I'd like to do a house concert tour (reposted from Facebook)
Greetings, friends and fans of The Random Hubiak!
It’s a gorgeous fall morning in Asbury Park and I’m getting ready to head out to some writing/editing clients, but first I wanted to post a little note. As you no doubt know, I don’t play out nearly enough to promote my music. I’m fortunate enough to have Dino's On Main as a staple in my calendar (additionally, the owners and staff there are wonderfully supportive arts advocates who have made me feel truly appreciated). Last night I had the pleasure of playing Leftfield NYC, although a time slot change & a few mishaps among friends resulted in me not drawing the crowd I should have, which means I probably won’t be asked back anytime soon. (I will say, however, that the staff there were fantastic -- Dorian, the sound guy, was fantastic to work with; and the people who were there either by chance or simply hanging around before/after other acts were really an engaging and engaged audience.)
But there are really only two ways for an artist to grow his or her craft to a point of sustainability, and both revolve around sales. One, of course, is radio play, which is generally only a luxury afforded those with record labels who can promote the music to radio. The other is playing out. My issue with playing out is that most venues these days are pay-to-play. In other words, the artist literally has to either pay the venue for the “opportunity” of exposure, or the artist must do the work of the promoter to get bodies into the venue, which usually involves begging friends to come and buy a drink, friends who have already seen the artist’s live set a number of times, friends who already own the CDs and aren’t going to buy more copies, friends who probably would like to do more than be your groupie at a public venue where they’re going to have to shell out a cover fee and still be expected to meet some sort of minimum drink requirement.
Additionally, my music has the rather oddball characteristic of being too rock for cabaret and too cabaret for rock venues. The lyrics are too literate for pop crowds; the melodies, while complex and often utilizing unusual or difficult chord progressions, are still too “traditional” for avante-garde crowds. While the fact that I’m a male tenor who plays original piano pop-rock tropes may often draw comparisons to Billy Joel or Elton John, the fact is I’m more of a Harry Nilsson or a Rufus Wainwright, and that means I’m difficult to market to audiences who want something predictable and comfortable.
One trend right now for independent artists that would work wonderfully for me is the “house concert” idea. Somebody with a large enough home to host between ten and twenty audience members (usually of their own choosing) invites an artist to perform for that audience. The audience does indeed pay an entrance fee, which is split between the host and the performer, for which they get a concert and some sort of swag, depending on the price; additionally, the artist would have a merchandise table to set out CDs, T-shirts, download cards, bumper stickers, and such for sale. If the host permits, the event can be a BYO scenario so that audiences can bring their favourite wine or beer without having to pay overpriced bar costs or tip a bartender, thus offsetting some of the fee for entrance. Hosts also, of course, provide a place to stay for the performer so that the performer isn’t losing all the money earned to hotel costs.
So, I’m very interested in finding out who might be in a mind to do just such a short term venture with me... I’d like to do a one-week to ten-day tour in mid-December, just prior to the holidays. Areas I’m most interested in are Pennsylvania (so I can get a trip home before the holidays, so I’m particularly interested in State College, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, as well as points in between, including as far north as the Lehigh Valley or as far south as Harrisburg). Ideally, I’d love to do just homes that have their own pianos (especially if it’s an electric piano so that tuning isn’t a problem, and ideally one with a transpose key in case I have any “bad voice” days that require a little tuning down of some of the higher numbers). But I’d also consider gigs in Delaware, and (obviously, since I live there) New Jersey, as well as finger lakes region in New York state.
Any takers? Private message me!