It’s the end of another day in Madrid. As the arteries of the cities begin to glow with the light of it’s streetlamps, so to do it’s spires, glittering with tiny pinpricks up and along the facades of every building that constitute the Spanish capital. Who lives behind these squares of light? What do they do? What is their story? The urge to know what goes on in the lives of our neighbours has been an uncontrollable source of curiosity for all to many of us ever since that fateful day that the first city dweller decided to seal up his home with a door… and peephole.
Today we invite you to put your eye to any one of the keyholes that guard these incandescent lights. Right now in Madrid something is taking place, hidden in one of those private and secret squares: in your neighbour’s own house. An extraordinary project, born of increased rent prices for local venues, and a cultural blight that is lying thick and heavy over our country. This is Madrid, the city that never sleeps. A city that where, when we can’t go out anymore, when the bars close and the drinks get too expensive, we bring the party behind closed doors.
What are Living Room Concerts?
Nichole Hastings landed in Madrid just over a year ago. Like other Americans, she rented a small apartment in the centre of the city and began to familiarise herself with the culture of this great city. However, when she took to the streets, bars and open mikes frequented by her fellow expats, she saw something more than just a watering hole: she saw art.
Nichole’s apartment was not particularly spacious. On the contrary, her living room floor barely covered 20 square metres. But this question aside, Nichole was shocked when she discovered the hurdles faced by street performers and emerging artists in Madrid, who were stunted by official permits and extortionate rental prices for music venues. When she saw just how many dead weights held down the city’s rising stars, Nichole decided to put her neck on the line and become a private events promoter for emerging artists.
It seems crazy right? After all, who would risk everything in a business that includes the words “music”, “emerging” and “Spain”? There was no guarantee to safeguard Nichole, but through her stubbornness and guile, her idea became a new platform for emerging music in Madrid, a series of venues that a year later were almost constantly sold out.
In short, the tiny space afforded by Nichole’s apartment became the microvenue for Living Room Concerts, with a maximum capacity of 20 people. The events included an open bar of beer, soft drinks, wine, and all-you-can-snack popcorn, crisps and even teacakes. Buzz about the concerts spread quickly and before long Nichole had gone from opening her home once a month to once a week.
Now every Saturday at 20:30, Nichole’s living room fills with live performances and music lovers, curious to listen to music brought to them in a very different way. Entrance may seem pricy at 12€, but what is sure is that the cosy environment, proximity to the performer, and Nichole’s open bar, make it an excellent deal.
How does it work?
Every Saturday in Nichole Hastings’ living room the stage is set for the newborn sounds that have emerged Madrid. Tickets can be reserved through MeetUp or via her Facebook group. Prior reservation is strongly advised: this is a private event and is often sold out, so don’t make the arduous pilgrimage to Nichole’s place without first checking that there are still seats available!
I want to Perform at Living Room Concerts!
Are you a rising star or member for a new-formed band? Contact Living Room Concerts, sending them a sample of your music, and set a date for a test session with Nichole. She will be the judge of if your style fits her living room, and once decided will give you a date for your Living Room Concert. Of the 12€ guests are charged for entrance, five will be for you.
Will you take to the stage in your neighbours living room?
(Trad. Sebastian Morgan)