Listening Room Festival 2015

I’ve toyed with the idea of a monthly post featuring people who are living daringly. Obviously this hasn’t materialized yet, but on my imaginary list of people I want to write about is Fran Snyder.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love attending house concerts.  Fran is the creator and CEO of ConcertsInYourHome.com, and he is the man who introduced me to them. (I’m still so grateful.) The website is a tool that allows musicians from across the globe to find people who want to host a show in their home. Many of these artists will schedule other venues into their tours (e.g. theaters, bars, coffee shops), but they need shows in between the other venues to pay the bills. Or some artists are touring on house concerts alone (or close to it)!

House concerts existed before Fran Snyder came along, but Fran was one of the first to see the need of putting artists in touch with hosts in a more organized way. How did he come upon his great epiphany? Well, he’s also a talented musician. In his days of touring, he saw a need for something, he developed a solution, and he created it! And thank goodness he did!

Check out Fran’s music. I really like his live album: Live and Then Some (<<free download!!)

ConcertsInYourHome.com is a pretty fantastic creation in and of itself, but four years ago Fran created an event in support of house concerts: the Listening Room Festival. During this festival, artists from across the country and the globe come to Florida. People in the Tampa Bay area and other areas host these artists in a series of house concerts in a celebration independent music.

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The 2015 festival starts today and goes through April 26! There is a special kickoff concert tonight (April 20) at The Hideaway Cafe, a wonderful listening room in St. Pete. The show starts at 8:00 and features PasserineAllie FarrisFran Snyder, Miche FambroCraig WerthQuiles & CloudThe Doll Sisters, Matt BednarskyJustin Froese, and Ed Woltil.

I’ve been to two of Allie’s shows and one of Passerine (blog here), and I was so blown away by their respective talents. Each has a very different sound, yet both sets of artists are incredibly talented. I expect nothing less from the other artists that will be playing throughout the festival!

LRF 2014

Kira Small, Mieka Pauley, and The Kennedy Sisters from the 2014 LRF Kickoff.

House concerts will be going on all week. I’ll be enjoying Matt Bednarsky’s music at a house concert as part of my birthday celebration this coming weekend!

The festival finale will take place in The Palladium in St. Pete on April 26. In previous years, the finale has taken place in the Palladium Sidedoor: a smaller venue in the downstairs portion of the Palladium. This venue had cabaret style seating and accommodates up to 185 people.

This year Fran decided to go big and book Hough Hall upstairs, which holds 500 people.

This is a living daringly moment by itself, because that’s a lot more tickets to sell! 

The finale will feature: Miche FambroRupert WatesCraig WerthQuiles & CloudPasserine, and The Doll Sisters. Show time is 6:30 and tickets are less than $20 in advance (Buy yours here!!!).

I’m volunteering at this event, so come buy some merch from me!!

Overall, this post is a celebration of music and of people who make a difference just by being who they are.

All of the musicians fall into this category too. If they didn’t make themselves vulnerable by sharing their art and music with us, what would we dance to? What would move our souls to the point of laughter and tears?

If you are in the Tampa Bay area, you are super lucky this week. Go to a house concert. Go to the LRF kickoff. Go to the LRF finale. Say ‘hi’ to Fran. Say ‘hi’ to the artists. Say ‘hi’ to me! And while you are doing all of that, make sure you are living the life you choose, because it is probably incredibly important to someone else in your life.

**If you are interested in learning more about house concerts, check out ConcertsInYourHome.com. There are a lot of great resources for both artists and hosts!

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