The halls are alive!

Your community hall can attract the best local, touring and international artists.

There are lots of small local halls bringing culture and life to them by holding music events. Building community, raising funds, supporting musicians. There are links to a few below.


1. Create a Music Collective profile page

  • You are visible. Artists can contact your for shows
  • You get to hear great live music at your place
  • You can find and contact world class local and touring artists.
  • You are in control of all your arrangements
  • You pay nothing

Create a free profile

2. HIRE THE HALL  to musicians or a promoter for a show.  This approach is less likely to attract great touring musicians. Musicians are busy people and organising an audience in an unfamiliar town is a difficult task. There may also be the cost of insurance.

3. THE HALL COMMITTEE works with others to host shows. Get a few like minded people to help and it is little work.

4. MUSICIANS OR MUSIC ENTHUSIASTS organise regular events with the support of the hall committee e.g. at reduced hire, using hall insurance, and having hall volunteers help with door and raising funds through food and drink.

PARTNER WITH MUSIC COLLECTIVE – NORTH COAST to help put on shows, help organise insurance, PA hire, advice, etc. 

More advantages and disadvantages of each are explored in the FAQ below

Tintenbar Up Front








Here are some local North Coast halls doing great things:

We are happy to chat with you and support you using your local hall for music events. Contact us

Inspiring events, run by hall committees, volunteers, musicians, promoters…you?

A few of the hundreds of artists who have graced local halls.


There are advantages and disadvantages of each choice.

Hiring out the hall

  • many musicians or others wanting to put on a show are less likely to do it because of expense. Especially touring musicians trying to build new audiences. Insurance is another issue deterring the hire of a hall. If you can have the musicians insured under your hall arrangements, that will encourage more to hire. 
  • on the positive side, it means less work for your hall committee and you have a guaranteed hire fee
  • Some halls invite interested musicians or other people to organise regular events at a reduced hire rate, and arrange for them to work under their insurance.

Holding events yourselves

  • more work is involved in organising, promoting and hosting the event. A small team is needed.
  • often organised on a door deal basis. e.g. hall 25%, musician 75%. Working together with artists means a united purpose in getting an audience along
  • Musicians find this much more appealing as they have no upfront costs of hire and insurance
  • hall committee might engage a local musician or music enthusiast to be the main organiser. Community rates and using the hall’s own insurance make this attractive.
  • Have a look in the links below at how Tintenbar Up Front does it. 
  • Enriches the culture 
  • Gives performers more opportunities
  • Builds a sense of community
  • Raises funds for the hall / charities

Usually they are very cheap to hire. e.g. $10 per hour. Many hall committees and local councils will waive or reduce the hiring fees for events that benefit the community. A few paying audience will cover the cost.

There is work in putting on a show, but with a small team it is not onerous, and more than balanced by the joys of live music up close.

A show in your local hall is a wonderful experience, easy to organise, and will enrich the life of your community and help support musicians. 

These types of shows are growing in popularity and very successful. Check out Rous Unplugged, Tintenbar Up Front and 15 Minutes of Fame below. Though often held in pubs and clubs, a hall event has more of a community feel and the listening environment is appreciated by audience and performers alike. These often include poetry, comedy, dance, drama, as well as music.

Take a look at one hall listing page.

Set up and keep your MC page up to date. What you put on your page is mostly self explanatory, but images of the space you use, of a concert, can be useful. A description of yourself, your music tastes, your hall team,  and other details? How many audience members can you accommodate? Do you have PA equipment? A piano? What else might attract high quality musicians? Be creative! Include whatever you want, but add the tags for the genres of music you like. This saves wasted time from artists contacting you about  genres of music you are not interested in. How often you host is always up to you. Once a year, every month, whatever…     If you are willing to offer accommodation to an artist, tick the “Accommodation Possible” checkbox. You can make the decision about this once you have communicated with the artist. 

You will be prompted once a year to confirm you still want to be a host. Your page will be deleted if you do not respond. It is probably a good idea to check your page a few times a year to ensure it is in line with your needs. 

Search MC for artists touring or living in your local area that suit your tastes. Sometimes you will get a communication from an artist asking to come for a concert. Check out their videos and music samples. Visit their website if they have one. Send them an email. Sort out details of date, time and place. Does the artist require a minimum payment? Are you offering a meal, accommodation?  How much space do they require? Midweek concerts, afternoons on a weekend are often attractive to artists. You could arrange a shorter evening if need be, maybe by having the artist play just one set. If you spot an artist you would love to have perform but they are not in your area,  let them know you would like to host them when they come your way.

Arrange the concert with the artist well in advance so you have time to gather the audience. Choose a high quality artist so your audience will come back.

If you contact the artist by phone, their website or Facebook, and not using our contact form, let them know you found them on Music Collective. If users know our network is making connections, it will encourage them to use it and MC will get stronger with more choice for all.

Musicians will be less likely to choose your hall if you are charging an up front fee. They do not want to be out of pocket for their performance and they may be unsure of how much audience they can attract if they are touring. Some halls give most of the door proceeds to the artist and cover overheads with sales of food and drink. If you are wanting to make some money from the venture, you could add some $ to the door price, then you and the artist will be both committed to getting a good sized audience along. Add $2, and if 100 people come, you have $200 in hand. Or do a %deal (e.g.25% of the first $1000, artist gets 100% of the rest) If you are new to this, it may take a little time to build a regular audience (look at the next topic) but if you choose quality artists, people will come.

