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House concerts in the UK...

pirandello 17 Apr 07 - 06:41 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Apr 07 - 07:06 PM
Mo the caller 18 Apr 07 - 03:56 AM
Megan L 18 Apr 07 - 04:33 AM
Marje 18 Apr 07 - 04:49 AM
GUEST, Topsie 18 Apr 07 - 05:13 AM
Marje 18 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM
Leadfingers 18 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM
Marje 18 Apr 07 - 08:28 AM
avrosimones 18 Apr 07 - 08:29 AM
Leadfingers 18 Apr 07 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Cats 18 Apr 07 - 08:39 AM
avrosimones 18 Apr 07 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,Observer 18 Apr 07 - 09:40 AM
Hawker 18 Apr 07 - 10:21 AM
Anne Lister 18 Apr 07 - 11:47 AM
GUEST,Observer 18 Apr 07 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Cats 19 Apr 07 - 04:14 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 19 Apr 07 - 02:44 PM
BB 19 Apr 07 - 03:57 PM
Leraud 19 Apr 07 - 05:31 PM
GUEST,Observer 20 Apr 07 - 06:53 AM
pirandello 20 Apr 07 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 21 Apr 07 - 09:42 AM
billybob 03 May 07 - 10:19 AM
alanabit 03 May 07 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,Cats 04 May 07 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,Rachel Harrington 09 Jul 07 - 10:28 PM
Bill D 10 Jul 07 - 10:32 AM
SINSULL 10 Jul 07 - 11:52 AM
Zany Mouse 10 Jul 07 - 12:36 PM
the lemonade lady 27 Nov 08 - 02:51 PM
terrier 27 Nov 08 - 04:43 PM
Fidjit 27 Nov 08 - 05:59 PM
terrier 27 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM
GUEST,OldNic Kilby 28 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM
billybob 28 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM
ThreeSheds 28 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM
the lemonade lady 28 Nov 08 - 09:30 AM
Dave Hunt 28 Nov 08 - 09:34 AM
Banjiman 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 PM
Suegorgeous 28 Nov 08 - 01:47 PM
the lemonade lady 28 Nov 08 - 06:46 PM
the lemonade lady 21 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM
Hamish 22 Mar 09 - 03:32 AM
GUEST,Phil Beer 22 Mar 09 - 04:07 AM
Doug Chadwick 22 Mar 09 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 24 Mar 10 - 03:59 PM
matt milton 24 Mar 10 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,PeterC 24 Mar 10 - 07:12 PM
GUEST 25 Mar 10 - 04:00 AM
matt milton 25 Mar 10 - 05:23 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 25 Mar 10 - 06:44 AM
matt milton 25 Mar 10 - 07:46 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Mar 10 - 08:03 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Mar 10 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 25 Mar 10 - 08:38 AM
Leadfingers 25 Mar 10 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 25 Mar 10 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 25 Mar 10 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 26 Mar 10 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 26 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM
the lemonade lady 18 Apr 10 - 06:26 AM
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Subject: House concerts in the UK...
From: pirandello
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 06:41 PM

They seem to be prevalent in the US and I think they're a fantastic idea for putting your music over in a more intimate setting than the usual dingy back room of a pub.
So, is anyone doing this here or are we too wary about allowing strangers into our castles? Or are the castles just too small?!


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 07:06 PM

Mostly too small, pirandello, and so close to the neighbours as to probably invite complaint.

It's very sad, but we live in a rather small country, so there isn't much choice. Anyway, Tony's bloody stupid licensing law would likely knock it on the head, unless people turned up with signed invitations, and even then one gatecrasher could put the organiser in jail.

Don T. SDBF (Severely disillusioned British folkie)


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Mo the caller
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:56 AM

Maybe something to do with a fact that I ponder over....
Why is it that Folk dancers drink tea, and very few smoke, whereas singers and musicians prefer alcohol?
I'm still a non-smoking teetotaller, but since we started going to sessions you wouldn't think it to smell my clothes.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Megan L
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 04:33 AM

Ah Mo you should live in Scotland :) the only good thing a pariment ever did is save our lungs.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Marje
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 04:49 AM

Aha, we haven't long to wait in England! As of 1 July, we can enjoy smoke-free sessions too. I can't wait!

