What to Expect at Among Friends Shows

“Thanks for hosting the concerts. Great live music and intimate setting – perfect.” – Attendee Bob B.

If you’ve never been to one, or never been to one of ours, find out here what is typical for Among Friends Music – House Concerts. Particular details for each show (dates, times, artist information, etc.) can be found by starting here. We keep the next 3 concerts updated in detail all the time. But a calendar of upcoming events going way into the future is here. At the bottom of the calendar page you’ll see our catalog of past shows too. See anyone interesting?

WHY WE DON’T PUBLISH OUR ADDRESS: We promote an upcoming concert by telling about the artist, the date, the time, and the suggested donation. Prospective attendees then call us (Becky: 863.640.1763) or  email Becky *at* amongfriendsmusic *dot* com to make a reservation. When we have your reservation, that’s when we give you our address. Our seats are limited to about 25-30, so reservations help us to keep control of how many attendees we are going to have. Because the concerts are at our private home, we want to limit too easy access for weirdos trolling us for some bad reason. Of course we know that anyone who wants to find us badly enough could do so, but it just isn’t smart to put a home address on a public website. And for those of you who’ve worried about us opening our home to people we haven’t met yet, we have found that people who would bother to come to a folk concert are not likely to have any ulterior bad motives when they come to our house. We live in an ordinary suburb in south Lakeland – not fancy. We promise there’s no fine crystal to break.

We also promote our shows on Facebook. I create a Facebook event and invite everyone (reasonable) with whom I am connected. My Facebook account is linked to Twitter, so we reach some more folks there. WMNF radio in Tampa is a huge supporter of our shows, so you may hear of one mentioned there. Sometimes I manage to get material to The Ledger for a free mention, and from time to time, we get other (mostly free) publicity elsewhere. Obviously, we depend on happy attendees to help spread the word about our concerts. We hope you will share the information here with people you think would be interested too!

IT’S NOT ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW: First of all, the main reason we do these shows is to hear the music without the typical distractions that occur when listening to live music: no football game in the background, no drunk frat boys, no waiters or clinking dishes. It is really a listening room environment where you can hear every note and every word. That means, if you like to socialize and meet new people, you can come early for that and stay late, but if you don’t much care for chit chat, you can come right when the music is getting ready to start, get your seat and start listening. There’s no pressure to be everyone’s new best friend. For us – and hopefully for many of our attendees – we have found some wonderful new friends because of our common interest of caring about live music in this setting. So, you can come by yourself or bring a friend, but you don’t need to know people already; the purpose of these gatherings is to hear the music. If you feel like socializing, great. If you don’t really care to talk to everyone, that’s okay too. We’ve had a few teens and nearly-teens, plus just about every other age group as well. So please: feel welcome, and know that you fit in, no matter what your style is! Before long, we hope you’ll be one of the regulars!

THE MONEY THING: Because these are our privately arranged events, we do not “charge” for people to attend. If we did, that would make us a business of sorts, and would meet with zoning problems in our neighborhood and trouble with music unions. So, in consultation with our performers, we suggest to guests a donation amount for each show, of which 100% goes to the artist(s). It is best to bring cash for the artist donations (but we can work something out usually if you forget cash). We have a clearly marked basket right by the entry where you can put your money.

Tom and I don’t take any of the money; in fact, we each pay our donation to the artists too. However, we always say that people should pay what they can. If you are totally smitten with the artist, maybe you can toss in a little more than the suggested donation. If you can’t afford the full suggested amount, by all means, we trust you to pay what you can. We want to offer the music for as many to enjoy as possible. Just keep in mind, what you pay is the artists’ paycheck, not a gift for them having played for us. They depend on a certain level of “pay” to make these performances possible. Every now and then, we offer a discount suggestion to people who bring a new friend to the shows. Keep your eyes open for those announcements.

THE MERCH: There will be time during and after the shows to purchase CDs, download cards, t-shirts, etc. from our artists. It is really great when you can support the artists by purchasing their music and fun promotional items. They’ll autograph CDs to you personally or for a gift for someone. Why not think ahead for future gift giving and buy extra items from a musician you especially love? Every one of them has the ability to take credit cards or good old fashioned cash for these sales!

FOOD AND DRINK: We provide decaf and regular coffee and tea. Some people bring appetizers or desserts to share, but that’s not required. In April 2013, we started doing potlucks prior to shows, but those have been discontinued for now. If it is a weeknight show, we understand it is a “school night” and people might not want to stay out too late. So for weeknight shows, we usually start a little earlier and provide pizza so dinner won’t be a concern. If people want to contribute to the cost of the pizza that is welcome! See specific shows for details. (We prefer not to have alcohol at these events – thanks!)

EVERYTING ELSE:

  • If you have to get up, please wait until the end of a song, or better yet, intermission. We want to minimize people moving around any more than necessary. Our shows are usually two sets – the first is normally about 45-minutes. Then there is a break, followed by a slightly shorter set.
  • We ask that you turn off your phone sounds during the show. We like it even better if nobody is checking their Facebook notifications and Twitter feeds during performances. (We do like it when you share with your social networks that you are at our concerts! If you tweet, tag @LkldMusic; if you Facebook, like our Among Friends Music page and tag us if you post anything about the concerts.) We love photos and videos! Be considerate about camera flashes when an artist is singing or talking, though.
  • Our suburban neighbors are pretty tolerant of our fairly frequent concerts because we try not to disturb them. When you park on our street, of course we know our guests are careful not to block our neighbors’ driveways or interfere with their property.
  • We provide chairs. You don’t need to bring a chair. Some people like to bring a little cushion in case they end up on one of the hard seat chairs.

We hope to see you soon! If you have any questions, please call (863.640.1763).

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