Yes, I’m hitting the road with my music, my art, and my Creative Sandbox concepts, touring the country on the Living A Creative Life Living Room Tour! (AKA the LACL LRT.)
What is the Living Room Tour?
- Intimate house concerts with music and stories (maybe just you and 6 or 10 of your closest friends, in YOUR living room after a shared meal)
- Creative Sandbox workshops/playshops to help you tame the gremlins and unleash your inner creative
- Salons, where everyone in the room gets to share their stories, show their art, read their writing and poetry
So far over three dozen people have signed up to be tour hosts and co-producers, offering to host weekend house concerts, mid-week DinnerAndSong-style mini-concerts, and workshops of varying lengths and types.
Some people have also stepped forward to drive me from one location to the next, cook me allergy-free meals, or to help with the logistical side of the tour. It’s truly a community effort, and YOU can be a part of it if you want! (Read on for more on that…)
Check out the map of possible tour destinations below:
The schedule is still being formed — I’ll put more dates and locations here on this page once I have them. See the growing list of tour spots at the right.
I started off in April in the SF Bay Area and the DC area, then back to the SF Bay Area.
Other tour legs include the Northeast/Eastern seaboard, the Pacific Northwest, southern California, and beyond — all depending on who steps forward to host. Which brings me to…
Be a Living A Creative Life Living Room Tour Co-Producer!
Excited to get involved? I’m still looking for more tour hosts, particularly for mid-week DinnerAndSong-style concerts. But I imagine you have some questions… So here are some answers!
What is this house concert thing of which you speak?
A house concert is an invitation-only concert in someone’s home, presented by a host who does not profit (financially) from the event. (You may find you profit spiritually and emotionally, however!)
A house concert is typically*:
- held indoors on weekends and/or weekdays
- attended by 20-50 people
- paid for by a $15-20 “suggested donation” per guest (to the performer)
- often known to include light snacks, beverages or a pot-luck dinner
- attended by the host’s friends, neighbours, co-workers, and maybe a few fans of the artist
- performed with a very small sound system or no amplification at all
- very intimate — the audiences sit close and are attentive
- performed in two, 40-minute sets with a 20/30-minute break
*Although house concerts will adhere to most of these traditions, you may not find any house concerts that run exactly according to the list above. Each house concert is a collaboration between an artist, a host/presenter, and their friends and supporters.
For the Living A Creative Life Living Room Tour, the headline set will be performed by myself as a solo act (possibly with additional guitarist and/or pianist), and may include an opening set by another acoustic act/duo (that could be YOU, a local artist, or a friend/family member of the host.)
What are the benefits of hosting a house concert (or other LRT event)?
Hosting a house concert (or other LRT event) is an opportunity to give your friends an evening (or afternoon) to remember!
Whether you host a house concert, a workshop, a salon, or some hybrid of all of them, you’ll be co-creating a unique and inspiring environment for folks to enjoy an intimate and unforgettable experience in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your favorite people. It’s a chance to turn a typical dinner party or friendly gathering into a truly momentous occasion.
Plus if you host a house concert for the Living Room Tour, you’ll get to be a part of a very special live recording series, because every house concert on this tour will be recorded and released as a live “bootleg” recording to commemorate the tour! “Live from [your house]!”
Want a better idea of how a house concert works? Check out this short video that one host used to promote a house concert to his friends:
When you host an event on the Living Room Tour, you’ll be co-producing something special, and helping to grow the movement to empower people all over the planet to feed their creative hungers.
If that’s not enough of a reason to be a host, here are some others:
- You want live music at your upcoming holiday party.
- Your want to surprise your friend for their birthday… Surprise, it’s Melissa Dinwiddie!
- You want me to play all of your favorite Melissa Dinwiddie songs.
- You live in a shoe box, but your friend has the *perfect* house for a concert.
- You live in a shoe box, but who cares – people can just sit on the floor in your living room!
- It’s totally affordable and will be the most memorable concert EVER!
- Just because – why not?
And what is this DinnerAndSong thing of which you also speak?
DinnerAndSong (or its variants, DessertAndSong or BrunchAndSong) is a super low-key version of a house concert, a 90-minute, weekday oasis of great food, an intimate concert, and new friends.
A DinnerAndSong host gathers 6-10 friends to join a touring artist for a casual dinner and a memorable unplugged concert. You can cook the dinner in advance, or make it pot-luck — it’s up to you!
Guests donate $10-15 each for the artist, and they enjoy the opportunity to purchase CDs (and art!) after the performance. It starts promptly, ends promptly — all tucked neatly between the artist’s (ie, my) daytime travel and their (ie, my) normal evening of blogging, or songwriting, or just a great book.
A typical DinnerAndSong schedule looks like this:
- Dinner = 35 minutes
- Stretch = 5 minutes
- Concert = 35 minutes
- Wrap up = 15 minutes
What are the benefits of hosting DinnerAndSong (or one of its variants)?
Hosting a DinnerAndSong event is:
- a great reason to have friends over
- an easy way to build an audience for future shows
- a simple program that takes minimal time
- great for strengthening local friendships
- a fun way to stretch your musical experiences
Its also a fantastic way to get involved with an support the Living A Creative Life Living Room Tour!
How does it work to host a house concert (or other LRT event)?
- You provide a common space to fit your guests .
- You provide some basic snacks & beverages, or ask your guests to bring a dish to share, BYOB, etc.
- Invite your friends & loved ones and ask for a $10 “suggested donation” to help pay the performer (that’s me)!
- The “suggested donation” method costs nothing for the host – the donations will take care me!
- We can alternatively agree on a reasonable flat fee if you don’t want to charge your guests.
Do I need to pay any up-front costs?
Nope — not at all!
Do I need a house to host a Living Room Tour concert (or other event)?
Not necessarily! If you’ve got a great alternative venue in mind — like a community center, art gallery, condo association common room, church, or otherwise — we can host a concert (or other event) there instead of your living room!
How big of a space do I need to host a house concert?
Almost any space works! We’re talking intimate and casual here. Most folks host concerts in their living room or whatever common space they have that is suitable for guests. I’ve performed in the smallest of spaces so don’t worry too much over space. Folks can set up folding chairs or just gather around the living room on pillows and bean bags.
If you want to host a workshop, depending on the content, we may need table space for people to work at. Writing workshops and Unleash Your Inner Creative Playshops don’t require as much space as workshops that include painting.
Can I host a concert in my back yard?
I’ve performed outdoor concerts for various parties and events, but house concerts are best enjoyed in a more intimate “listening” area. The performance tends to become more “background” music when presented in outdoor settings, so I prefer more of a living room or common room setting if possible.
Can I make special song requests?
You bet! You’re the host, so you get VIP treatment. (If it’s not one of my own songs, I can’t 100% guarantee I’ll be able to perform it, so be sure to check with me well in advance.)
How do I promote my house concert (or other LRT event)?
The first place to start is to simply invite your friends! Ill help you with this part, though, and will provide you with a guidebook filled with all the info you’ll need to spread the word and make the most of your LRT event!
What’s your cancellation policy?
In the event that you should have to cancel your house concert less than 14 days before our scheduled date, I would require a “security deposit” of $150, via PayPal, credit card, or check, at the time of cancellation.
If you need to cancel or reschedule before more than 14 days ahead, no deposit is required.
For workshops, I will require advance registration for each participant, and a 50% deposit from each of them. These deposits are not refundable unless their space can be filled from a waiting list.
How can I apply to be a host?
I’m so glad you asked! Click here to fill out a Living Room Tour Host Application Form, and I’ll be in touch! Have more questions? Email me and I’ll be happy to answer them. Woohoo! Here we go!