Experience a concert in your home using HomeDitty

HomeDitty house concerts The Cerny Brothers from Nashville, Tenn. performed in a house concert hosted by Vanessa Johnson on March 10, 2017. Johnson organized the concert through HomeDitty. Quinn Johnston/Contributed

Your next date can be booked with HomeDitty.

A site that functions like a dating website, HomeDitty pairs homeowners who are interested in hosting a house concert with musicians who are willing and able to perform in living rooms on their days off as they travel on their own tour.

Hosting house concerts was common in the twentieth century and is making a resurgence. HomeDitty aims to make it easier finding musicians for those wanting to host.

Katie Byers is the founder of the Des Moines-based HomeDitty and someone who has hosted her own house concert.

“I assumed people didn’t host house concerts because they didn’t know how and generally speaking when you hire an artist it’s kind of expensive,” Byers said. “I found out it’s only true half the time. The other time is people didn’t know where to find musicians and how to book one.

“So the site function pretty much like a dating website. You can just find and directly communicate with each other.”

HomeDitty launched into Beta testing in February. Over 215 hosts have signed up and over 60 shows have been booked using the site in over 20 states.

Byers said hosts can search for musicians geographically and see who and when someone is coming to town based on artists profiles on the site.

“So you have an artist traveling and doing a tour from Minnesota to New York,” Byers explains. “They’ve got venues and gigs usually Friday and Saturday nights, but during the week they have all this dead time and are traveling.”

Byers compares hosting a house concerts to hosting Tupperware parties but instead of buying containers, contribute to a crowdfund.

“To pay the artist,” Byers says.

Hosting House Concerts
The Cerny Brothers from Nashville perform at the home of Vanessa Johnson in Minnesota on March 10, 2017. Quinn Johnston/Special to C&M.

Enjoy a concert from the couch

Byers says she hosted her first house concert nearly three years ago after being asked from a friend.

“I had to Google it,” Byers said. “I did it for the first time and a smaller show. But it was great I just loved it. And I decided to do it every month for as long as I can.”

Byers offers touring musicians to stay in their home as well.

Vanessa Johnson knows about Byers parties but lives in Minnesota and unable to attend.

“We aren’t connected to the music scene where we live in a way that would allow us to find a band to play a house concert, so HomeDitty filled in that gap for us,” Johnson says. “it couldn’t have been easier to invite friends and set up the show for crowdfunding through the homeditty website.  The experience of having live music in our own living room was every bit as amazing as we had heard.”

Johnson said it was special seeing the passion the musicians play with up close.

“It was so interesting to have them talk about their music in between their songs and to hear about what inspired them,” Johnson said. “Our friends raved about the band as we socialized after the show.”

Johnson has hosted two shows and a third booked.

“It was not in the slightest bit taxing or messy,” Johnson said. “The show was BYOB, so we didn’t have to spend any of our own money.  Our guests brought chairs to sit in, and the band did their own set up and take down.  So we didn’t have to do a thing but open our front door to let the fun begin.”