When artists contact you, even if you are not interested in hosting them, please reply to their request. Otherwise artists will be discouraged from using the site, and your listing may get negative reviews for “Communication”.

Build your audience by starting with friends, colleagues, acquaintances and friends of friends. Let them know who is booked, with links to their profile. Your social network sites could be a source of guests. You can potentially add to your list by sharing your event on Music Collective – Northern NSW Facebook group.  There may be music clubs in your area through which you could find more guests. Music Collective has listings of some of these clubs and organisations.

You can publicise with posters, signs, newspapers, local radio, council information services etc. There are links to these in the listings. Social Media are an important way to publicise. Many halls have Facebook pages and websites to promote their offerings. Have a look at one hall’s website. There are many Facebook groups you can join where you can publicise your events. 

Collect email addresses of attendees (at shows, via sign up forms on your website and social media) so you can invite them to future events. A number of halls now host open mic nights. This is a way to build audiences as well. For instance, check out Rous Unplugged, Tintenbar Up Front and Fifteen Minutes of Fame at Stokers Siding Hall (all in the Northern Rivers of NSW) – links below


Post your Facebook event or other publicity material to Music Collective Facebook group. It will appear in our Facebook events and on our website “Events” page

PA equipment may be supplied by the artist. If not, maybe the hall has some, or a friend. Music Collective has listings for PA hire and we also have some free help we may be able to give. Message us.

Before the show Check with the artist if they have any requirements. If you are having a shared meal or supper, organise what people should bring, and what you need to provide. Think about what lighting would suit the occasion. Organise an introduction for the artist, it need not be long. If you don’t like doing this, a friend might step up for you.

Set up and get started, by putting out chairs, leaving plenty of room for the artist(s); a table for CDs and other merchandise; a place for the food etc; a door person to collect $. . Set up the lighting, though nothing fancy is needed here. Just ensure there is plenty of light for the artist and the room invitingly lit. Candles and small lamps can be good for mood. Work out a suitable time for the artist to arrive and help if necessary carry in and set up equipment. Welcome the guests, give some notice the show is about to start, and once all are seated, introduce the artist, emphasising that this is a concert, not a party, and get underway. A set of music will usually be 40-45 minutes, then have a break for 20 minutes or so. A concert in a hall sometimes feels more intimate if the artists are on floor level, rather than on stage, depending on the number of performers and audience.

Paying musical artists is an important part of making hall shows feasible. Musicians deserve to be paid for their skill, art and dedication. How much does it cost to have a plumber just turn up, let alone pay them their hourly rate? Negotiate the price beforehand. Many artists will accept a door deal, where they take a set amount of each entry fee. Others will want a set fee. So as not to be out of pocket, you may only want to do a door deal. These usually involve the organisers taking a percentage of the door. That way, organisers and artists are both committed to getting a good audience along.

Charge entry. At the end of the night, hand over the agreed amount.

You can make extra money from food and drink, supper, raffles, membership, donations…


Many artists will play for the takings on the door, less your cost of hiring the hall. If $300 is a reasonable amount to pay an artist, you only need 15 at $20 a head + a couple more to cover hall hire. Once you have done this a few times, you can give an indication to them of how many people they might expect. If an artist asks for a guaranteed minimum, you can set the price according to the number of people you expect to come along. You can make some extra money by charging for cakes, tea and coffee. Some halls put on regular food and make more money that way as well. Of course, this takes a few people to volunteer to create those Gateaux and culinary masterpieces. Any extra you make can go to worthwhile causes.

It is beneficial to the artist to have positive reviews, helping get them more work at homes, halls, venues and functions. If you loved their performance, let the MC community know. Negative reviews are difficult, but honesty is important and helps artists improve and others make decisions about artists based on a wider range of information. You can just leave a star recommendation less than the maximum, writing a short comment. 


We recommend you have public liability insurance. If you are using a public hall, you should check with the hall manager that you are covered by the hall’s insurance when holding your event. Ensure it covers you for costs from legal action if you are found liable for death or injury, loss or damage of property, or economic loss resulting from your negligence. If you are concerned about this, check with the insurance company. Most artists will have insurance that will cover their risk. It is your responsibility to satisfy yourself that you are covered for any eventuality. If you are hiring, many hall committees will allow you to be covered under their insurance for a small extra fee.

Music Collective – North coast network plans to have insurance to cover people holding shows in local halls. If you would like to get cover for an event with us, get in contact via the contact form.

An APRA licence is not needed if your event is a private function, by invitation only. If you are publicising it, and charging admittance, it is public and you probably do need an APRA licence. A year will cost you from about $70. If you are a commercial venue host, you will need an APRA licence.


You or someone else in the community may be willing to accommodate some performing artists. For some travellers it would be appreciated. It is completely at your discretion to decide to do this. We make no assurances about any person you contact through MC.


Help build the network. The more hosts, artists and guests list on MC, the more choice you, your fellow hosts, artists and guests have, making this an increasingly viable avenue for creating thriving musical communities. Recommend MC to potential new hosts and artists. Is there an artist you would love to hear in your home? Let them know! Also let them know about this network. You might suggest others in your guest list host events as well, thus spreading the work, while increasing the benefit to all. You might have friends in other locations who you know would love to be involved.

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Have a look at the links below