Aspen Meadows House Concerts strives to build community through consistent high quality acoustic musical performances in an intimate mountain setting. This is a private invitation-only potluck concert series not open to the general public. These private parties are not a business nor are they a business-related activity. These concerts are strictly a hobby for us and are free to our guests.
To our audience, we pledge to invite musicians we feel represent the best in contemporary folk music that we have personally heard.
To our performers we pledge to introduce you to a new audience in a true listening room while providing a rejuvenating break during your travels.
Photo credit: W.T. Pfeffer
We suspended our quiet living room concerts August 2006 due to a Boulder County zoning interpretation. We were not accused of violating any noise, traffic, or parking regulations. The County asserted that living room concerts were an illegal business. We argued house concerts are pure social events that enhance our rural mountain community, especially since 100% of any voluntary contribution is given to the performing musician and all costs are absorbed by the homeowners creating a net loss per concert. We also think it is unconstitutional to prevent quiet private assemblies in one’s home.
This kind of selective enforcement caused by an anonymous complaint is especially unfair since other parties are considered legal. The Magnolia Road community has a rich history of musical gatherings and the Aspen Meadows House Concerts series proudly continues it.
On 11 June 2007, Boulder County temporarily lifted the ban the ban on house concerts until permanent regulations protecting house concerts were adopted on 20 March 2008.
We believe that living room concerts have no greater neighborhood footprint than other parties where people pool their resources – pay-per-view sporting/movie parties, group lessons, wine tasting parties, author book signings, prayer meetings (involving donations), and fund raisers. Serious constitutional issues involving the right of free speech and assembly, due process, and equal protection should be considered before passing any regulations focused on the activity versus the actual neighborhood impact.
As far as we know there are no other zoning ordinances nationwide that specifically address house concerts. We do not believe we need them as quiet private parties should be protected under constitutional grounds. At no times have we intentionally broken land use regulations. A house concert series outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is challenging one township’s ruling in a Federal case. We are not affiliated with this series nor do we benefit from their legal defense fund. We do support their efforts.
For our own series, we welcome non-deductible legal defense fund contributions.