Most people attend festivals in stadiums and other public arenas, but no one ever thinks of watching live music from the comfort of their own home, straight from their living room.
The Living Room Concert, which is a global concept, has now spread to more than 300 cities worldwide. Having performed several solo stripped down unplugged and intimate shows in a hotel room in Chicago, USA in 2016, folk jazz band Sereetsi & The Natives will start the first ever living room concert in Botswana in August.
Fresh from releasing their second studio album titled Motoko the band will give The Natives, as their fans are called, a homely and intimate feel with this concept. “The performances had enthusiastic audiences ranging from 10 to 15 people crammed inside the hotel room and were broadcast online,” the band’s frontman, Tomeletso Sereetsi told Arts & Culture.
He said since then the experience changed his idea of a live music performance and performance spaces. Sereetsi said it is also there that he learnt about how artists around the world have taken the concept of house concerts to another level.
“It is not exactly a foreign concept in Botswana. There has always been live music in households that double up as drinking holes. That’s where I met the music of the four-string guitar in Somerset, Francistown,” he said.
He continued to highlight that the Living Room Tour is an attempt to take live music back into the intimate and personal space that is the living room/backyard/garden.
“The tour will run across living rooms in the country and in neighbouring South Africa as well. Would you like to host an unplugged performance of Sereetsi & The Natives in your living room with your circle of friends for free? We are starting the concept in August. To host
Sereetsi explained that the house concerts is an up and close intimate stripped down unplugged presentation that is designed in part to cultivate an audience for the bigger more public shows.
“It is also a way to interact and connect more with my community of supporters - natives!” He also said no tickets are sold for the concert because it is a donation-based event. Sereetsi further told Arts & Culture that guests show appreciation after the performance through donations of their own choice and one is not forced to donate. “It is exactly that - a donation and it’s up to you. The donations will certainly go a long way in ensuring that the Living Room Tour grows and reaches many people and grows the wonderful experience that is the practice of live music,” he said.
He said the performance set will be no more than one hour and he would not invite anyone but rather the host is the only one who reserves the right to invite guests.
“The show will not serve as background music for your guests. Guests are expected to sit and respectfully immerse themselves in the experience once the performance starts.
The performance can be held on any day of the week! The host is not required to provide snacks or any beverages. However, they are free to provide for guests and artists if they so wish! We need a performance space and an enthusiastic audience of music lovers,” he said.