Austin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Austin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Austin, Texas-Area House ConcertsAustin, Texas-Area House ConcertsAustin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Austin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Austin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Austin, Texas-Area House ConcertsAustin, Texas-Area House ConcertsAustin, Texas-Area House Concerts

Welcome

Our calendar of Austin-area in-person house concerts will return when the COVID-19 crisis has resolved. Meanwhile, scroll down for info on virtual concerts.

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Hosting a Virtual House Concert?

Submit it here to be added to the Austin360 Livestream List. There is no charge to post your events here. Note, this calendar replaces the one we at HCHC maintained until Austin360 brought theirs online.

Information for Music Supporters

We're building this on the fly, as a rapid response to the COVID-19 shutdown. Some quick thoughts:


  • Our Austin artists have seen most if not all of their upcoming gigs cancelled. They are at risk of financial ruin. Those who are full-time musicians could lose their homes over this. This is not exaggeration -- I (Debbie Stanley) have spoken to many artists in the last week who have told me the specifics of their financial situations. This is a disaster in the truest sense of the word.
  • We can support them by encouraging them to put on virtual concerts: Live-streaming from the safety of their homes, while we watch from the safety of our homes and send them electronic payments.
  • You can help by attending virtual concerts and by sharing this site (HouseConcertHostsConsortium.com) and our Facebook page (facebook.com/HouseConcertHostsConsortium) with your friends and with any artists you know. Encourage your friends to use the calendar to find virtual concerts to support, and encourage artists to use the submission form to add their events to the calendar for free. [Edit 3/16/20: Use the Austin360 Livestream List.]
  • The events you see listed here might be honor system/tips encouraged, or they might have a ticket price. Either way, please give as much financial support as you can afford.
  • For each event, click on the link in advance to make sure you know how to connect, whether you'll need to prepay, and any other details the artist has provided.
  • Please have patience with any technical glitches the artists encounter while live-streaming, and understand that the audio and video quality will not be the greatest. This is crisis response ... everyone's doing the best they can.
  • Thanks for continuing to support our Austin musicians. They need us now more than ever. Stay well, -- Deb Stanley, 3/15/20

 

Virtual House Concerts: Guidance for Live-Streaming

Info for Artists and Hosts

Huge thanks to Wendy Colonna and Ryan Doty for researching and field-testing much of this info.


Tl/dr: As of today (3/16/20), we recommend either Facebook or YouTube, depending on whether you already have a YouTube channel. If you do have a YouTube channel, live stream from there. If you don’t, start doing streams on Facebook until you’ve had time to create a YouTube channel and get familiar with streaming from YouTube.


All the details (to the best of our knowledge):


DEVICE TIPS:

In general:

  • Test your setup before your scheduled event. Get familiar with your devices, particularly on the points listed below.
  • Keep your device plugged into power if possible. Streaming drains batteries quickly.
  • Keep in mind that the broadcast sound quality will only be as good as what the device can process. You could have high-end, professional production gear and it will still only sound like a cellphone or computer video. Remember, simple is good with this.
  • If you do use amps or a PA, keep your volume low. Again, you could easily overwhelm the cellphone’s processing ability and your sound will end up lower quality than if you’d gone acoustic.
  • Add as much lighting as you can: Daylight, lamps, etc. These videos will always look darker than what you see in real life. 
  • A music stand is a great tool to prop up your phone or tablet. Get it as straight up and down as it will go. Or, to use with your laptop, reposition it so the stand is flat like a small table. Either way, make it as tall as possible to avoid or minimize an unflattering upward angle.

If using a smartphone or tablet:

  • If you use your “selfie” camera mode, you might appear as a mirror-image to viewers. This means any text you show (for example, a sign showing your Venmo handle) will appear backwards to viewers. Also, your instruments will be reversed, so, for example, if you’re a right-handed guitarist, it will look like you’re playing left-handed. This isn’t a deal breaker; just be prepared for it.
  • If you use the regular, front-facing camera, you’ll need to position the device so that its screen is facing away from you. This is the better option if you have a clip or tripod for your device, so you or a helper can access the screen without moving the device.
  • Switch your device to “Do Not Disturb” so incoming calls, texts, or other notifications won’t interrupt the broadcast or block your view of your screen.

