• Joanne Griffith

Testing the waters


Jean-François Garneau & Joanne Griffith (photo by Anis Hammoud)

A few weeks ago, I held a house concert in my home to test the concept in a controlled setting before launching a full-blown tour. Jean-François Garneau and I performed for an hour for an audience of 20, after which we asked a few questions and got some great answers:

1. What’s in it for the host?

  • A house concert is a win-win event for both the artist and the audience/host.

  • Because of its intimacy, the house concert offers a rare occasion for non-artists to share a special moment with performers.

  • Hosts, artists, and guests get to partake in a “feel good” event.

2. What – if anything – might we sell as merch?

  • CDs (older demographic)

  • T-shirts (younger demographic)


Some people wondered about the financial viability of a model based on donations. My answer: It’s important that the concert be accessible to as many music lovers as possible, even the cash-poor – sharing music is key.


The test, which provided thought-provoking comments and suggestions, was conclusive – I can’t wait to perform the next show!


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