We lived in Austin, Texas - widely known as "The Live Music Capital of the World" - for eight years, 2008 - 2015. During those years, we fell back in love with live music, attending nearly 350 live shows by over 200 performers, at venues large and small, at solo performances and marathons like SXSW.
At the suggestion of a friend, we attended our first house concert in 2012 and we were hooked. The idea of opening our home to other lovers of live music -- friends and soon-to-be friends -- immediately struck us, and we began thinking about how we could host our own house concert series when we retired and moved back to Maryland.
And so was born Macum Creek Concerts - a private, invitation-only, house concert series on Kent Island, where we can share our love of live Americana and blues music with friends, and where we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the support of live, independent music. We hope you'll join us.
House concerts aren't new, and the concept is pretty simple. We're hosting concerts (about one a month) at our home on Kent Island, across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis, MD.
You get in by accepting our invitation. You get invited by being on our mailing list. This is the simplest, but most important, rule. Our house concerts are private events, not open to the public. You must be invited to attend, and to be invited, you must ask to be added to our mailing list (of course, you can also opt out of the mailing list at any time).
Our house concerts are shared experiences. We are contributing the use of our home, chairs to sit on, a sound system for our artists to use, and some light refreshments. We ask that our guests make a donation to the artist. The minimum suggested amount may vary from one concert to another. These contributions are voluntary, and every penny of your contribution goes to the artists, to help them earn a reasonable living giving music lovers like us an opportunity to hear them perform live in an intimate setting - our living room or back yard. The minimum suggested donation for each concert will be posted on our website and included in your invitation.
Since the concerts are a hobby, not a business, and held at our home, we reserve the right to exercise a little "homeowner discretion" in accepting reservation requests, turning away "drop-ins" who don't have confirmed reservations, and asking anyone not following the house rules below to leave. Hopefully none of this ever happens, but in the interest of setting clear expectations ... well, 'nuff said.
For the time being, as we navigate our way back to normal from the pandemic, we ask that you limit yourself to bringing refreshments (and cups, plates, napkins, etc. as needed) just for yourself. We won’t be providing (or allowing others to provide) snacks & beverages (or cups, plates, napkins, silverware, etc) to share. We hope to get back to our traditional shared table soon, and we’ll let you know when we feel it’s safe to suggest bringing enough to share with others.
Still have questions? Keep reading, the sections below will probably answer them. If not, drop us a line at email@example.com and ask ...
In general, this is pretty simple. However, as we come back from 15 months of COVID-mandated shutdown, we have put in a couple of changes to help ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and artists. When we asked you, back in February, what it would take to make you feel comfortable coming to live shows again, you told us: vaccinations, social distancing and masks (click here for more details).
So, for the foreseeable future, our in-home house concerts will look and feel a bit different ... to reserve a seat at one of our shows:
You must be on our email list (if you're already getting emails from us, you’re on our list)
Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via our website for the concert you're interested in, with the number of seats you'd like to reserve
Email us (to email@example.com) or text us (to 512-656-1237) a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination record - for you and each of your guests. We will make a note that you are fully vaccinated, so we will only have to ask you for this information once. We will destroy the copy you send. If you are not fully vaccinated, or if you choose not to share the copy of your vaccination record, we will not confirm you to attend the show in person. This is for public health and safety reasons, to do all we can to ensure the comfort and safety of all who attend. If the show is simulcast live-streamed, you may sign up to view the show on line, of course.
We will respond, either with a confirmation email, or if we are full, to offer to put you on a wait list.
If you don’t receive an email from us confirming that you have seats, you’re not confirmed – get in touch with us any time if you’re unsure.
Please reserve seats (for you or for your friends) only when you're pretty sure you will use them. And if you have to cancel (especially in the last week before the concert), we will request that you make your artist contribution anyway if we can't fill your seat.
Tickets are free, but we strongly recommend a minimum per person donation to the artist, which will be included in the concert announcement and invitation. 100% of your donation always goes to the artist. Usually, you'll be able to make your artist contribution when you arrive at the concert.
If you have never attended a concert here before, we will ask you to pre-pay your artist contribution before we confirm a seat for you (we may also make this request if you haven't been here in awhile). If we do, we'll hold a seat for you for five days to give you time to pre-pay either via PayPal (PayPal.me/macumcreekconcerts) or @firstname.lastname@example.org), Venmo (@Dave-Airel), or by mailing a check to us, payable to the artist, post-dated to the date of the concert. If you have to cancel for some reason, we will refund your artist contribution if we are able to fill your seat.