If using a laptop or desktop computer:

  • Take advantage of the option to plug directly into your internet service rather than just using wifi. You’ll have a stronger signal and smoother streaming. If you don’t know how to do this, check your internet service provider’s website for guidance. In general, you’ll need an ethernet cable to plug into your computer on one end and your modem on the other.
  • Prop the laptop or computer monitor on something to raise its height, and position it so the camera is pointing straight at you, not upwards. The upward angle is unflattering, hard to watch, and worth your trouble to correct.


PLATFORM TIPS:

Note for any platform: If you’re a host, stream from the artist’s account. If you need to use your own device, have the artist log into their account on your device, so the stream will be coming from their account. That way, the artist’s page or channel gets the new followers and traction for their content.


Facebook profile: Simple

  • Can select audience same as for a post (public, friends, friends except acquaintances, etc.). If you want to restrict to people who have prepaid, you could do that. See Payment Tips below for more on this.
  • Can create an event in advance (either public or private) to schedule the date and time you’re going to go live. This allows you to invite friends to the event and pre-publish your Venmo or other payment account. We recommend this highly!
  • Can share from your profile to your artist page. This is useful if you don’t have the option to originate live video from your page (see next section). Start the video on your phone or tablet and then go to another device or your computer, click on share, then choose your page to share it to.
  • If you want to stream from your computer instead of your mobile device, you apparently have to use Chrome as your browser.
  • You won’t be able to stream in landscape (horizontal) mode. The video will show up sideways to viewers.
  • BIG ADVANTAGE: When you go live, Facebook sends notifications and adds to your friends’ newsfeeds, so in effect they’re giving you free promotion.


Facebook page: Limited.

  • Not all pages have the option to go live. We haven’t figured out the limitation yet, but we’re guessing it’s a minimum number of likes.
  • Create the event in advance. In the event, post a link to the platform you’ll be streaming on (e.g. your FB page). Invite people to the event. Include your payment account in the event. 
  • Suggest that people turn on notifications for your page, so they’ll be notified whenever you go live.


YouTube: Complicated but probably worth it.

  • Need to have a channel, not just an account.
  • Need 1,000 or more followers of your channel to go live from your phone. 
    • If you have fewer than 1,000 followers, you can only go live from your desktop. We tried 5 apps that say they are workarounds for this limitation and only one of them worked (Streamlabs). 
    • If you have 1,000 or more followers, we’ve determined YouTube is a great way to do this.
  • You can save the videos so people can watch and tip later.
  • You can broadcast in landscape (horizontal) format, which looks better for viewers.
  • You can set the stream to unlisted so only people who have prepaid can see it, but consider whether you might get more attendees and more voluntary payments if you opt for honor system/tips and a public stream. See Payment Tips below for more on this.


Patreon: Limited

  • As far as we know, it’s only for your subscribed patrons.
  • We suspect it might not be the best-quality stream. If you have a Patreon, try it out and let us know your results.

Zoom: Limited

  • Free accounts can have up to 100 viewers, but only for 40 minutes at a time.
  • We find it to be laggy. Good enough for virtual meetings but not for live music.
  • You get no built-in promotion as you would on social media where you have friends or followers.


PAYMENT TIPS:

  • If you don’t already have a Venmo account, create one. 
  • PayPal is also commonly used and familiar to most fans. We’ll caution you that one of our artist friends had her PayPal account hacked and it’s an ongoing nightmare, so, FYI.
    • Most artists give their email to receive PayPal payments, but you can also create a PayPal.me account (free and more profesh than just email).
  • With both Venmo and PayPal, fans can choose how much to send you.
  • Setting up a “paywall” and private event is cumbersome and could cause fans to skip your event as too complicated. It also limits you to a set ticket price, when often your fans will want to pay more.
  • Bottom line: The simplest way is to ask for voluntary payments to your Venmo or PayPal. You can do this before the show in an event listing and also during the performance, and people can choose to pay more than your minimum. If you save the video and keep it public, you might also get more payments when people watch it later.


Please send any additions or corrections via message to our Facebook page. We're volunteers doing the best we can on the fly. :)