Shannon Curtis has made house concerts the anchor of her music career since 2011. She tried the traditional route of touring cafes, college shows, and clubs. Her assessment of that traditional route is that it was really a slog. Growth was slow. In 2011 that all changed when a fan invited her to perform in her living room for donations. Shannon told me that performance was a transformative and wonderful time. She also said that evening was filled with everything that drives her to create. Shannon had several West Coast shows booked at that time in 2011. Following that house show, she decided to email her list to see if anyone else was interested in hosting a house concert. One year into doing house concerts, she abandoned all those cafe, college, and club shows. She's now on her 7th house concert tour. In the process of doing these tours, her email address has grown exponentially. She's adamant that her email more than anything else has made the tours possible. Shannon's house concert tours are community driven. Shows are hosted by people who already know and support her music. She doesn’t play house concert hosts who host multiple shows a year. Her growing community members are the hosts of her house shows. Most of her new hosts are people who have attended one of her house concerts. Shannon admits to incorporating social media in her marketing, but her email does much more to help her stay connected with fans. She stays truly connected by sharing personal thoughts, opinions, and reactions to the world around her. Her community clearly loves this. For Shannon, it’s simply a way to create honest human connections. She refers to her fans as members and supporters of her community. She’s not crazy about the word fan, sighting that the word creates an artificial division. This is part of how she makes her community inclusive. This inclusiveness is how Shannon nurtures lasting relationships. Her latest release Both at the Same Time includes a companion book that Shannon calls a deeper dive and meditation on the album’s themes. Yet another example of Shannon’s quest create real community for her supporters. Shannon also shares insights into her Spotify windowing strategy, the business of house concerts, personal songs, merchandising, and of course connecting with her audiences at the shows.
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