My observations suggest that although a number of instrumentalists smoke, very few singers do. Singers know they need to look after their voices, and (to put it the other way about) most smokers can't sing well. I think most song-based clubs will thrive in the smoke-free regime, while sessions will go through a period of readjustment.

Dancing doesn't really combine well with drinking either, at least not in a sustained way. If I drink enough to quell the thirst that the dancing produces, I soon get a headache if I'm drinking anything alcoholic. More serious dancers want to be able to get the dance right, and alcohol may interfere with this.

Marje


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST, Topsie
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 05:13 AM

Most of the folk dancers I know drink beer, though they might choose tea or coffee earlier in the day. If you are busy dancing you don't drink large quantities, just a quick swig between dances, so you don't get rolling drunk, and the tea would go cold before you got back to it.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Marje
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:09 AM

I suppose the Americans have got an answer to that - iced tea! To my mind it's the most revolting drink ever concocted. I don't even like hot tea, but iced tea is worse because it looks as if it's going to be like apple juice or cider and tastes - well, like tea.

Some ceildhs are so hot that you need to drink pints, and for me that has to be pints of water if I'm not going to fall over and get headaches.

Marje


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:22 AM

The biggest problem with 'house concerts' in UK HAS to be house size !
The 'average' three bed semi has probably not got ONE room where more than ten people can sit in comfort , but since PEL , even that would be an impossibility without a licence !


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Marje
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:28 AM

Also, houses in the UK are often terraced, semi-detached or generally closely spaced, and neighbours are not likely to welcome a noisy session. Parking in certain urban areas can also be a problem.

You're all welcome to have a session at mine, but it's in a fairly remote rural area. It's the conveniently placed town houses that have the neighbour problems - it goes with the territory, as they say.


Marje


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: avrosimones
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:29 AM

"since PEL , even that would be an impossibility without a licence"

Not true, if it's for 'friends and family', you can do what you want.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:34 AM

avrosimones - A Concert indicates a Paid performance ! Hence PEL is necessary ! Try asking even the Floor Singers from your local club to 'do' a free concert at upur house , and see what response you get - And DONT ask ME because I am going to need at least travelling money !


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:39 AM

We have 2 sessions a year at our house, which is big enough and out of the way enough to accommodate this, as well as the fact that, not just the neighbours but the whole village [8 houses and 2 farms] all come. We have one for Wassailing, complete with Munmmers Play and this year are having Harvest Home at ours too ..... the neighbours decided we would host it! This year we had 42 in our dining room and there was still just about room for one or two more and then there's the lounge as well.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: avrosimones
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 08:49 AM

Leadfingers, you can get around the payment thing by doing a whip-around or a non-voluntary raffle, where the proceeds go to the performers.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 09:40 AM

I'm not entirely sure that payment has anything to do with the PEL, it's more the fact that "Public" are invited. As such a private party does not require a Temporary events notice, however you are subject to noise abatement regulations.

Ob


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Hawker
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 10:21 AM

WE have sessions in our front room (re-named the great hall of the people by Bubblyrat this easter) on a regular basis, sometimes they are planned and sometimes they just happen. we can accommodate lots and have an inglenook fireplace at each end of the room big enough to stand (or sit) in and a large oak settle, oak beams and an under the stairs bar - it is 2 cottages knocked in to one though. We call them 'at homes' as opposed to 'at the pubs' and have a bring and share bar, bring and share supper and no money exchanges hands. We do have in our tiny little village of whitstone, right on the Devon and Cornwall border, 2 harpists, 2 pipers, a melodeon player, 2 concertina players, a fiddle player a bass player, a drummer, (most of these play an assortment of other instruments as well) and a host of singers. so we are blessed, and never shorty of folk to make music with!
Cheers, lucy


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Anne Lister
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 11:47 AM

We have hosted one house concert here so far and intend to run more in due course - this is assuming we ever get ourselves sufficiently organised, which is still a way off as we get sidetracked in so many different directions!

As to PEL, we did a whip-round, and if challenged we'll insist it's predominantly a party where some friends are singing.

Anne


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 18 Apr 07 - 03:18 PM

Admission price is subjected to VAT, raffle or donations are not.
Keep insisting that it's a private party that makes all the difference. As I said above if it is open to the "public" you would require a "TEN"

Hope that helps.

