> (ware)HOUSE Concerts

A Unique Venue In St. Louis Where Music Lovers Gather

(ware)HOUSE Concerts is a unique venue in St. Louis where music lovers gather on sofas to hear great artists perform. The intimacy and comfort of a house concert, plus the space of a warehouse, equals a better experience for guests and better pay for artists who deserve it. It started as a surprise party for Tom Ruwitch’s wife, Melissa. She was turning 50, and he wanted to surprise her with a big party and a live band. Tom had booked the band, but didn’t have a venue—until he attended a seminar at Medici MediaSpace in St. Louis. Tom was a member of Medici’s co-working community, attracted by its “If you can dream it, you can do it” ethic.

During the seminar, Tom began to survey the space: a blackbox soundstage with lighting, noise-reduction paneling, and a stage. He turned to Josh Levey, Medici’s founder, and asked, “Do you mind if I host a party and concert here next May?”

 Without hesitation, Josh said, “Sure!” (If you can dream it, you can do it.)

 “If it goes well in May, do you mind if I host concerts regularly?”

 “Sure,” Josh said again.

 Medici’s soundstage used to be part of its warehouse, and Tom envisioned the space as a giant living room. He thought of house concerts, where bands perform in someone’s living room or basement. He wanted his concert to be like that—sofas, comfy chairs, potluck dinner, bring your own booze—only in this converted warehouse.

It was also important to him to have invitees RSVP on a custom site—one specific to the party. Tom runs a marketing company and so had purchased many domain names. He also knew it could take many tries to find one that wasn’t taken. But when he typed “WarehouseConcerts” into the domain search, “WarehouseConcert” and “WarehouseConcerts” were available for .com, .org and .net. Tom bought them all.

(ware)HOUSE Concerts was born—and everything that brought it about happened in under five minutes.

The first concert in May 2017 for his wife’s birthday featured The Grahams from Nashville. It was a huge success. Melissa was surprised. The guests loved it and so did the band.

Three months later came (ware)HOUSE Concert #2 with Peter Case. Another success.

For each concert, Tom selects a charity to support; ticket-buyers have the option of adding a donation to their purchase. As of August 2019, (ware) HOUSE has hosted 15 concerts—almost one per month in 2019—and has donated more than $7,500 to nonprofits around the St. Louis area.

Guests love the concerts because they get to see great touring artists in an intimate, comfortable setting for a great price. Artists love the concerts because the (ware)HOUSE is a listening room—no bar chatter and background noise. And nonprofits welcome the support.

Tickets are usually $20 or $25, and artists get 100% of sales. Since the room holds 120 people, artists usually earn more than they might at some noisy club. And if they want to save money on lodging, Tom and Melissa put them up for no charge at their home.

For now, (ware)HOUSE is a labor of love, though its goal for 2020 is to attract sponsors. In addition to covering the costs for sound engineers, furniture movers, and other incidentals, such sponsorship means greater pay for the artists and greater support for local charities.

Out of his love of great music, Tom created a unique venue to share his passion with other music lovers and a place where artists can earn a good wage while connecting with an attentive, appreciative audience.

(ware)HOUSE Concerts

warehouseconcerts.org
Medici MediaSpace 2065 Walton Road St. Louis, MO 63114

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