can show them that they can earn a meaningful commission by expanding on your efforts, they'll book other bands.

A DIY Guide to Booking House Concerts and Supercharging Tour Revenue

Photo by Leanne Green Photography

This article originally appeared on Performer Magazine.


I’m a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles, and on my summer tour in 2013, I made $25,000 in two months without stepping foot in a bar, club, theater, fair, or festival. This summer, I’m on a 60-show North American tour, and every show is taking place in the living room or backyard of one of my fans.

Not only are house concerts the most enjoyable kind of touring I’ve ever done, they're also the most lucrative. And, most importantly, making it happen didn’t require permission from any of the traditional music industry gatekeepers.