[Music Issue 2014]

Living room rock: Tips for throwing your own house show

Don’t just tell the neighbors that you’re having a house show—invite them!
Illustration: Christine Montoya

Sonia Seelinger’s warm coos float across the living room, commanding the full attention of the crowd seated along the wooden floor. Nights like these always feel intimate, but this one’s even better—because it’s happening in my house.

After going to a handful of house shows on a recent trip to Boise and Seattle, I came back to Vegas determined to throw my own. Because as legit as it might be to see a favorite act headline a great venue, there’s something extra special about bringing the music home, where friends and strangers can gather for a totally unique experience.

Wanna try throwing your own? Here are some tips to help it run smoothly.

1. Limit your invites. Can you accommodate 30 people comfortably? 50? Do you want friends to bring friends? Establish rules early so you don’t end up with unwanted guests.

2. Plan out sound logistics. Will it be all-acoustic? If not, make sure the acts bring what they need, like a PA or amps.

3. Take a page from LCD Soundsystem: Put your furniture in the garage. Artists probably need more space than your usual floor plan allows. Plus, you can seat more people on the floor than on the couch.

4. Think of your neighbors. Let them know a few days beforehand that you’ll be having a house show, or better yet, invite them! Starting and ending the show early will also ensure the police don’t come knocking at your door.

5. Pass around a tip jar. It’s a great way to support the musicians who just made your night so memorable.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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