Ob.
PS Keep having the house concerts. A good way to have a nice folk experience.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 04:14 AM

We've been up to Hawkers and they have been to ours. They work well.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 02:44 PM

Payment means nothing in this context. It is access that decides, so if anyone turns up who is not known to you, send him/her packing. Councils can and do use agents provocateur to uncover breaches of the law, and the contention would be that your event was "open to the public".

As long as you are having a gathering of friends, no licence is required, so invitees only, and enjoy.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: BB
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 03:57 PM

"Admission price is subjected to VAT". I don't think so! Not unless you're registered for VAT, and you don't do that unless your turnover is over the VAT threshold - highly unlikely for clubs, let alone house concerts!

Barbara


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Leraud
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 05:31 PM

I've had house concerts. I charge £10 per head, payable in advance and provide a two-course supper with a glass of wine. This costs about £3 per head. The other £7 then goes to the guest. I can get a maximum of 25 people in and they all bring their own drink for the rest of the evening.

I intend to ignore the licencing laws until they send me to prison. It's my house, so I shall do what I like.

Lynne


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Observer
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 06:53 AM

To Barbara, I Stand corrected, it must be that all the events I've been involved in are VAT registered and the Door has been subjected to VAT. It still holds that paying or not for addmission, does not affect the licence issue that is to do with "public" addmission.

To Leraud,

I applaud your stance It's MY house, It's MY Party So tell them to take a long walk of a short pier.

Ob


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: pirandello
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 07:25 AM

Yep, bravo Lynne!

Andrew


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 09:42 AM


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: billybob
Date: 03 May 07 - 10:19 AM

We are having a house concert on June 9th, it is for old friends of the defunct Walton on Naze Folk festival, invitation only, I am doing supper and its bring a bottle like most partys.Tha Amazing Mr Smith is invited and will no doubt be performing to this band of friends and we will probably collect money from all to give to a deserving cause!!Any old friend can pm me for details! ( Dick Miles in October)
wendy


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: alanabit
Date: 03 May 07 - 11:38 AM

My sister has a house in Cornwall, which must be fairly near to Hawker. I did a couple of house concerts there last year and the year before. I'll be going there with the Abits over August Bank Holiday this year, so if anyone fancies dropping in, let me know. It seems easier to get away with this sort of thing in rural areas. When you do not cause neighbours any harm at all, it is not worth the local councils getting their knickers in a twist about it.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Cats
Date: 04 May 07 - 04:56 AM

Alanabit ~ you are nearer to me than to Hawker, she's another 3/4 hour away! hopefully we will be around this year when you are over and we can get to meet up this time.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Rachel Harrington
Date: 09 Jul 07 - 10:28 PM

Hello all,

Will be touring the UK as s duo this coming October and am looking to do a few house concerts. Acoustic americana - guitar and mandolin with sweet duet vocals. We'll be playing on Bob Harris' show as well.

EPK: www.sonicbids.com/rachelharrington
Sounds clips and other info: www.rachelharrington.net

Be in touch if you know of anyone who might be interested in hosting us.

Thanks so much!
Rachel
rachelharringtonmusic[at]yahoo[dot]com


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Bill D
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 10:32 AM

Even here in the US there are only a few in our group who have the space & location to host house concerts. Still, we manage to have at least one almost every month somewhere.

They are nice ways to hear unamplified music and for many events, noise is not much problem. It is common for those who are not able to host to bring a contribution of snacks of drinks for the break, to add to whatever the host is able to provide.

At least in my area, it is very informal...with a bowl for admission/donation money and perhaps a little table for CDs if the performer(s) have any.

We even have folks who bring folding chairs if the host is not sure of enough seating.

I'm glad to hear it is already being done in some areas.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: SINSULL
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 11:52 AM

I host song circles and house concerts in Maine. In NYC I had a huge apartment but there was no street parking making it near impossible for people to come from outer areas. Noise? It was NYC. I put up with blaring rock and classical 3AM practice sessions so that wasn't an issue.

In Maine I have a small house but there is plenty of parking. We can seat 30 but it is not elegant - half in the living room/half in the kitchen with the artist in the corner. My neighbors are tolerant and are always invited. There is a "live and let live" attitude on the street.

