What else can I do with living room shows?

Facebook recently reminded me that three years ago, we co-hosted a Memorial Day weekend living room concert featuring talented friends visiting from Michigan.

Bob Skon and Matt Steward living room show 2013

Bob Skon and Matt Steward play a living room show in Brooklyn, Memorial Day weekend 2013.

I’ve been planning living room shows for about five years, some in our Brooklyn apartment, some in friends’ homes, all featuring live music by musicians we support with strongly encouraged donations.

Clint and Helen play Brooklyn living room show Sept 2011

Helen Gillet and Clint Maedgen play the first living room show I planned, back in 2011.

Now I’m considering what other forms these intimate creative parties might take.

I love hosting live music — there’s something special about hearing a performance in a private space, not a bar where people might mostly be there to drink or a professional venue where you might be far from the stage, but a cozy room where maybe you’re sitting on the floor three feet from the performers, everyone is respectful and attentive, and you’ll have the chance to talk to the musicians over drinks.

Lately I have been pondering what else I can do to add other kinds of creativity — showing art on the walls while musicians perform, hosting writers for a reading in between music sets — to create a sort of interdisciplinary salon, where perhaps the creatives inspire one other or the ideas align somehow?

Or maybe I try something different entirely — a home-based supper club idea with food or cocktails as the focus instead of music? At one of our living room shows earlier this year, guests brought incredible food and drink to share so maybe that could also combine with music.

I’m not looking to stop hosting musicians but to keep the format fresh. These events only work as long as our friends remain excited enough to show up and get their wallets out for the performers, so mixing up the options might appeal to friends who aren’t as passionate about music.

What kinds of in-home events have you enjoyed? What would you like to attend?


The Lonesome Pines played at our most recent living room show, in February 2016.


If you’re interested in hosting your own living room shows, here’s an article I wrote for the AP with some tips for musicians and hosts.


Categories: creativity, health and well being

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2 replies

  1. Fantastic idea, Colleen! Are you familiar with author Tracy Slater’s Four Stories series (http://www.fourstories.org/about_tracy_slater.html)? I believe hers were held in larger venues, but you could certainly do something similar as a LR show.


  1. On hearing each other’s goals and responding,”you can do it!” – Newvine Growing

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