I love house concerts and have been doing them now for over ten years. Because of their popularity, many more hosts are popping up which is great for the artists...........well maybe. Unlike serious touring artists, some of the new hosts see this as a little hobby and fun. While it's certainly fun for me, this is no hobby. I have had three hosts in the last two months that have either cancelled or wanted to cancel less than a month before the scheduled gig. I clearly understand that sometimes things bigger than the show happen but none of these reasons were that. One host was a musician and even though my gig was booked several months earlier, he got gig of his own and wrote me two weeks before I flew from the west coast to the east coast and informed me that my show was cancelled. I was able to convince him to ask one of his friends to host the show which did happen thank goodness. Another host recently thought that getting an audience was going to be too tough and that she wanted to cancel although she had solicited the show several months before but now, a month out changed her mind. I explained to her how just losing one show on a tour dramatically affects everything. The expenses don't change but now a coveted weekend night is dead. She has changed her mind and is recommitting. One show that was coming up this month has been cancelled last minute and there is no legitimate excuse other than, Oh crap, I am sorry but I made other plans.
So how do we as artists protect ourselves. Many like myself book our own shows and I have never asked for a contract or a deposit because until recently, everyone honored their commitment. The only time I have ever cancelled is when I was so deathly ill and had no voice. It's always been an honor system and it's worked until now. I'd love your feedback.