There are rumblings here of making it taxable/illegal to hold house concerts. So I watch carefully where I advertise. We don't have pubs and coffee houses offering folk music. There is quite a bit of singer-sonwriter stuff (electrified) and open mics which tend toward amateur hour. Not my cup of tea. Actually, it was the lack of music that triggered the Song Circles and then House Concerts.

Is there a church or meeting hall where you could hold a small concert? Maybe a minimal donation or the offer of some help with repairs?


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 10 Jul 07 - 12:36 PM

So ... UK folkies can all go to Marje, Leraud and Hawker for a good do then? Just let us know when!

lol
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 02:51 PM

Heard this on Radio 4 recently on you and yours So I think the time has come for us to do this kind of thing, because it'll be cheaper than going to festivals etc.

Sal


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: terrier
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 04:43 PM

Good item, must say Radio 4 does have some good progs. We've been having musical 'house parties' for quite a few years in the UK, though not yet booked a special guest. I just wonder how the 'donation' system works? Who collects the money or does the hat get passed around by the guest? At what point does the musical soiree become an official concert for 'invited' public and would we then be required to purchase a music license. Would our homes be then liable to 'change of use' laws and I presume we'd have to fill in the performing rites paperwork? Certainly I've thought about helping singers and bands fill out their tours when they are in our area and the house concert is a much more intimate venue than the 'folk club' or pub room and everyone we invite seems really to enjoy the evening, but I'd like to know exactly how we stand within the law before we take the musical soiree a bit further. Any UKers on here tried it?


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Fidjit
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 05:59 PM

Well I'm up for some house parties when I'm next over

Chas


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: terrier
Date: 27 Nov 08 - 06:12 PM

BTW, I did read the earlier posts but just wondered if anyone had any more comments to add?. On the other side of the coin, a couple of weeks ago, we went to a local pub to hear "The Santa Cruz Riverband" and very good they were,too. They'd just finished a tour of Wales and this was their last night, a FREE concert in a PUBLIC bar.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,OldNic Kilby
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 08:25 AM

Well, we've been having a Second Saturday singing Session for the last 3 years and it is reckoned to be a good night. It has developed into a Concertina session from 5 to 7 ish then a break for Tea and the singing usually starts around 8 until we get sung out around 1 or 2am. Sometimes we have people staying over.
We have had a "Master class" with K K on the tina .
Dont be scared ,try it ,it is a wonderful feeling when you get so many lovely people enjoying themselves.
There is always a lot more talking about the songs than you ever get in a Folk Club and people are a lot more willing to try the Ballads .
The Dining room and Kitchen are only 12x12 and 15x12 so the limit is about 20 ish.
ps No melodeons are allowed.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: billybob
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 08:27 AM

Bill and I have been hosting house concerts for two years here in Essex ever since the Walton on Naze Festival folded.
We contact people who supported the festival and are missing the chance to see artists. We book the artist in the normal way for their proper fee.( We try to fit in with their tour or gigs that are not too close to us.Often filling in a date that is free)
We have a small marquee that will seat about 40 people, although we could use our large sitting room in the winter at a push.
We do not sell tickets but invite folks to a bar b q, we provide the food and they bring drink for themselves.We pass the hat round and divide the fee by the number attending and ask for donations of approximatly that amount.So we are having a private party, we do not advertise to the public and we do not call it a house concert.
At the last"party" some of the guests said they would be happy to bring a dish of food towards supper next time.

These have prooved very sucessfull and great fun, often we have a singaround afterwards.We also ask the attendees to tell us who they would like to see and we will try to book them.

We have held the "partys" on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.So far we have not had complaints from neighbours, we always invite them to come and join in!
Wendy


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: ThreeSheds
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:23 AM

What a civilised way of doing things!


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:30 AM

Just wish my little cottage was big enough. I'll have to chat up so local farming people with the big 'ouses and see what we can do.

Sal


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 09:34 AM

For some time now a few members of the Ironmen and Severn Gilders Morris teams who are keen on singing have been holding 'Singing Suppers' at each others houses - the hosts usually provide some grub and it's BYO drink. Not huge numbers of us - about a dozen or so - but a good chance to socialise and have a bit of a sing together.
Dave
http://www.ironmenandseverngilders.org/imsg.htm


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Banjiman
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 12:15 PM

We have Front Room Folk around the Yorkshire and (slightly beyond) region. Not house concerts but a monthly singaound/ session that is hosted at a different home each month with food, drinking, singing & playing.

