WORDS BY AWAR OBOB
ILLUSTRATION BY BEN JENSEN
Awar Obob is a writer, artist, muse, model, house show host, and O.G. (Original Goth).
Hosting a house show isn’t too hard, but hosting a good one can be. Here’s a few tips and tricks I learned over the last seven years to ensure that you have a semi-smooth run!
• If you have neighbours, make sure to let them know the gist of the event at least a week in advance. This gives them time to schedule a night out and also shows that you have respect towards their existence. Don’t be that crappy neighbour who hosts parties and destroys property every weekend with no regard to those around you!
• Start to book bands for the show at least six to eight weeks beforehand. People, especially groups of them, need the time to book off of work/practice/possibly fit you into their tour schedule.
• If you can’t give the bands a flat fee, let them know they have a guaranteed percentage of the door profits. Unless you have a surplus of cash or a receiving artists grants, it’s nearly impossible to guarantee a performance fee as a D.I.Y. venue! Be clear with the artists about your financial situation, most local performers are comfortable with pay-what-you-can shows as long as you’re clear with your intentions.
• Promote, promote, promote! The major key to a successful house show, or any show really, is the promotion. Start at least a month before the set date and send the event page and a short biography about the venue and hosts to sites that list concerts and events in your city. Get your friends to post about it, find groups in your city and talk about it there, print out posters/hand bills and plaster them around the city. Make sure your name is out there and don’t be afraid to talk it up if you need to. Sometimes you need to fake it until you make it.
Hopefully these tips help you out, and if they do, or want help with a specific part of planning, feel free to let me know! The Ottawa music scene is only as small as you want make it.