Updated as of: March 12, 2021
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Past Shows | Private Concerts | Benefit Concerts

~Private Concerts~ ~Private Concerts~ ~Private Concerts~

"Hey! Nice Place you got here.
Mind if I play some tunes?"

You may recall that this is how I opened my At Your House CD. I offered that greeting, intending to give you the feeling that I was right there in your living room. Well, there is a better way to get that feeling, and that's by actually bringing me in to perform At Your House. I've played backyards in Orlando and Vermont and Wyoming. I've sang in a hundred year old cabin on a rocky island in Maine. I've played in a wide open summer field in Virginia and among the flowers of a lush garden in Beverly Hills. Just in the last several months I performed by a roaring fire inside a winery tasting room, and inside a family's rustic suite overlooking Snoqualmie Falls. I've loved all those concerts, but nothing is better really, than just pulling up a chair among a room full of people sitting on pillows and couches, strumming my guitar and singing to you right there in your own living room.

People bring me in to play for all kinds of reasons and cel
ebrations. I played a wonderful house warming in Oakland once, and at a Christmas party in San Francisco. Yes, there have been a few weddings over the years, and I even played a divorce ceremony that was as much a celebration as I've ever seen at any wedding. But most of the time, I think my private concerts have just been a case of the person hosting wanted to share my music with friends and family. I can't think of a higher honor and I've never once played a private
concert without feeling blessed and grateful to have been invited into a community of friends and family I might never had known about any other way.

I'm always open to hearing what your vision is so that I may try to find a way to create something special for you and your friends. Many times, I offer to create a special one-of-a-kind compilation CD of songs for you - sometimes, with a photo for the cover that you provide - and you may then send it out with your invitations. When the concert is in someone's honor, a birthday or anniversary or retirement or graduation, for instance, this makes a really rare and memorable gift. I usually come early or stay after to visit with folks (if that is appropriate for you) and I always put my heart into a performance that I hope will be remembered fondly by you and your friends for years.      

My fee is flexible and can vary depending upon several factors; including the type of show; how many are in attendance; where and how far I must travel; season and date of event, night of the week, etc. Though you might think so, my price is not necessarily less for a smaller crowd. I put all the heart and soul and energy and effort into singing for two people that I do for 200. In fact, I like to play for as many folks as I can. With those variables, my fee usually averages $6000-$8000, plus travel and baggage costs and one or two night's hotel if outside the Seattle area. (in some places I fly in a day early to be cover any weather/ flight delays/ guitar-luggage losses
        My fee is not solely for the concert itself, but also for the 2 - and sometimes 3 - days that I must spend away from home and traveling to and from your city. I'm open to considering any offer and to hearing what you propose - even including possible barter or trade for a portion of my fee. You never know what is possible when we get creative. I live my life with that in mind. So feel free to make an offer and I'll let you know if I can make it work.

Email me your questions or proposals at:

Some notes on Private Performances
1. Atmosphere: It's important to me that I am able to sing and tell stories in an intimate way for you. So the way you set up the space for the show can really matter. It doesn't have to be ornate or large, just condusive to people being able to pay attention and hear. We should all be in one room or area if possible, and arranged comfortably enough that we can relax for the show.
2. Sound amplification: If the concert is outside of driving range from Seattle — where I can bring my own amp — and you have an audience of more than 4 people, or if you're choosing a larger room or outdoor area, you may need to borrow or rent a small sound system or amp and microphone and someone to operate it. I have never once seen this become a problem. You or I may know a musician in the area who can help us with any number of solutions. If you do have to rent something from a local music store and don’t know how to go about it, I can usually help you communicate with them. The cost can vary, but is generally in the neighborhood of $150-$300.
3. Time of concert: This is more important than you might think. Of course, I will go with your vision, any time you wish me to play. But I can tell you that a concert is best performed when people are fresh and eager. It's less effective to have me perform after dinner or after people have had a couple of hours to drink. If dinner or alcohol is a part of the event, I highly recommend beginning the concert early, before dinner and before people have had more than half an hour or so to imbibe. 
Let me tell you why this is a better choice: At most private concerts, everyone there is not already a big fan of me and my music. Of course, you love my songs or you wouldn't be creating this. But those songs you love have not had years to wear familiar grooves in the minds and hearts of everyone else. So they need me to really actively give them a great concert, telling stories that interest or charm or create laughter, and singing songs that are rich and exciting and moving. This works much better with an audience that is fresh and clear. This is why I usually suggest that music comes before too much partying. There is always time for that afterwards, and I will often stay a while and enjoy the after concert celebration myself.
4. Choice of songs: I'm open to your sending me a list of five or six songs you'd love for me to include in my concert. Sometimes I can include them all, other times there will be only 2 or 3 of those that will work for the performance. There are many reasons that I do or don't play certain songs. Sometimes they are songs that do not work as well solo. Sometimes they are simply not as strong performed live as other songs I choose. And sometimes they require a special guitar or tuning that is not available to me on the road. I do bring two guitars, so I am able to play songs from every era of my recording career.
5. Length of Concert: Usually, for private concerts, I play between 75 and 90 minutes. I'm not at all miserly about the number of songs, I just have a very good feel for how long to play and what will leave the most people happy and fulfilled, rather than tired and wishing I'd stop so the party could begin. 
6. Travel and Accommodations: Whatever our negotiated fee, I'll also need you to provide a round trip coach air fare to your city - with baggage costs (I check two guitars) - and one night's accommodations in a moderate hotel. For some concerts, due to arrival times, I am willing to fly in a day early to be certain that I make it in time for your show and if guitars are lost (rare but we can't take a chance) we will have the next day for them to catch up with us. I'll also need you to arrange to have someone pick me up at the airport (unless we make other plans) bring me to your house or venue and back to my hotel, then to the airport for my departure.
7. Deposit: Upon our agreeing on a date for the concert, I will hold that date for you for a few days — allowing you time to send me 1/2 of the payment in advance. Just a regular ol' personal check is fine. Then the concert will be set and finalized — the remainder of my fee to be paid to me in cash the night of the concert.

Past Shows | Private Concerts | Benefit Concerts

~Benefit Concerts~ ~Benefit Concerts~ ~Benefit Concerts~

Since my earliest years of performing, I have done benefit concerts for causes and events that I believe in. Every year I have quite a few people contact me to ask if I'll do a concert for their cause. I'm always open to it, but there is a lot that needs to be done before I can know that it's worth my time and energy. Too often, I have ended up practically producing the concert myself because the person organizing the event is inexperienced or unable to do all the things that need to be done surrounding a successful benefit concert. Still, there are many who succeed at this. If you believe in your cause and are truly dedicated and creative, there are always ways to do it and raise money and awareness. Below are some considerations if you wish to have me perform a benefit concert.

1. You must play an integral part in the entire event: It is not enough just that you have always supported this cause. You must be familiar with the inner workings and the organization. And it helps if you are someone who is willing to get out there and create something unique and successful.

2. Sponsorship: Most often, artists are asked to do a benefit concert and it turns out that we are the only ones working for free. The venue gets paid rental money, the sound and light man is paid. The printer is paid for posters, the insurance company is paid. The artist walks onstage and plays for free.
In order to keep doing this for a living, I have to try to be sure that I make some money at every concert. I'm more than willing for a great cause and well organized event, to lower my price. I do it all the time. But that usually means that you will need to find some sponsors. This could be individuals who will cover my reduced fee and travel costs, or maybe you can find a company or organization who will cover this in order to receive the attention of the community. There are many ways for this to happen and I'm not attached to any one way.

3. Community activity:
Can you get folks in the community to come together to make this a success? While I'm often a great choice because of my music and style of performing and because I care about the community, people may not know me in the area. That means that you have to convince them that they will be glad they heard me and also convince them that the cause is worth it. Maybe you organize volunteers to sell tickets. It's a wonderful way to make that personal connection with people who might otherwise not hear of the event.

4. Before I can commit: I will need to know that you have a strong vision of what this event will be, how you will market it, and how it will manifest. I would not expect you to have it all lined up. You have to have an artist's commitment before you can go too far. But if you are prepared and ready to work at it, there is a good chance that we can do something very successful together.

