How to Scout New Performance Spaces

Fifth House Ensemble’s mission is to create engaging performances and interactive educational programs, forging meaningful partnerships with unexpected venues, artists of other disciplines, educational institutions, and audiences of every type. 

Speaking to the unexpected venues part, Fifth House Ensemble has performed in a wide variety of spaces, ranging from bars, a lake in Tuva, aquariums, supper clubs, libraries, and museums to concert halls and convention centers of all sizes. How do we find these places?

Charlene, Katherine, and Herine perform at The HOBNOB in Racine, WI at the 2019 Fresh Inc Festival

Charlene, Katherine, and Herine perform at The HOBNOB in Racine, WI at the 2019 Fresh Inc Festival

I am an avid supporter of the arts and I’m always on the lookout for new performance spaces. Chicago is a fantastic city for the arts; there are always multiple performance events taking place on any given day. I use this to my advantage and support my friends and colleagues by attending performances and events throughout the year. This is also a great opportunity to scout new performance spaces. After attending performances and doing my research at work, I like to get in touch with venues to find out more details. Here’s a good check list to keep in mind when scouting new venues:

  • Capacity

  • Fees (is this a rental, ticket-split, or contract fee situation?)

  • Tech specs (does this venue have A/V equipment readily available?)

    • Sound board

    • Lights

    • Projector & screen

    • Mics

    • Piano (make/model)

      • Are extended techniques and prepared piano permitted?

  • Programming timelines (how far in advance are performances scheduled?)

  • Contract needs

    • Is insurance needed?

    • Who creates the contracts (venue or artist?)

While Fifth House Ensemble has performed in many types of spaces locally and internationally, we are always looking for new spaces. If you have suggestions for new places you’d like to see the ensemble perform, let us know by contacting us on social media or at!

augmented5thJessica Wolfe