When we announce an in-home concert that will be simulcast live streamed, we will let you know where and how it will be streamed, and how to sign up.
Initially, we'll be streaming these shows via YouTube, because it's the best quality stream available on our limited budget. We will be streaming HD video (full 1080p) and high-quality audio for all our concerts via YouTube. So, we'll lose the interaction we got last year with Zoom, but we'll be offering a *much* better viewing & listening experience.
We may decide to take a different approach later with some concerts (for example, Facebook Live), but we'll let you know in each concert announcement what our live stream plan is.
And each concert announcement will have a button to sign up for the simulcast live stream ... just follow the directions there to receive the private YouTube link to the concert.
We'll keep this section updated with any changes to our live streaming plans.
We host our live stream events on Zoom. Fans can see each other and the artist can see us. We can clap, hoot & holler for the artist and they can hear us, and we can hear each other. During the intermission, we can all talk with each while actually looking at each other. It's not the same as being together in our living room, but it's the best online compromise we've found so far.
To sign up for one of our live streamed concerts:
You must be on our email list (if you're already getting emails from us, you’re on our list)
Simply email us at email@example.com, or by completing the website's "CONTACT US" form for the concert you're interested in, with the number of people you'd like to register
You'll be asked to pre-pay a "per-household" artist contribution of $15 per household minimum, or whatever you can afford. As always, 100% of your contributions go to the artist. You can pre-pay your artist contribution in any of four ways:
PayPal (payable to firstname.lastname@example.org) - choose Friends & Family
Venmo (payable to @Dave-Airel)
Personal check (payable to Dave Airel) - please mail your check early enough to arrive before the event
We will respond with a confirmation email once we receive your artist contribution pre-payment.
We will send you an email with the link to the Zoom event, usually 24 hours before the concert. This link maybe shared across multiple devices, but only within your immediate household. Please do not share the link otherwise.
You'll be able to see and talk with each other before the show (just like in our living room), applaud for the artist and talk with them in between songs (just like in our living room), but if you spill a glass of wine or drop a donut on the floor ... well, you'll be on your own to clean that up :)
Just a few simple House Rules for in-home concerts, expanded a bit as we navigate our way back from the COVID mandated shutdown.
Since our concerts are a hobby, not a business, and held at our home, we reserve the right to exercise a little "homeowner discretion" in accepting reservation requests, turning away "drop-ins" who don't have confirmed reservations, and asking anyone not following the house rules to leave. Hopefully none of this ever happens, but in the interest of setting clear expectations ... well, 'nuff said.
The concert is about the music, so please respect the performer & the performance. When the music starts, the talking stops.
Until further notice – the following (hopefully) temporary rules are to help us maximize public safety and make everyone who comes to our home (our guests AND our artists) feel safe and comfortable.
Our next few house concerts will be held in our backyard if the weather is good. If it's raining, or too hot, we’ll move them into our living room.
We will be operating with a reduced seating capacity for now. Given the success of the vaccines and the resulting low COVID numbers and continuous positive trends, we've decided to increase our reduced limited seating capacity to around 30 (compared with our normal 40-45).
Only guests who have been fully vaccinated may attend in person, and we’ll be asking to see your vaccination card when you register (we won’t keep a copy, but we will make a note that you’re vaccinated so we’ll only need to ask once).
Seating will be spread out (not 6’ since everyone will be vaccinated, but distanced) and will be grouped by reservation group to maximize capacity while maintaining enough distance between groups.
We're all fortunate that the delta variant isn't causing a huge spike in Maryland the way it is elsewhere. That said, the CDC is recommending that folks consider wearing masks when gathered in groups indoors. We're all vaccinated, but encourage you to consider your own circumstances and wear a mask when moving about the house. Don't be too surprised if we're wearing ours - we have two grandkids who can't get vaccinated yet, and we treasure our time with them. It's up to you, though. No mask shaming here.
BYO (bring your own) snacks and drinks for the time being – no shared table for food & beverages for now. We will put out plates, napkins sand plastic cups for you to use.
Please plan on arriving 15-30 minutes before the show.
Please respect social distancing guidelines before and after the show, and during intermission (if there is one). Leave your neighbor some space. It's been awhile since we've been together, so if you're a hugger or a handshaker, we suggest making sure others are to avoid that awkward moment.