Email me your questions or proposals at: mt@michaeltomlinson.com


Past Shows | Private Concerts | Benefit Concerts
~ Past Shows ~
A Special Evening of Songs from
Run This Way Forever

Sun-Apr 12, 2021, 5-7pm PDT
Live on Zoom
  Valentine's Concert
for Everyone - on Zoom

Sunday-February 14
4:00pm @PST (Seattle Time)

Details & Tickets
Zoom Concert
Celebrating Wintertime
and Christmastime

Sun, Dec, 4pm PST
An Evening of Songs & Stories for Thanksgiving
Tue-Nov 24, 2020, 7pm PST
Buy Here
Gathering of Friends
Afternoon Retreat
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Dana Point, CA
Sat-Nov Nov 2, 2019
1pm -to- 5pm

Michael Tomlinson in Concert
Sunday, Nov 3, 2019,
an early 7pm show

Evening Concert
An Evening of Songs, Stories & Laughter
West Seattle, WA
Sun-Oct 6, 2019
@ 6pm
Meditation Gathering
"Raise Your Vibration"

Seattle Area
Sat-May 11, 2019
A Gathering of Friends
A One Day Retreat
Camp Long
West Seattle, WA
Sat-Oct 13, Noon -to- 6pm

Michael Tomlinson in Concert
Sunday, Nov 18, 2018,
an early 7pm show

Gathering of Friends
Afternoon Retreat
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
Dana Point, CA
Sat-Nov 17, 1pm -to- 5pm
Bay Area Concert
Mountain View, CA

Sat-Aug 18, 2019

Sat-Nov 4, 2017
Gathering of Friends
in Amarillo

Sun-Nov 5, 2017
Gathering for Writers
and those who wish to write
Sat-June 24, 2017

Seattle Area  
Michael Tomlinson
in Concert

Fri-June 30, 20

San Diego Area  
Evening Concert
An Evening of Hope & Friendship
Sat-Mar 4, 2017
West Seattle, WA
An Evening of Stories
Songs & Conversation

Saturday, Oct 22,
West Seattle, WA

Michael Tomlinson in Concert

Sunday, Nov 6
7:00pm (doors open at 5pm)
Greater Seattle Area - MT in Concert
 Evening of Songs, Stories & Laughter
  Auburn Ave Theater in Auburn, WA
  Sat - March 12, 20
16 8pm
A Gathering of Friends
Carnation, WA

Sat. June 27, 2015 @11am to 6pm
Michael Tomlinson in Concert
Gulfport, FL

Fri. May 1, 2015 @7pm
We Are All Creators
a One Day Gathering of Friends
in Carnation, WA
Sat-Apr 11, 2015, 11am - 6pm
Michael Tomlinson in Concert
Swedish Cultural Cntr, Seattle

Sat. Mar 21, 2015 @7pm
A Rare Concert at
the Thumbnail Theater

Sat. Jan 17, 2015 @7pm
Writer's Workshop
Sat Dec 6, 2014 10am-6pm
Seattle Area
A Very Intimate Thanksgiving Concert
Sat Nov 22, 2014 6pm
Seattle Area
A Gathering of Friends
Full Day Retreat
       in West Seattle
     Sat-Oct 11. 20
    11am to 9pm details
2nd Annual Barn Concert
in Carnation, WA
Sat-Sept 13, 2014, 6pm - sharp!
Denver Concert
An Evening of Songs, Stories & Laughter

Denver, CO
Sat, March 22, 2014
Concert in Seattle Area (Ballard)
Sunset Hill Community Center
Sat-Mar 1, 2014
Sat Jan 4
, 2014
Traditions - Olympia, WA

call Traditions at 360-705-2819
~ Past Shows ~
Sat, Dec 7, 2013
Sun, Nov 24, 2013
An Intimate Thanksgiving Concert

Highland Comm Cntr
in Bellevue, WATickets
Sat, Nov 16, 2013
Thumbnail Theater
in Snohomish, WA
Michael Tomlinson presents
Lyric & Songwriting Workshop
Saturday, October 12, 2013
10am to 6:pm
Near Seattle
in the beautiful foothills of the Cascades at
Carnation WA - 35 easy minutes from Seattle
~ Past Shows ~
Past Shows | Private Concerts | Benefit Concerts