Generally pretty laid back and always a lot of fun.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 01:47 PM

I'm surprised no one's mentioned this:

Healthy concerts

Also known as Gigs in Digs, it's: "Small groups of people gathering locally (next door or around the corner) in modest sized venues, such as a neighbour's living-room, for the simple and natural pleasure of listening to genuinely unplugged Live acoustic music. Healthy Concerts make this experience available to all...."

Not just folk music, I think. I went to one a couple of years ago, it was lovely.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 28 Nov 08 - 06:46 PM

Gigs in Digs... brilliant name.

This is looking very exciting.

Sal


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 21 Mar 09 - 02:36 PM

Shall we revive this thread for those who would like to open their front rooms to new and interesting artists, who can't get gigs cos of the pubs and clubs closing down?

Sal


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Hamish
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 03:32 AM

Does size matter? How big is big enough?

Sal said Just wish my little cottage was big enough. I'll have to chat up so local farming people with the big 'ouses and see what we can do and Sinsull said We can seat 30 but it is not elegant - half in the living room/half in the kitchen with the artist in the corner.

It seems to me that I've played to around twenty in clubs (and fewer in pubs sometimes!) and that it needn't be a bar to having a good and rewarding time. I guess the question is how many folks do you need to be able to charge (er, I mean, suggest a voluntary contribution) a reasonable amount and still cover the artist's travelling expenses and give them a fair chance of selling a worthwhile number of CDs. Twenty people ought to do it. Lynne says she charges £10 per head: £3 for catering and £7 to the artist. That'd be £140. Plenty for the UK semi-pro folk artist (and, dare I say, the pro artist with a spare date in their schedule which happens to take them nearby and gets a free night's accommodation thrown in).

My tuppence worth.

--
Hamish
Hamish's MySpace site, well, it can't hurt! ;-)


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Phil Beer
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 04:07 AM

I've done four house gigs in the last twelve months. They are very enjoyable ( one of them was the the best solo show I've done for a long time) and I have a bunch more planned for next year.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 22 Mar 09 - 05:08 AM

I've been to one of Phil's house gigs.It was an excellent evening in a very intimate setting. About 25 people in a large sitting room converted from the garage with every different kind of seating you can imagine drafted in for the occasion. I was in a garden chair at one end of the fireplace with Phil on a kitchen stool at the other.

I've been to two others since at the same venue - Ric Sanders & Vo Fletcher and, just last night, Kevin Dempsey.

I'm not a great concert goer – I like to play rather than watch – but the house concert format is perfect for me. When the next one comes up and I am asked if I would like to attend, my immediate answer will be yes. It's the sort of evening that I would put other things off for.

Other than the fact that the organisers have extended their house into the gargage area, it is a fairly ordinary house in a fairly ordinary street.They solve the problem of annoying the neighbours by inviting them to the do.

DC


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 03:59 PM

There is little doubt that Houses Concerts in England and Wales are licensable as performances of live music to an audience and classed as Regulated Entertainment under the Licensing Act 2003 and that they do not benefit from any of the Act's current list of exemptions.

This requires permanent Premises Licence Entertainment permission to be in place or temporary permission (TENs) for each performance, although there is limit to the number of these.

This requirement is a fact and there is little to be gained by trying to ignore this requirement of the legislation. In fact, as a prosecution for providing unlicensed entertainment could result in a £20,000 fine or 6 months in prison - it would be wise not to ignore this requirement.

It is unclear how this licensing requirement has affected the spread of House Concerts. It would be interesting to hear from those who have direct experience of dealing this with their local Licensing Authority.

But everyone who would wish to encourage House Concerts now have an opportunity to contribute to the DCMS consultation, on their proposal to exempt small premises from the licensing requirement - but you will need to hurry as the closing date for this is 26 March 2010. It is currently only a proposal so the more submissions which call for this, the more chance there is of the proposal becoming law.