We will leave it to the artist’s discretion to sell, and to your discretion to buy, merchandise like CDs and T-shirts. We encourage everyone to support our artists by purchasing their music & merch, either in person at the show or online.
Since children are not yet able to be vaccinated, all shows will be for vaccinated adults only (ages 16 and older). We will reinstate “all-ages” shows when that's feasible.
The hall bathroom off our kitchen is available for your use. There will be sanitary wipes for your use. We ask all guests to wipe down the toilet, seat, sink, light switch and doorknob when you’re done.
One of our goals for MCC is to help our artists find a new - or wider - audience for their music. Most of our concerts are for adults only (not because of the content, but so that everyone can enjoy the music in a quiet, "listening room" setting). Sometimes, though, this new audience can include children, as long as the child is here to listen to the music and is accompanied by a parent, grandparent, or other adult who will ensure that our house rules are followed.
These are definitely not concerts "for" kids, but they are concerts by an artist whose songs and performances are probably no more than PG-rated. If we designate a show "All Ages Welcome", it means we have checked with the artist to make sure they're ok performing to an audience that might include children (not all are).
Parents & grandparents - at these All Ages Welcome concerts, we ask you to decide whether an artist is appropriate for YOUR children. And, we rely on you to ensure that your children follow our house rules so that everyone can enjoy the music. And, finally, we rely on you to add a kid-sized artist contribution that you think is fair for your child.
The important thing is this - the room will be full, and it would not be fair to the adults if kids are running around and/or talking during the show. The entire point of these concerts is the music. So, if you choose to bring a child to an All-Ages Welcome show, we'll rely on you to make sure they're quiet and that they don't prevent others from enjoying the music.
Well, not to oversimplify, but ... it's pretty much exactly that. It's a concert. At our house. And, since it's at (in) our house, it's a private, by-invitation event, intended for our friends & invited guests. It's not a business, and we don't charge "admission". We do ask, however, that guests make a voluntary contribution (the suggested amount may vary from one concert to another, and will always be included on our website in and your concert invitation). 100% of your contribution goes to the artist.
What style of music will I hear?
Mostly Americana (aka "roots") or blues music. Mostly, though not always, acoustic. We fell in love with dozens of the Americana & blues artists we heard in Austin. These artists perform nationally and internationally, and our hope is to catch them as they pass through our area, to share their music with us. If you're not sure what style of music this is, check out some of the artists / websites on our LINKS page.
How much are tickets?
Admission is free. Since this is not a business, we don't sell tickets. We do, however, ask that guests make a contribution. These requested minimum contributions may vary from one concert to another, but they will always be listed on our website and in your concert invitation. Contributions are voluntary, and 100% of your contributions always go to the artist.
How do I get invited?
Pretty simple. To receive notifications of upcoming concerts, you'll need to be on our mailing list. To get on our mailing list, click on the Contact page above and send us a message requesting to be added to our mailing list. From that point on, you'll receive emails notifying you about our upcoming concerts.
Of course. Only the person requesting seats for the concert must be on our mailing list. We encourage you to bring friends & neighbors, and we'll encourage them to join our mail list once they've enjoyed one of our concerts.
Can I bring my kids (or grandkids)?
That depends. Unless designated All Ages Welcome, concerts are for adults (not because of the content, but so that the adults who attend can enjoy the music). Occasionally, we will list a concert as All Ages Welcome. In these cases, kids are welcome, but subject to a few guidelines. Click here for details.
How long will the concerts be?
That depends on the artist, but in-person house concerts will typically last about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Sometimes the artist will perform two ~45-minute sets with a 20-30 minute intermission in between, and sometimes the artist will perform just one longer set.. Online, live streamed concerts may be a bit shorter but will generally follow the same format.
Can I shoot pictures or video?
Photos are fine, as long as you don't use a flash (that would be a distraction for both the artist and our other guests). Videos will only be allowed if you have obtained permission from the artists. Most of the time, we have already asked the artist and we'll let you know before the concert. If we forget to mention it, better safe than sorry - ask us or check with the artist yourself.
What about food & drink?
Normally, we provide a few light snacks & beverages, and encourage our guests to bring something to share with everyone. However, as we navigate our way back from the pandemic shutdown, we are not encouraging sharing of food, beverages, etc. If you'd like to bring a snack or drink (nothing strong than beer or wine, please) for yourself, along with any plates, cups, etc., that's perfectly fine. We hope to get back to our shared table soon and will let you know when we think that's safe.