People ask me all the time if I make any money organising house concerts.
The answer is no.
Next question: why do you keep doing it?
Answer: to figure out how to make it profitable.
I don’t organise concerts because I love doing it. On the contrary, I do it for other reasons such as
- to support musicians I like or curious about
- to attract people to come so that I can get to know them better
- to give something I have (a space, use of my grand piano)
- to have an audience give attention to me when I speak about the music and the musicians or if/when I perform
- to get more experience at producing concerts….. to eventually make it profitable.
If you were to ask if my costs are covered (i.e. all outgoing expenses), the answer is a resounding yes. I do breakeven. I don’t go into debt organising house concerts.
But that is not the meaning of profitable —- at least, not for me.
My definition of profitable is ample income to cover not only expenses but also time. So far, I have not been able to pay myself for the amount of time spent on making a concert happen. Neither am I able to pay those people that help me or collaborate with me. You could say it’s volunteer work. I have to give up practising, teaching, performing, or other activity that gets paid or leads to paid work.
There is a third definition of profitable in which the answer is also a resounding yes.
Profitable = the extra you get from a house concert which you didn’t have before
Some of these extras are
- experience of collaborating with new people to make the concert happen
- meeting new people (in the audience)
- growing a network
- publicity (a lot of attention is generated in the period leading up to the concert)
- exposure to new music, composers, and musicians
- developing better relationships
- learning what to avoid and what to pursue next time
- having quality conversations in a comfortable space
Is there a fourth definition of profitable?