Details on the following PDFhttp://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6499.aspx

See also this current Mudcat thread thread.cfm?threadid=126147&messages=220


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: matt milton
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 06:53 PM

I posted a thread that is of some relevance to this house concert discussion yesterday. By the name of "Folk for Sail"...


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 24 Mar 10 - 07:12 PM

I do wonder what other regulations you need to comply with for a house concert.

Wheelchair access, including the toilet?
Kitchen compliant with health regs (separate hand washing, stainless steel surfaces etc)?
Fire escapes?

Of course your normal home insurance won't cover you for public liability.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 04:00 AM

I've had house concerts. I charge £10 per head, payable in advance and provide a two-course supper with a glass of wine. This costs about £3 per head. The other £7 then goes to the guest. I can get a maximum of 25 people in and they all bring their own drink for the rest of the evening.

I intend to ignore the licencing laws until they send me to prison. It's my house, so I shall do what I like.

Lynne


The difference with sessions and singarounds in pubs is that those who make the music cannot themselves obtain the required licensing permission but have to hope that a third party (the licensee) will do this for them and can't rely on licensees to go to court and argue the case

For house concerts, the owner of the premises can make a stand. I wonder if any have done this?

There are other differences of course. Pubs will have already been inspected to death and risk assessment will have been made to ensure the safety of the customers. It seems strange that a session cannot take place in these safe premises without a Licensing Authority insisting on additional entertainment permission but (as reported in this thread) 25-40 people can be crowded into a house concert, where no inspections have been undertaken - and seemingly the additional licensng requirement is overlooked by our Licensing Authorities.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 05:23 AM

Lynne's attitude strikes me as a good one.

You've got to remember that ultimately, you're quite off-radar in putting on folk acts in your house. Unless you routinely get noise complaints, nobody's ever likely to find out. And if they do, they are unlikely to care. Police (and licensing bodies) have bigger fish to fry.

Providing a meal is a nice touch too, because you would have the defence of saying the music is an accompaniment to the food. I would also avoid the use of words such as "charging" though Lynne - refer to it as a voluntary donation.

There's a singer called Jont Whittington who's practically made a career of organising house concerts, to the extent he got big sponsorship from Orange mobiles and a lot of media coverage (online and TV). Nobody's tried to arrest him or fine him.

Put on a house concert. You're more likely to get struck by lightning than there be any legal repercussions.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 06:44 AM

Put on a house concert. You're more likely to get struck by lightning than there be any legal repercussions.

Most of the time it may be alright to ignore legislation but there is always the real possiblity of legal repercussions should something going wrong, in addition to getting struck by lightning.

If a guest dies in fire for example - the powers that be will just rule the owner to be at fault for not obtaining the required licensing permission which along with the provision of fire exits and other facilities, may have prevented disaster. Any insurance would not be valid in such an event.

There are other options.

Permission could always be paid for and obtained of course.

But the option of contributing to a change in the legislation which would exempt house concerts from the licensing requirement and encourage the them - is also one currently open - at least until the closing date of 26 March 2010.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 07:46 AM

yes, but there won't be a fire and nobody will die.
How many dinner parties have you been to at which anybody died? or at which a fire broke out? putting on an acoustic folk gig in your house is no more likely to result in any kind of accident than having a party in your house will.

It'd be great if house parties were exempt from having to obtain a live music license. But only if this exemption meant I didn't have to pay anything or notify anyone.

If I had to do that, I could just put it on in the pub down the road instead. The whole point for me about house gigs is that you don't have to pay anything to anyone (except the performers) and you don't have to ask anyone's permission. The second you have to do anything else is when I'd start to lose interest. Sure, it's illegal. But so are a lot of harmless things.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 08:03 AM

The world's gone mad.

So let me get this straight - I and my band hold a party at one band member's house, invite twenty or so friends, play a couple of sets to entertain the guests, put on some food in the interval, and leave an open mandolin-case case by the door for people to chuck a few bob in to help cover the expenses, and this private function requires us to get a licence, have the house rebuilt to provide wheelchair access and comply with local fire regulations, have a Loony-PC-Risk-Assessment done, and take out public liability insurance?

Presumably, in the face of all this beaurocratic-PC-bollocks, we will next be required to arrange for armed police to be on standby in case a mistaken accreditation by one of the band in the introduction to a song causes an outbreak of folkie-rioting?

