HUNTERSVILLE – Lynn and Tracy Holloway will transform their living room into a small concert venue May 3 for the Christian band The Gray Havens, a husband and wife duo out of Chicago.

The husband of The Gray Havens, Dave Radford, finished in the top 24 of "American Idol’s" fifth season. The Holloways expect about 25 guests, and the concert will be their fourth in the past year.

House concerts have become a trend in the music industry, especially for Christian, early career and independent label musicians. But the concept has been around since the French salons of the 18th and 19th centuries.

“House concerts aren’t really a new idea, just one that seems to have been gaining traction in the last three or so years," said Laura Preston, a booking agent for Nashville musicians such as Eric Peters. "It is still a new concept for many of the people I approach.”

Over the past year, the Bechtler Museum organized a series of living room concerts, which were hosted in various Charlotte homes and featured small ensembles of musicians, accompanied by one or more pieces of art.

 

An intimate venue

The house concert allows for intimacy without the rowdiness of a club or bar. Musicians perform close to their audience–there is not a bad seat in the house–and the setting allows for interaction before, during and after the show.

Holloway says, “Not only do you get to hear the musician up close and in person from a few feet away, but you also get to have conversations and get to know the artist.”

Preston says of Eric Peters’ house concerts, “After Eric shares his stories of his own broken and healed places, everyone, Eric included, will leave that place feeling less alone and a little more loved. That to me is God speaking hope and light into the world through the arts.”

                 

Patron hosts

Preston finds concert hosts through her artists, personal connections, and conferences and retreats. Some hosts pay the costs of the show, which varies among artists but averages around $500; some hosts charge admission; and some, like the Holloways, take suggested donations. The hosts take care of the artist’s lodging and food as well as the promotion of the event, using their social media connections.

Hosts do not have to own a mansion to hold a concert. The Holloways live in a 2,500-square-foot home with maximum capacity at around 50 guests.

The Holloways became hosts after talking with Peters at one of his concerts.

“All of these artists are in Nashville trying to make it,” Holloway said, “and they’re just eking out a living. And this gives us a chance to support what they do. In a small way, you feel you’re being a patron of the arts, and you’re supporting someone who has great gifts and great things to say and stories to tell.”

Want to learn more? If you are interested in seeing The Gray Havens, email Lynn Holloway at Ljholloway@earthlink.net.