My First House Concert Experiment Was a Hit

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Just wanted to post a few pictures and a video from my house concert this Saturday featuring the awesome bluegrass band Bangers and Grass (Bill Evans, Chad Manning, Steve Pottier, Tom Bekeny) and Special Guest Keith Little. Here’s the band closing out their first set with ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’:

This was my first house concert, and I did a bunch of research up front to prepare, including attending several other house concerts and interviewing Steven Friedland  of Fifth Street Farms, who’s being doing house concerts in Berkeley for almost 20 years.

It all worked out great… we had about 100 people of all ages attend (including a dozen or so kids); the weather was great, and most importantly, the band sounded great and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Dozens of people brought food to share, and there was a lot of good mingling and socializing during the break.

I credit much of the event’s success to bandleader Bill Evans, who helped me organize the event, helped with the invite list, found time in the band members’ schedules to fix a date (they’re all super busy), and sounded great on banjo to boot!

A couple of technical take-aways: I used a combination of Google Contacts and Google forms to do the invites and take RSVPs, which was great because it constantly keeps a spreadsheet updated with responses, that you can use when checking people in.  The band brought a high quality PA system, which sounded great, but wished they’d also brought monitors (they don’t play outside a lot and didn’t realize how hard it would be to hear each other).

I’m still deciding what my next house concert experiment might be, but this one went so well that I even was able to enjoy it myself!

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