Interested in hosting a house concert?   What exactly is is a house concert, anyway?

Read on and find out if hosting a house concert is right for you!

I'd love to play your house !


The Space

It’s a concert in your home, living room, rec room, basement, community room, or back yard. It's unique. It's personal. It's up close. It's a great way for music fans to be a part of an intimate musical experience in a listening room atmosphere. Depending on the available space (and the comfort level of the host), house concerts range quite in size and scope. Some are as small as a dozen people in a little living room. Others are 50 people in the basement. Others are 100 people in a backyard. 20-30 people in a largish living room is probably about average.

The Format

Usually, there is a bit of mingling involved. Some hosts have a social time prior to the show or at an intermission. You can choose to provide snacks or ask guests to to bring something to share, from drinks to appetizers to potlucks to desserts.

Alcohol is up to you, keeping in mind that this a concert not a party with background music. 

The Music

Everyone gets comfortable. The host may choose to says a few words as an introduction or share important house information to their guests. If you have a small room then playing completely acoustic and unplugged will usually be just fine. For bigger audiences and larger rooms having a small PA will be the best option. The beauty of a house concert is that everyone can hear the lyrics and music without distractions. I usually play two 45 minute sets with a short restroom / snack break in the middle. Different set arrangements are easily accommodated, as well. 

How To Get People To Attend

Enthusiastic word of mouth is by far the most affective way to get folks to come to a house concert you are hosting. It's usually a good idea to have some sort of RSVP system in place -- to get some idea of how many folks to expect. Consider using Evites to keep track of their guest list. Also, if you're comfortable with it, I will post the house concert date on my website schedule -- and ask that if folks are interested in attending, that they email for more specific details, and to RSVP. This way you stay in control over who you are inviting into your home. And how many people you're inviting in.  ***A detail of note is that you cannot sell tickets or advertise the concert like a club or venue does. If you need more information about this please contact me.

The Money

Typically, the host will collect a suggested donation from the guests. The suggested amount ranges from between $10 to $20 per person -- with $15 being pretty typical. I know it might feel awkward to have to be explicit with money sometimes with your guests -- so I've found that it's best to just be as upfront and clear as possible from the start. For instance, state it from the beginning (in any invitations, etc.) that there's a certain expectation that money will be involved in a more formal way than just "passing the hat to help pay for gas." Having a money basket at the door is a good idea, and actually seems to make things less awkward. I don't ask for a guaranteed minimum -- but it's good to discuss with me if you think the attendance will be smaller than about 20 people -- this will help me to decide what other gigs I may or may not accept on that leg of a particular tour.

The Experience

The reason I love to play house concerts is that it's personal. None of the glaring distractions from clubs and bars. We are all in it together. All in the same room sharing stories and making connections. It's really rewarding for me to share my music this way. I think it will be for you and your guests too!

Thank You

Thank you for thinking about hosting a house concert. Even if you are not able to host at this time I encourage you to attend some house concerts. There are many ways to make a house concert fun and rewarding for everyone.

It's definitely one of my favorite ways to share my music. I’ve made new fans and lifelong friends all along the way.


If you would like more information on hosting a house concert, please let me know at


“Rj Cowdery’s music and lyrics bring you into her life story and as you listen you find yourself asking, “How’d she know that about me?” You’ll welcome her into your living room as an old friend.” 
–Sue and Bruce Andrews, Cot and Crackers House Concerts, Schuyler Lake, NY