I was wong - the world hasn't gone mad, it's gone F**kin' mad.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 08:12 AM

And the scariest thing is that there are people being paid good salaries out of our taxes to dream up this shite.

Fer F**k's sake, beam me up Scotty.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 08:38 AM

What is currently proposed is an exemption from having pay or asking for permission, for the provison of a performance of live to an audience of less than 100 people.

Unless you have a house the size of one of Elton John's or Buckingham Palace - this should free most house concerts.

However, it is only a proposal and the local government lobby are opposed to it - so it is vital that all those who do support such an overdue change to the legisation do make their view know in this consultation. http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6499.aspx


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 09:26 AM

PEL regs require ALL sorts of emergency provisions - Emergency Lighting , Fire Escapes , and such - A local pub WANTED the folk club , but Fifteen years ago it was going to cost the Licensee £12000
just to satisfy the Fire people !
So Stick to 'Private Parties' , ONLY people you know , and DONT let any strangers in at all !
nd I am available for a bed , and travelling money ! LOL


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 09:27 AM

The advice I had was not to advertise, and not to charge on the door - then it's a party and the legislation doesn't apply.

All the guests are 'invited' and any payment is a 'donation' directly to the performer.

HOWEVER

This is untried in law, and you'll certainly be at risk on the insurance front, and possibly the rest.

folkWISE tips for House Concerts in the UK

Tom

Good idea to follow Roger's link and make a contribution. I would but I can't make head nor tail of what's being proposed!


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 03:07 PM

I am not sure that the local government lobby (LACORS and LGA) really understand what is being proposed either but this does not prevent them from being strongly opposed to the proposal and sadly they would appear to be very influential.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 08:46 AM

If the proposal is accepted and the legislation is changed then the long term future for house concerts in England and Wales looks to be quite favourable. And for a very useful addition to other live music venues, why should it not be?

But if is not changed - I am afraid that sooner or later some licensing employee will advise that, for them not to insist on licensing for house concerts will leave the Licensing Authority open to a legal challenge. At that point, other Licensing Authorities will inevitibly feel that they have to follow suit and house concerts, which appear to be under the radar currently, will then be in the same boat as many other equally beneficial and harmless forms of live music.

I honestly can't really see any of the arguments about donations etc. standing up in a court situation.

This legislation and its enforcement is reasonable new and to date, largely untested - but where something still exists in the words of the legislation and could be used to obstruct any form of live music - you can rest assured that at some point in its long life, it will be used. Past experience tells us this.

Those who have made a submission to this consultation, whether they fully understand what is proposed or not, can at least be satisfied that they have made their views known and have done their bit.......................My thanks to them.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 04:30 PM

Submission from the Welwyn Hatfield Live Music Forum

Submission from the Welwyn Hatfield Live Music Forum

The Welwyn Hatfield Live Music Forum's answer to Question 14 - is informative and shows exactly what we are up against.

This is part of that answer.

A press release dated 11 Dec 2009 http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=6467844
claimed that: 'Proposals to allow pubs and bars to put on live music without the need for a licence could lead to a massive increase in noise problems, council leaders warned today, as a survey was published into the possible impacts of planned changes to the 2003 Licensing Act.'

This claim was reported in the Daily Mail and posted by the LGA on various Local Government websites such as The Local Government Executive, Information Portal for the Public Sector, and also the Neighbourhood Watch. It has since become clear that the LGA survey was not properly conducted, and the results subjected to further 'interpretation' when issued to the press.

In fact, the survey was not of 'council leaders' but of random replies to emails sent to licensing officers. Replies were in fact
anonymous, so LACORS cannot tell if there were multiple replies on behalf of one council, or in fact whether the respondents were council employees at all. Bona fide research does not use self-selecting samples.

The word 'massive' was not used in the survey – this was an invention of the LGA press release. Unfortunately this 'information' has been distributed to Licensing Authorities who in turn have advised Licensing Officers of these 'facts'. See East Devon council for an example
http://www.eastdevon.gov.uk/google/knowledge_181209_issue_31.pdf

We support calls by Conservative shadow culture team for DCMS to abandon this consultation on the grounds that consultees may have been misled.


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Subject: RE: House concerts in the UK...
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 18 Apr 10 - 06:26 AM

possibilities

Sal


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